Graphic Novel/Comics Review

Superman/Batman: Supergirl

(2005) Jeph Loeb, Michael Turner and Peter Steigerwald, Titan Books, 17.99, hrdbk, 168pp, ISBN 1-84023-993-X

This is the second Superman/Batman hardback, collecting issues 8-13 of the ongoing title and charts the re-introduction of Supergirl to the DC Universe. Perhaps one of the strengths of that universe is in its periodical re-imaginings, and recent 'rewrites' have tended to look back to a pre-Crisis paradigm. All in a day's work for readers with a multiverse in their minds! So, having been killed in the long ago Crisis, and then resurrected as an alien shapeshifter, Supergirl is back to being Kara Zor-El, Superman's cousin. Initially taken down by Batman, Kara is soon kidnapped by Wonder Woman and the Amazons (to be trained), but shortly after is again kidnapped, this time by Darkseid, following an assault on Paradise Island. So Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Big Barda return the compliment by invading Apokolips. The resulting battle eventually gives rise to a one-on-one between Supes and Darkseid...

Loeb has done a good job of contrasting the styles and philosophies of the World's Finest duo, and of capturing the excitement and sense of wonder of comic book 'big' stories. Turner and Steigerwald's art is also thrilling, with well-observed splash pages and a lot of emotional intensity on the faces of the characters. Despite the disappointment of the end of the Luthor-as-President plotline (see last review), I would still say that this is one of the better ongoing superhero titles in that it takes on board the need these days to be a little more demanding of writers in terms of reflecting the real world, yet still maintaining the essence of comic book escapism. And it must be hard, after over sixty years of 'history' for these characters, having become both iconic and damn near mythological, to continue to evoke the presence of these beings in a convincing way to an audience now used to the most impossible of things being realised (through CGI or whatever). In that respect, DC should be very proud of this title, and readers can be pleased with Jeph Loeb's talent for conjuring a credible World's Finest team without sacrificing the essential comic-ness of the characters. Recommended.

Tony Chester

[Up: Fiction Reviews Index | SF Author: Website Links | Home Page: Concatenation]

[One Page Futures Short Stories | Recent Site Additions | Most Recent Seasonal Science Fiction News]

[Updated: 05.9.15 | Contact | Copyright | Privacy]