Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies Review

Writer: Jeph Loeb
Artist: Ed McGuinness

This is a series that I've been meaning to read for some time now, as with both Batman and Superman being two of my most favourite comic book characters, as well as the fact that I've loved Jeph Loeb's work on both characters it has been something that I've always wanted to try. Having also loved the animated films based on the first two volumes of this series I also wanted to see how close they were to their source material.


As Batman and Superman work together on the same case, President Lex Luthor puts a billion dollar bounty on Superman's head, blaming him for the Kryptonite asteroid that is heading for Earth.


This was a fantastic story, and I'm very happy that I've finally gotten round to reading it. Jeph Loeb does a fantastic job of bringing these two characters together in a story that was both extremely exciting and entertaining. Loeb also does a great job of balancing the story between both characters, as although the plot itself is more focused towards Superman, Loeb doesn't forget about Batman, allowing him to shine just as much as Superman, making the title very appropriate, rather than just a selling point. Loeb would also do a great job of making this story diverse, as it started very with a very different tone than it ended with, as although everything knitted together perfectly, it was a constant change in pace and tone, which kept the story constantly fresh. The story also had some wonderful dialogue, and especially between Batman and Superman, as their conversations were very deep and dramatic.

The art in this story was also outstanding, though I'd have expected nothing else coming from Ed McGuinness. McGuinness drew both Superman and Batman perfectly, as as you would expect he managed to make Superman look the powerhouse that he is, but besides that he also handled the brooding dark demeanour of Batman perfectly as well. The layout of McGuinness' artwork was also very dramatic and dynamic adding a lot of depth to the story as well making the story that much more exciting. McGuinness also did a fantastic job at showing the characters emotions throughout this story, helping make the story that much more realistic, and dramatic. McGuinness also did a brilliant job with the action sequences with them being very exciting. The artwork from Tim Sale on the When Clark Met Bruce short story at the start of the book was also fantastic being very charming and emotional as usual.

Superman and Batman would come together in this story as in following Metallo to Gotham City both characters would become involved in the same case. Now I already said how good a job Loeb did of bringing these two characters together as well as balancing the two, but story wise the two characters went together perfectly, as Loeb managed to find a development point that would bring both characters realistically to the same place, giving them the same goal, then developing from that. The interaction between Superman and Batman in this story was also fantastic, and it's easy to tell that these are two characters that have been friends for many years.

The key threat in this story would be a large asteroid made out of Kryptonite that is heading towards the Earth. Now I felt that this was a brilliant way of adding excitement to this story, as although we've had plenty of Superman related stories that have involved Kryptonite, none quite as unique as this, as besides the affects of the Kryptonite itself, the fact that it's an asteroid creates a big enough threat as well. This would also land up being a brilliant catalyst, allowing one of the the most interesting developments that I've seen in a story, which would bring a lot of excitement with it.

This development would be President Luthor putting a billion dollar bounty on Superman, blaming him for the coming asteroid. Now the reason this would add a lot of excitement would be because of the amount of characters that would come with it, with a huge selection of villains, as well as some government heroes gunning for Superman. This would thus bring some amazing action that was not only exciting, but very explosive and entertaining, keeping me as a reader firmly gripped to the story. I also loved the way that Batman and Superman would work as a team through this, showing how quick both characters are at adapting to the foe in question, as well as showing just how different their fighting styles are.

Although this story had many villains in it Luthor would still firmly be the main villain, using his position of President to it's full advantage. Now it's no surprise that Luthor wants rid of Superman, and was probably just biding his time since becoming President to finding the perfect excuse for going after the Man of Steel. What I loved most about Luthor's appearance in this story was that he was very calm and collected when it came to justifying himself, whereas deep down it was obvious that this was more of a personal vendetta. I also loved the transformation that we'd see in Luthor throughout this story, and his interactions with Amanda Waller were extremely interesting, and at times also very entertaining.

Final Verdict

This was a fantastic story that balanced both title characters perfectly. It also was very dramatic and exciting, having some wonderful development points throughout. The story was also very exciting with plenty of suspense throughout, also being slightly mysterious at times. The character interaction and overall tone and atmosphere was also brilliant making this a hit on ever mark. Due to this it's very easy to recommend this, and I will certainly be reading more from this series soon.

Rating: 10/10