Thursday, October 1, 2020

Review: Batman/Superman #12

Batman/Superman #12 came out last week and was an interesting issue for a few reasons. 

For one, it is as much a Batwoman/Steel issue as it is Batman/Superman. I always like these semi-World's Finest team-ups when they happen. And seeing these two working together as more grounded members of their specific teams made for some interesting interaction.

The actual plot involving Batman and Superman is also entertaining. It took me a bit to wrap my head around exactly what was happening. But in the end, seeing our heroes being put through what seems like an endless wringer should make for some wild super-heroics in the upcoming chapters.

And lastly, there is one very brief Supergirl moment which can be read two very different ways and I am interested in hearing what you all think. Should I be an optimist or a pessimist?

Writer Joshua Williamson continues to write snappy dialogue and quick moving plots, something I appreciate in this world of endless 12 parters. And the art by Max Raynor is really gorgeous. I wouldn't mind seeing him on either a Steel book or a Batwoman book in the future.

On to the details.

We start out by seeing the Batcave in shambles. 

And Steel and Batwoman are there to investigate. A signal was sent out by Batman and they were closest and therefore able to receive the message.

This is a nice low angle shot of art. I love how we are really able to see Batwoman crouched and examining clues. And the destruction behind her is a nice foreshadowing. Whatever happened here, it was something big.

Okay, here is the Supergirl moment.

Batwoman uncovers a message on the crushed Batcomputer. Batman talks about the algorithm he and Superman have been using the keep an eye on and proactively hunt down villains.

Steel says maybe the two should have been keeping an eye on Supergirl. He thinks of her in her infected form.

So ...

Is Steel saying they should have kept their eyes on Supergirl so this wouldn't happen? Maybe watch over loved ones instead of enemies so this atrocity wouldn't happen?

Or is he saying Supergirl is a villain and they should have been keeping their eyes on her because she is evil?

Hmmm ...

The algorithm leads our titular heroes to stop a cult trying to bring back Brimstone by using a Chemo responsometer. They stop the cult and bring the device back to the cave.

I do like how Williamson here ties in both the Metal Men comic and Event Leviathan to show how this tech is now loosed on the world.

But in the cave, the responsometer activates. The Batmobile and Batplane spring to life forcing our heroes to fight Batman's very tech. And then it tries to mobilize into a Bat-tech Chemo?

Okay, that is an interesting little wrinkle. I like the idea that this device tries to form some semi-sentient life out of whatever it is around whether that be toxic waste, lava, or Wayne Industries.

Fantastic art by Raynor in this sequence.

The bedlam triggers the self-destruct of the cave, something Batman hints will be overly catastrophic.

While Superman fights the Chemo, Batman goes for the manual override.

In another nice little twist, it turns out the Batcave is run off of a Mother Box!

Huh. Was this old news?

I am of mixed feelings about this. Sure, it makes sense that the current Batman could hack a mother box, giving him god-like tech. On the other hand, can't he just be a super-smart guy?

As the message continues, Batman divulges that encrypted in the virus which tried to take over the cave is the word Brainiac. 

Last we saw Brainiac he was in the Legion of Doom and helping Lex and Perpetua. As I am not following Metal, I have no idea what he is doing now.

And then the garbled message continues.

Superman and Batman are on the dark side of the moon. 

Given the battered appearance of Batman, Steel and Batwoman assume it is a call for help.

And so World's Finest springs into action!

I like this!

Sort of a The Brave and the Bold cover shot.

But on the moon, it turns out that Brainiac has flipped the Batman/Superman algorithm into making the two fight endless scenarios against Brainiac drones, some in the form of super-villains. It is trying to figure out how our heroes fight.

And Batman was trying to say that anyone receiving the message should NOT go to the moon. Ahhh, the expertly timed garble in a message that leads to mayhem! Nice!

And these look like Clayface, Bane, Doomsday, and Silver Banshee. At least I hope it is Silver Banshee and not Supergirl cast as a villain!!

So another fun and entertaining issue. Tip top art to boot.

But what did you guys think Steel meant?

Overall grade: B+


Martin Gray said...

I took it in the negative sense, I like your alternative interpretation much better. It seemed he was talking about her as if she was still a villain.

The ending was an interesting twist, but really, would Batman not trust any of his pals to help out.

Steve said...

While reading it I thought it meant if they had been paying attention Kara wouldn't have been infected. Now I remember it happened right in front of them. Maybe crapping on Kara is Williamson's new thing now that he isn't making Barry Allen's life a constant sea of misery?