Mild Mannered Reviews – Batman/Superman #16

Batman/Superman #16

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Batman/Superman #16

Scheduled to arrive in stores: March 23, 2021
Cover date: May 2021

“The World of Tomorrow”/“The World of the Knight”

Writer: Gene Luen Yang
Penciller: Ivan Reis
Inker: Ivan Reis
Cover: Reis, Miki & Rich
Variant Cover: Greg Smallwood

Reviewed by: Craig Boehmer

This comic is designed to look like a double feature movie, and the audience is told that they can read each story to the end independently or together.

Superman in “The World of Tomorrow”

Metropolis is witnessing the unveiling of a brand-new power source called the “Omni-Battery”. Before its inventor is introduced the Unknown Wizard attacks claiming he deserves the credit. Superman quickly dispatches of the Unknown Wizard allowing Lois Lane to uncover that he was none other than Lex Luthor. Superman must then defeat Luthor’s robots. Meanwhile Luthor is raving that the inventor has been stealing his ideas for awhile, and we are introduced to the inventor, Dr. Martha Wayne, and her cowardice son Bruce Wayne. Later at the Daily Planet Clark Kent uncovers that the Waynes are a billionaire family from Gotham City, Thomas Wayne was brutally murdered in front of Martha and young Bruce, leaving him traumatized and her dedicating her life for good. Lois, Clark, and Jimmy travel to Gotham to visit the Wayne estate. While there Lois discovers the Batcave but is caught by Alfred. When Superman arrives to help her, Alfred takes what looks like the Bane venom. Meanwhile a hole rips through the film borders of the strip causing Lois to fall into the Batman story.

Batman and Robin in “The World of the Knight”

A cafeteria service truck is shown leaving Arkham Asylum, the driver asks the gate keeper to buzz them out. It is revealed that the truck is filled with villains, including Joker, Penguin, and Spider Lady the queen of the Metropolis underworld. They kill the gate keeper and flee. The Batmobile quickly pursues them, and Batman and Robin disable the villains, allowing them to be returned to Arkham. During the fight Spider Lady reveals to Batman that a secret organization, which the Warden of Arkham is a part of, is doing terrible things to the inmates of Arkham and they are turning the world darker. She escapes before going into custody, but the other villains are shown in their cells where one, named Jones, comments that they are better off then their twins in Cellblock B. Those twins in Cellblock B are shown with massive purple boils bursting from their skin. Batman decides to visit the Warden’s office where they find Kal El’s rocket with his dead infant body still entombed. The Warden discovers Batman and Robin, and they beat a hasty retreat. At the Batcave they learn the story of the rocket landing in a farmer’s field in Kansas. They also learn that the Warden has been making regular flights to a specific spot in the Arctic. Batman and Robin infiltrate a hidden base in the Arctic where they discover Lois falling from the Superman story. Batman refers to her as the Spider Lady.

The last page shows Batman and Superman on Earth 0 checking a satellite covered by film. They are then confronted by alien beings who accuse them of trespassing on the archive of worlds.

5Story – 5: I really dug the design of this comic. The two unrelated stories being told parallel to each other was creative and effective. Yang continues to show he gets both Superman and Batman, their characterization is on point. Robin was a welcome addition, and I found myself smiling reading his quips and one-liners directed to bad guys and Batman. I am excited to see where this story goes and if it takes place on the current DC earth, or if it is separate from continuity.

5Art – 5: What can I say, I love Ivan Reis’ art. He has a way of drawing Batman and Superman that adds to their majestic look. His designs for both the classic Superman story and the classic Batman story had a cool aesthetic look, blending modern with Golden Age vibes. I thought the costumes for Batman, Robin, and Superman all worked really well pulling from these different eras of comics.

5Cover Art – 5: This cover does a great job of showcasing the two main characters in their Golden Age era inspired costumes. As well as Spider Lady, the Unknown Wizard, and the mysterious boss of the Arctic base. It is a great cover. My only potential nitpick is that it borders on being too crowded. But I also love the inclusion of the Daily Planet and the contrasting statue on the bottom, with half as an angel and half as a demon is just a cool look.

5Variant Cover Art – 5: This cover is also great, but for very different reasons. The main cover is full of detail which grants it a very modern aesthetic influenced by the Golden Age comics. This cover is much simpler in design and layout. Both heroes are in their most classic costumes, but the simplicity of the art makes it look more like a vintage comic image.

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March 25, 2021 4:31 pm

The “Batman/Superman” title under Gene Luen Yang has been really kickass! I love the loving homage Yang pays to the Golden Age eras of Superman and Batman, along with the equal loving homages paid to Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, specifically with Yang not placing his story being told in any one given era or year, so like Timm and Dini did prior come the DCAU’s “Superman: The Animated Series”. However, in having had said that, the reveal that this arc has an actual Superman and Batman having a history of crime fighting together could be suggesting either 1) this… Read more »