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Mild Mannered Reviews - "Batman/Superman" Comics

Batman/Superman #3.1

Batman/Superman #3.1

Scheduled to arrive in stores: September 25, 2013

Cover date: November 2013

"Tales of Doom"

Writer: Greg Pak
Penciller: Brett Booth
Inker: Norm Rapmund

Reviewed by: Michael J. Petty

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Years ago on the planet Krypton, Jor-El, his wife Lara, his brother Zor-El, and his sister-in-law Alura talk about the day when a monster attacked Krypton. Lara recalls being a lieutenant in the Elite Military Seminary and fighting the creature off, that is until General Zod, then Colonel Zod, saved her life and fought off the beast.

The couples hear a scream coming from another room and Zor-El goes to check on his daughter Kara, who had overheard the conversation. She asks her father what happened to Zod and he tells her that he did prevail that day, but unfortunately later he was exiled to the Phantom Zone as he turned out to be an evil man. Kara insists to be told the real story of the monster and Zor-El reveals a Legend of the House of El. A legend that spoke of the Last Knight of the House of El who stood alone on a strange planet where he was a god among men. The Last Knight one day met the creature and proceeded to face him. In the end, both fell, but the Last Knight fell in victory by saving many lives. Others would later take his place.

Kara decides that her father is tricking her and he sends her to bed. Once her father is gone, General Zod reestablishes his communication with Kara and begins to taunt Kara about the monster once again. Kara tells Zod to leave her be, but he proceeds to attack her to which she only believes is a dream.

4Story - 4: I liked this story.

I actually liked it a lot. Then again, I was expecting to really enjoy it and to my satisfaction I really did.

Like most Superman fans, the "Death of Superman" is one of my all-time favorite Superman stories, probably tied with "Birthright" for my favorite. "Secret Origin: Earth-One" (both volumes), and "All-Star Superman" are up there as well, but "Death of Superman" has always been IT for me. That being said, Doomsday is one of my favorite comic book villains of all time. Created alongside villains like Bane and Venom, comic book companies wanted to challenge their heroes in a way that would be different than any other villain. For Batman it was his back being broken and his mantel being tarnished. For Spider-Man it was someone knowing everything about him and being stronger than him who only wants revenge. But for Superman it was death. Death was Superman's greatest enemy and he was killed by someone who didn't even have a particular grudge against him. It wasn't Lex Luthor, it wasn't Brainiac, it wasn't Bizarro, and it wasn't Metallo. It was Doomsday. Doomsday defeated the police, LexCorp soldiers, and even the Justice League, but then he got to Superman and tore him to pieces (not literally of course because Superman AND Doomsday both "died" fighting each other).

Why am I saying all this? Don't most people already know this?

Yeah, most do. I do and if you're reading this review or Batman/Superman #3.1, then you probably do too (it was shown right in the story for crying out loud!), but I feel like we don't really remind ourselves enough that Superman is not invincible, he CAN and WILL die. He's not a god.

I really liked Doomsday #1 because it gave us a different perspective of how another world would deal with Doomsday (that world being Krypton), and it wasn't all that different than how Earth handled it in "Death of Superman". I really am enjoying this new version of Lara who was a soldier. I think that's cool and I liked that she was concerned for her husband first before rushing out to do her job. I also thought it was cool how Man of Steel's General Zod armor was incorporated into this story and even given a few upgrades!

On that note, let me just say that the idea to make the "Death of Superman" a Kryptonian prophecy/legacy was a brilliant idea. They alluded to this on Smallville (a TV show I loved by the way), but I thought it was done very nicely here. Also, that last page where we see Supergirl, Superboy, Steel, Power Girl, and what looks to be H'El is a very cool page/concept. It'd be interesting if that were the Eradicator as we haven't really seen him yet...

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I am a big fan of Greg Pak's work. I loved his Incredible Hulk run which is fantastic stuff and I'm really enjoying Batman/Superman! By the way, he also wrote Justice League #23.1/Darkseid #1, which I also reviewed earlier this month for Villain's Month.

The one part of the story I wasn't too fond of was the Kara aspect, because I feel like this story could have just as easily been put in Action Comics, Superman, or Supergirl and it would have made much more sense. Now, I have to remind myself that this is the SUPERMAN Homepage, but with a book called BATMAN/Superman I would think that Batman should have got one of his villains put in a Batman/Superman Villain's Month issue. Or at least he could have been on the cover with Supes instead of just being thrown to the side. That seems kinda stupid to me, but what do I know?

Like I said, I enjoyed this issue, I thought it was cool and I had a good time reading it. The Zod stuff at the end was a little out-of-place, but it wasn't terrible by any means.

5Art - 5: Brett Booth, who is usually a hit-or-miss for me, did a phenomenal job with this book! I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the biggest fan of the Doomsday redesign for the New 52, but I love the artwork here. I especially liked the artwork at the beginning when Doomsday is rushing out of the fire (on the same page as the credits) and the Last Knight of the House of El pages, which were very cool!

4Cover Art - 4: As a forever-fan of Tony S. Daniel's artwork (and yes, writing as well), I loved this cover! Doomsday is so prominent on the page and the way Superman is lying in the background is very interesting. The only reason I won't give it a 5 here is because the book is titled Batman/Superman and there is no Batman on the cover. If this were Action Comics or Superman it wouldn't be an issue at all, but the fact that Batman IS a title character on this book makes it hard for me to not see him on the cover.


Mild Mannered Reviews

2013

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

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