Monday, October 5, 2020

Review: Batman/Superman Annual #1

Batman Superman Annual #1 came out last week and was a fun standalone story in the mold of Annuals of my youth. Nothing like a Bat-Mite/Mr. Mxyzptlk argument to lead to an entertaining, comical story. Amazingly, the book ends with a message that should be sent far and wide in the DC Comics editorial offices.

I have been very impressed with writer Joshua Williamson's approach to heroes, especially his amazing run on the Flash. One thing he does over and over is support the heroic ideal these heroes should be living and inspiring people with. Williamson has our heroes fight in this book but basically rubs our nose in how silly the concept is. And then he sticks the landing.

The art chores are split between Clayton Henry, Gleb Melnikov, and Dale Eaglesham. Each brings a nice style to their parts. There is a lot of action here and these artists are up to the task. Melnikov gives his part a semi-cartoony look perfect for the 5th dimension.

There is even a small part that reminds me of one of my favorite stories from my youth, transporting me to summer days at the beach with a comic folded in my bag. Ahhh, nostalgia!

On to the story!

We start in the 5th dimension. Two young imps are arguing who would win if Superman fought Batman.

In walk the experts.

Bat-Mite and Mr. Mxyzptlk each say their enemy would defeat the other. Bat-Mite says Batman has all the toys. Mxy says Superman has all the powers.

When they can't come to a consensus, they decide to take matters into their own hands.

First Bat-Mite tells his story.

Superman is somehow an anomaly, degrading space/time. The heroes and people of Earth begin disintegrating.

Very slick art by Dale Eaglesham.

With people fading out of existence around him, Batman springs into action ... with all the toys!

Kryptonite rings!

Red sun weapons!

Mecha armor!


Doomsday formulas!

Just about everything but the kitchen sink.

Of course Batman would have multiple anti-Superman plans. That's the way things are recently when Batman V Superman was all the rage.

But when Mxy has Superman stymie these plans, Bat-Mite is forced to pull out the ultimate contingency. Batman turns the sun red by satellites positioned around the sun.

In the clouds, the powerless Superman ... and his captive Batman ... both plummet to their deaths. 

The sun turned red by satellites was the plot in Action Comics #486 a comic I bought one summer and read over and over until it fell apart!

Can Batman be called the winner if both heroes die?

Mxyzptlk says no and tells his story.

So what would happen if Superman fought Batman?

Yeah ... this.

I laughed out loud at this.

I think this *is* how it would go down.

But then Mxy breaks the fourth wall and decides that 11 more pages of brawls wouldn't be bad.

Kryptonite batarangs!

Kryptonite tanks!!! Ridiculous! (Another laugh out loud moment!)

Batman rigging the batcave and the Fortress with contingencies.

In both stories as the action unfolds, both heroes know that them fighting doesn't make sense and they must be being controlled.

Then the heroes get their say. Stuck in toy form as they have been played with, Batman lays it out.

They would never fight. There is always another way.

They weren't fighting. Bat-Mite and Mxy were.

See ... it's that easy.

These two are heroes and friends. They wouldn't fight.


In the aftermath, Superman says that he knows they wouldn't fight.

And fans of them should know that wouldn't fight.


A week after Williamson has Flash forgive Reverse Flash, he gives me a comic where Batman and Superman are friends who say they would never fight.

I'm thankful.

This was a nice fun done-in-one story with great action and a nice closing message. I'm smiling like Anj at the beach with Action #486.

Overall grade: A


Anonymous said...

I agree; great story.

For me, I had to pull out my orig WF#169: 'The Supergirl/Batgirl plot'
and re-read it, because that was 1 of my favorites w/them also.

Martin Gray said...

Bat-Mite and Mxy always make for a good time. I totally agree with the moral of the story, it was just weird seeing it emphasised given how often DC goes against it!