Review: Batman/Superman #3 by Greg Pak, Jae Lee, and Yilidray Cinar
by Joe Smith on September 3, 2013

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Review:  Batman Superman #3

“Split Screen”

Published by DC Comics

Written by Greg Pak

Art by Jae Lee and Yilidray Cinar

Coloured by June Chung and Matt Yackey w/John Kalisz

The Plot

The young Superman is watching Wonder Woman in battle on an alternate Earth.  The older Superman from the alternate Earth then shows up and shows the younger one a new trick with his powers.  Almost immediately afterwards, there is an appearance from Darkseid that creates different reactions from both the younger and older Supermen.  The older Superman is upset about the revelation he learns pertaining to a crystal that has some repercussions for him.  Flashback and a young alternate Clark Kent meets a young Bruce Wayne.  They test and antagonize one another, but maintain a mutual respect for one another.  Their meeting happens by chance as Alfred’s car breaks down near the Kent’s.  Back to the present and the older Superman continues to help the younger one develop his powers a little bit more.  They are attacked by Batman, but the combined might of both Supermen and Wonder Woman are able to respond quickly.  They learn the truth behind what’s going on with the alternate Batman and Superman, but then everyone is thrust into another conflict that will determine the fate of the world.

The Breakdown

These adventures with t-shirt Superman are way more interesting than the ones that occurred over in Action Comics.  The two heroes are thrust into a strange conflict that pushes them to learn how to perform at higher levels.  I bought into how the younger Superman perceived the older one.  His dialogue didn’t feel forced and he simply seemed like a younger version of himself.  He was annoyed at him and even referred to him as a jerk, which I enjoyed because it was congruent with Superman’s attitude back in Action Comics 1.  The major highlight for me in this book was the relationship between Superman and Batman from the alternate Earth.  The alternate Earth storylines were from well before my time back in the old pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths DCU.  However, I was able to read back issues and various collections and there was one thing that I really enjoyed about them.  They had tales from other Earths and they really seemed like they mattered.  The backstory with Clark and Bruce reminded me of this because it was executed so well.  In this Earth they knew one another from childhood and it so well written.  Even the relationship between Alfred and Jonathan Kent was something to enjoy.  Young Bruce played the detective early on and his reaction to what he found out was brief, but well done.  The storyline in the present contained some misdirection early on, but it was obvious that things were not as they seemed.  The reaction of the younger heroes showed their inexperience compared to the veterans.  I enjoy seeing Darkseid in the mix again lately because he well…he’s Darkseid.  I liked the alternate Superman’s costume it appeared to be more cloth-like as opposed to the armoured look.  The art team wasn’t anything special in this issue though.  Just kidding.  The art team crafted a beautiful looking book and kudos to the colourists for providing the artwork with the right amount of depth.  The art in the flashback sequences was different, but it still matched the feel of the book.  I enjoyed this book.

BUT…

I’m on the fence about how Batman is portrayed in this issue.  He’s younger and a bit more brash.  So seeing him a bit rough around the edges and not being the all-knowing Batman is enjoyable.  However, sometimes it’s his instincts or lack thereof I’m not sure about yet.  So it looks like Doomsday is going to be headlining the Superman title during Villains month.  This isn’t a gripe about the actual book, but I couldn’t help it because it’s a splash page advertisement near the end.  Doomsday…already?

Buy It, Borrow It, Shelf Read It, or Ignore It?

Buy It.  Between this and Superman:  Unchained, I’m glad to see this character getting some good treatment.  I liked the cliffhanger at the end and I’m looking forward to the next issue.  Having them fighting a battle on an alternate Earth elevates this adventure from just being a standard team-up arc.  This title is definitely one of the better looking DC titles and I anticipated the art overshadowing the story (not that I’m complaining).  However, the story, in particular the history of the alternate Bruce and Clark, really took center stage and made this book the highlight of my reading week.



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