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Mild Mannered Reviews - Superman/Batman

Superman/Batman #75

Superman/Batman #75

Scheduled to arrive in stores: August 25, 2010

Cover date: October 2010


Writer: Paul Levitz
Penciller: Jerry Ordway
Inker: Jerry Ordway

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

A clone of Lex Luthor with green, glowing skin smashes his way into the headquarters of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Cosmic Boy and Lightning Lad do their best but the clone manages to get to a Time Bubble and escapes into the time stream. Saturn Girl and Brainiac 5 join them just as the clone makes his getaway. Cosmic Boy asks if Brainiac 5 had succeeded in installing tracers into the Time Bubble and the Coluan tells him no. It doesn't matter though because Saturn Girl picked up his thoughts crystal clear and those thoughts repeated the words "2010" and "Kill Superman" over and over again.

In the year 2010 Superman heads to Smallville after the sound of the time barrier being cracked "calls" him back there. Suddenly the Lex Luthor clone attacks leading the Man of Steel to ask how he got that Time Bubble.

In the Batcave the Dark Knight is busy patching himself up when Dawnstar appears with an injured and unconscious Superman and asks for help. Soon Batman is breaking into a Lexcorp facility and with the assistance of Shrinking Violet steals a vial of green liquid. They escape without being detected and meet Ultra Boy, Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Dawnstar and Brainiac 5 back at the Batcave. Cos and Brainiac 5 discuss the Luthor clone and what he was after. There is some bickering between the Legion members until Saturn Girl forces them to concentrate on the matter at hand. In the end they figure out that the clone is heading into Superman's past and hop into the Time Bubble to track the green tinged "Luthor" down.

The Legionnaires reach Smallville in time to see Superboy being attacked by the Luthor clone. Brainiac 5's first attempt to use a cellular disruptor fails but the second attempt works like a charm and the Legion and Superboy watch as the clone dissolves before them. The Legion heads back into the time stream satisfied over a job well done. Lightning Lad is not so sure and figures since they don't know where the Kryptonite-laced clone came from they can't know if the person or persons responsible won't make another one someday.

"It's a Bat..."

By Steven T. Seagle and Teddy Kristiansen

A writer named Steven turns down a two page assignment for the seventy-fifty issue of SUPERMAN/BATMAN.

"Brothers in Arms"

By Billy Tucci

Two little boys dressed as Superman and Batman chase after a man dressed as the Joker at a comic convention. After they are successful in driving him off they turn their attention to a woman dressed as Catwoman.

"World's End...But Life Goes On."

By Adams Hughes

The origins and destinies of Barbara Gordon (a.k.a. Batgirl/Oracle) and Supergirl are explored.

"Friendly Advice"

By J.T. Krul and Francis Manapul

As Superboy asks Superman what he would do if Bruce had ever kissed Lois, Red Robin asks Batman for advice on how to deal with the kiss Robin shared with Wonder Girl when they thought Superboy was dead.

"Night and Day"

By Michael Green, Mike Johnson, Shane Davis, Sandra Hope and Rafael Albuquerque

Lil' Batman tells Lil' Robin about the death of Lil' Superman but it turns out that the tiny Man of Steel was just sleeping the entire time.

"A Superhero's Best Friend"

By Duncan Rouleau

Ace the Bat Hound and Krypton the Super Dog are pitted against one another to see which dog is superior. In the end both dogs are declared to be too adorable for a clear winner to be chosen.

"Joker and Lex"

By Azzarello and Bermejo

Lex Luthor asks the Joker why nobody understands his brilliance. After the Joker explains that nobody understands because he's a super villain Lex unveils his newest weapon and plan. The Joker suggests that he allow Superman to kill him because then Superman would hate himself and Lex storms off.


By David Finch

Conner and Damien (Superman and Batman of the future) visit a memorial to their mentors to pay their respects.

"We Can Be Heroes"

By Peter J. Tomasi and Gene Ha

A young boy named Alex wakes his Dad up in the middle of the night because he is scared that Lex Luthor and the Joker might discover their "secret identities". Alex's Dad reminds them all the times they fought the bad guys as "Superman" and "Batman" and that no matter what they always win. Satisfied Alex goes back to sleep.

3Main Story - 3: Going into this story I was a tad worried that it might be the final part of the previous story Paul Levitz and Jerry Ordway produced over the last couple of issues. The reason I was worried is because I made a big deal about the previous issue not feeling like the last chapter of a story line when it was obviously the last chapter of a storyline. I don't like feeling foolish.

Turns out I didn't have to worry because this story and the previous arc have nothing to do with each other.

I wish I could say that this was a worthy follow up to Levitz's previous arc but in all honesty it wasn't. "Resurrection" was decent and felt like the type of story you would find in an anniversary issue complete with guest stars and an epic plot. The problem is that the actual story was kind of haphazard and felt rushed. I liked seeing the Legion and I liked seeing Superboy but other than that I was left feeling kind of cold. I would have liked to have known more about Luthor's Kryptonite clone and while this could be the set-up for a bigger story coming down the pike the lack of explanation was kind of annoying.

Sure I liked Brainiac 5 and Batman getting on each other's nerves but a cool character moment does not a story make.

I hope I didn't come off as dumping on Paul Levitz because that wasn't my intention. I have enjoyed a lot of his work in the past. I just didn't care for this one.

4Main Art - 4: I didn't care much for the story but the art was great. Ordway put a lot of work into the characters and the backgrounds. Both Batman and Superman looked fantastic as well, which is always important to me when it comes to this title. I especially appreciated the fact that Superboy looked like a teenager and not an adult Superman only smaller.

3Back-up Stories - 3: Instead of reviewing the back-up stories one at a time I am going to discuss them all in one review because I don't have a whole lot to say about any of them

"It's a Bat" was just annoying. I am not the biggest fan of Steven Seagle in the first place and I thought the whole joke that his comic book counterpart in the story turned down the assignment while he obviously wrote it wasn't funny. This was my least favorite of the back-ups. "Brothers in Arms" was a cute story and gave me a chuckle. The fact that I just got back from Dragon*Con (a four day sci-fi/fantasy/comic convention located in Atlanta, GA) made this a little more funny because of all the cos-players I was just surrounded by. The Adam Hughes piece was nice but there wasn't much to it. "Friendly Advice" was amusing but I had thought Tim and Conner discussed the whole kiss already.

Oh well, maybe this is a flashback.

"Night and Day" was cute and I liked seeing the Lil' versions of Superman and Batman again. The Ace vs. Krypto two-pager made me laugh. I was very impressed with the humor on that one. "Joker and Lex" was cute and I appreciated the CALVIN AND HOBBES vibe it had going on. "Eternal" didn't do a whole lot for me though I appreciated the sentiment. Finally "We Can Be Heroes" was a heart-warming story and made me hope that I could have a similar relationship with a son or daughter if my wife and I ever have one.

3Back-up Art - 3: The art of the back-up stories were, on the whole, quite good. I didn't care for "It's a Bat" but I was annoyed with the story anyway. Billy Tucci did some great work on "Brothers in Arms" and given an interview I recently heard with the man I have to wonder if the Superman and Batman are modeled after his sons. Adam Hughes' two pager was gorgeous, plain and simple. I am a fan of Francis Manapul, so it was nice to see him on "Friendly Advice."

I really dug the two pin ups by Jill Thompson, especially the Lois Lane one. Both Shane Davis and Rafael Albuquerque did a fantastic job on "Night and Day". Duncan Rouleau's "A Superhero's Best Friends" was goofy looking but a lot of fun. Lee Bermejo surprised me with his dead on his Bill Watterson imitation. I liked the CALVIN AND HOBBES flavor to the art. David Finch's "Eternal" was moody and dark and fit the story well. Finally Gene Ha's work on "We Can Be Heroes" had a lot to do with why I liked this story so much.

4Cover Art - 4: I am kind of shocked because usually I don't care for Frank Quitely's style, but this was a good cover. All of the characters looked good though I will admit that the Bat symbol is a little funky.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

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