“A new epic begins with the debut of this new, ongoing series! Don’t miss the first fateful meeting of Batman and Superman in The New 52!”
After spells writing for Marvel (Incredible Hulk, War Machine amongst others) and creating his own content, writer Greg Pak has come over to DC. It’s quite the start too, as he is tackling the two biggest characters in the DCU, Batman and Superman! You might think that jumping straight in with two such iconic characters would be daunting, but Pak displays a great grasp of both voices as they come into contact with each other very early on in their careers.
A brief look at their respective origins, in a lovely panel layout, starts the issue well. From there we are quickly introduced to a very gothic looking Gotham (Blimps included BTAS fans!), as well as Bruce and Clark’s differing views on things. Gruff loner and Boy Scout indeed.
Jae Lee’s work has a realism and twistedness to it that reminded me of the Arkham Asylum Graphic Novel, perhaps mixed with Alex Ross. His designs remain faithful to what the New 52 has laid out whilst carrying their own style. They stand out from the current crop and though it’s not usually what I’d be attracted too, it works very well here. The jump halfway through to Ben Oliver’s work is jarring, though that’s not to say it is poor. Far from it. At least it fits into the story at a convenient point.
Those with a decent knowledge of the DCU may figure out where this story is going, but it’s interesting to see how the younger, brasher versions of the characters deal with each other. They both view each other as dangerous, with their inner monologues sizing up their opponent. Bruce is calm and generally detached, as he tries to figure how to take out a guy who can snap titanium; whilst Clark can only see a murderer (He’ll learn) dressed as a giant bat. Of course we all know how this ultimately pans out but it’s the journey that’s the most fun isn’t it?
Don’t think of it as a ‘Young World’s Finest’. There is more to it than that.
With some strong, distinctive visuals, well understood main characters and an intriguing premise, I’ll definitely be picking up #2 next month. Well worth a shot.