Batman/Superman | Review

(Titan Publishing/DC Comics)

I was weaned on British comics – 2000AD, Victor, Warlord, and Action. These were the titles that I grew up on. Characters like Judge Dredd. Writers like Garth Ennis. Artists like Brian Bolland. The combination of talents you found in one British comic was unlike what was offered in American comics.

The U.S.A. reciprocated by sending its A-level stuff across the Atlantic. When American heroes make a foray into the British market, you go with the most recognizable characters and talent you can. The World’s Finest Duo are the heavy-hitters that have probably had the most impact on British readers.

It’s obvious why Titan Magazines brings Greg Pak’s Batman/Superman  to the shores of Britannia in this collected volume also entitled Batman/Superman. Pak is a dynamic writer and a proven master of character-driven fiction. Known for titles like Marvel’s House of M, Planet Hulk, and World War Hulk, Pak has the gift of making over-powered figures more relatable.

Seeing the interaction between Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne first, instead of meeting in their alter egos, builds the foundation of their relationship in the story. This sense of development makes Pak a natural choice to write about cosmically powered heroes.  I’ll definitely shell out cash for anything he writes, and I’m sure any comic lover in Old Blighty would do so as well.

(DC Comics)

Another mark of Titan Comics’ impeccable discernment is to display award-winning talent like Jae Lee. Lee’s work on The Inhumans, and taking over for John Byrne’s on Namor the Sub-Mariner, clearly makes him a talent worthy of working with someone of Pak’s stature.

But what makes this compilation truly memorable is the addition of Injustice issues #1 and #2. Written by Tom Taylor and drawn by Jheremy Raapack, it serves as the prequel to the popular video game. Set in what is colloquially known to comic fans as an “otherverse” story. It poses the question: what would put Superman over the edge? What would make the most powerful superhero in the world abandon his principles and abuse his power? The answer is: the Joker. It’s definitely worth a read, and definitely worth exporting to the U.K.

It’s the variety that makes this a wonderful collection to read. Living in North America for so long, I miss the variety that British comics offer. The combination of talents and interpretations of character made reading comics in Britain a wonderful experience. It’s a publishing model that the US should take a look at adopting. From a production perspective, it makes more sense to have creators produce less quantity and enable them to focus more on quality.  British artists like John Bolton have indisputably proven this principle.

Being such a great read, any British fan of American comics is going to love this for the fresh perspective on classic characters. And any American fan should enjoy the opportunity to experience the unique presentation of the British comic publishing style.


About Captain John K. Kirk

Captain John K. Kirk
John Kirk is an English and History teacher and librarian in Toronto, Canada. In addition to the traditional curriculum, John tries to teach his students to make sense of geek culture. And with the name "J. Kirk," it's hard for him to not inject "Star Trek" into his lessons. Comics, RPGs and the usual fanboy gear make up his classroom resources.

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