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Superman/Batman #45

Superman/Batman #45

Scheduled to arrive in stores: January 23, 2008

Cover date: March 2008

"K" - Chapter 2: "Known Deposits"

Writer: Michael Green
Penciller: Shane Davis
Inker: Matt "Batt" Banning

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

Superman and Batman continue their quest to hunt down and collect all known deposits of Kryptonite on Earth. They are assisted by scores of volunteer heroes, including Firestorm, Booster Gold and Starfire who are all too happy to give the Man of Steel a hand. Even Hiro, the new Toyman, pitches in with a robot that will gather Kryptonite on a molecular level.

Batman and Superman travel deep beneath the ocean and uncover a large chunk of Kryptonite. Spotting a smaller piece inside a cave Superman investigates and is attacked by a giant, mutated creature that was using the piece as a lure. Superman takes care of the creature and the two men go about their work when suddenly they are attacked by the new Aquaman, who is dead set against them taking the Kryptonite. A brief fight ensues but eventually Aquaman allows them to take the Kryptonite. Before doing so he points out that not everyone on Earth may want Superman to find all of the Kryptonite and that he would have to be at least part human to know that.

2Story - 2: Everything was going along just fine with this issue. I enjoyed the opening scenes of Superman and Batman tracking down the Kryptonite and the internal dialogue Michael Green wrote for the characters. The Joker scene and the reference to Addis Ababa were both very well done and the kind of thing a long time reader and Superman and/or Batman fan could appreciate.

The wheels started coming off when the various heroes came to Superman with the Kryptonite they had found. I was a little put off by the comment that the heroes were doing what they were doing to "get in good" with Superman. I think one of the hallmarks of DC is that Superman is the one hero that most of the others would look up to. I am all for the stories where one hero has a problem with Superman for one reason or another, but I would like to think that they would want to pitch in because of who Superman is and what he represents. So seeing Firestorm use his moment to try and curry favor with Superman didn't ring true to me especially since, you know, he's already in the Justice League and everything. Not wanting to play continuity cop with every comic I read I decided to let this slide even though I didn't care for it.

Besides, the comment Starfire made about Booster not wanting to put that stuff in his pocket was kind of funny.

I thought that things were picking up with the big, honking monster fish scene. It was an interesting aside and kind of a throw back to the Silver Age when stuff like this would happen often. My wife watches a lot of Animal Planet, so I kind of saw where the glowing orb in the cave thing was going and it played out fine.

Then came the Aquaman scene.

Man, I did not like the Aquaman scene.

Nothing like poor characterization for the sake of drama and making a stupid, tired and played out point to ruin a perfectly good story.

See, I could understand Aquaman not wanting those dirty surface dwellers to take a portion of Sub Diego. It makes sense in a weird sort of way. My people have suffered enough and all that. I can also see the fight because what's a super hero story without conflict of some sort? If Marvel Comics has taught us nothing else it's that a misunderstanding between heroes can lead to all kinds of fun and excitement.

So I get all of that.

I really do.

But that last little speech just put it over the edge.

Not everyone wants you to find all of the Kryptonite? Maybe they don't want a savior?

Oh come on. Where is this coming from? This is just really sloppy storytelling where a theme that didn't come up once in the first part is suddenly thrown in with no warning. And it's such a tired theme as well. Let's question how Superman can possibly be a threat yet again. I mean Mark Verheiden didn't do this in his run on SUPERMAN at all. Oh, and I guess that Brian Azzarello didn't write that LEX LUTHOR: MAN OF STEEL mini-series either. No, Green had to bring out the whole "Superman shouldn't be trusted because he might do something bad one day and he has too much power and why would we want a savior anyway" thing.

I didn't like it in SUPERMAN RETURNS and I didn't like it here.

I honestly have no idea where this arc is going. I thought it was going to be an interesting story about Superman and Kryptonite and the second part ends with Superman and Batman feeling bad because they were trying to get rid of one of the few substances that can destroy him.

I'd yawn, but that's hard to do in print.

4Art - 4: Oddly enough I liked the art. This issue may have read terribly but it looked fantastic. I dug the Superman armor that Davis and Banning designed and the action scenes flowed well.

So the story gave me fits but the art kept me from going completely, fan boy crazy.

4Cover Art - 4: Again, the art for the cover looked good. I thought that the fight would happen inside the book but end up being a misunderstanding. Too bad I was wrong.

Still, good cover.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2008

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