Superman/Batman #78

November 18th, 2010 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

Superman/Batman is a spotty book.  It veers in and out of continuity in the most over-the-top ways possible.  It pairs up two characters based pretty much entirely on their selling power.  It incorporates elseworlds, dreams, hallucinations, and retcons.  It hasn’t had a steady creative team in years.

I still love it, and issue #78 is the exact reason why I love it.  It’s written by Joe and Jack Kelly, and it’s about two little boys spinning out that old chestnut, “Who would win in a fight?”  That hasn’t been original in decades.  And the execution?  Deliberately juvenile, with Batman and Superman spouting words that only kids would say.

I love that, too.  The comic is just plain fun.  It’s entertaining.  It doesn’t throw in any misery.  And there’s a Kirby-writing-the-hairies feel to the way the Kellys write the kid’s dialog.  The comic is more fun than Batman Inc.  It’s much more fun than Batman: The Return.  It’s more fun than Power Girl.  And in the end, when the kids go home and it pans up to show the heroes listening in on them, you get the feeling that the heroes were having fun, too. 

And Superman would totally win.  Come on, people.

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Fourcast! 30: Last Week In Comics

January 25th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

Chad Nevett on the intro
-6th Sense’s 4a.m. Instrumental for the theme music
-Review show! We haven’t done one of these in a while.
-Joe Casey and Ardian Syaf’s Superman/Batman #68
-Ed Brubaker and Luke Ross’s Captain America #602 & Sean McKeever and David Baldeon’s Nomad backup
-Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Amanda Conner’s Power Girl #8
-Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy’s Joe the Barbarian #1
-Sholly Fisch, Robert Pope, and Scott McRae’s Batman: The Brave and the Bold #13
-Art Baltazar and Franco’s Tiny Titans #24
-And out!

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Fourcast! 18: Read These Books

September 28th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

After 6th Sense’s 4a.m. Instrumental, we break down eight books that are worth reading. Esther’s got Dan Jurgen’s Booster Gold, Gail Simone and Nicola Scott’s Secret Six, Franco and Baltazar’s Tiny Titans, Batman Confidential, and Superman/Batman. I’ve got Amazing Spider-Man, Criminal, Yotsuba&!, and Pluto. We share some jokes, a couple anecdotes, and realize that though we approach comics in different ways, we generally want the same thing: good stories.

Visual aides:



And a bonus shot, since Esther got a whole extra book!


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Oh, God Didiamnit.

September 25th, 2009 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

Okay, okay, that’s just a shameless play on his name rather than anything specific that Mister Didio has done, but I recently saw a Newsarama interview with him that included the following quote:

 But our plans for Superman/Batman are interesting. Over the next few months, you’re going to see Superman/Batman actually reflecting major events of the past of the DC Universe. We’re going to be building on other stories, other events, using these characters. So you’re going to see an expansion on Superman/Batman’s role in the post-“Emperor Joker’s” world. So you’re going to see effects of “Emperor Joker” in Superman/Batman. As well as “Our Worlds at War”. There are going to be events that we’re going to be filling out there.

So for folks who had fun and enjoyed these big events of the past, we’re going to revisit them in the Superman/Batman book. And expand on the stories of those. And those stories will fit within continuity even more tightly now because they’re written with the current DC Universe in mind.

No!  I beg you!  Didion’t!  One of the reasons I love Superman/Batman is it is a break from continuity and, much of the time, sanity.  It’s fun and ridiculous and you don’t have to figure out the timeline or understand anything of the larger universe.  That book is its own little island of nuttiness.  Leave it pristine!  Let nature take its course.

Think of the children!

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Fourcast! 04: It’s Innocent, Really!

June 22nd, 2009 Posted by david brothers

We’ve got a surprisingly DC-centric Fourcast! this time around. Highlights:

-We’ve got theme music! It’s 6th Sense’s 4 A.M. instrumental. It’s licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial License. 6th Sense / CC BY-NC 3.0. I dig his work, so it was a treat to find “It’s a 6th Sense Beat Yo!!” on the Free Music Archive. 6th Sense is a great producer. I play about 30-some seconds after the intro and before we get into it, and then the full track at the end of the cast as an outro. Hope you dig it!
-We get right into a discussion of Brave and the Bold #24, courtesy of DC Comics, Matt Wayne, and Howard Porter. We both enjoyed it, though I’m not sure that’s clear on my part, and we both had a few misgivings about Porter’s art.
-A brief digression into the relationship between Static and Blue Beetle. Here’s the image in question, from Heroes #4, written by Matt Wayne, drawn by Chriscross:


It’s a good series, I hope DC reprints it asap.
-Michael Johnson, Mike Green, and Francis Manapul’s Superman/Batman #61? That’s a fun comic right there. The Mash-up story has been really dumb, but very fun, and between Penguello and Brainycat, has some awesome designs.

-We get into our Continuity-Off at the end. Esther explains Supergirl’s past boy/girl/horsefriends, while I break down Gambit’s tortured past. Or is that torturous? I can’t tell sometimes.

We’ll be back in a week with the beginning of a DC vs Marvel knock-down, drag-out, fight to the death.

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I Love Being Right

June 18th, 2009 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being right.  Oh, the smugness.  Oh, the false sense of righteousness.

I have said, repeatedly, that Superman/Batman is a great comic.

And in issue #61, I was proven right, yet again.  Fantastic art by Francis Manapul, a well-written story by Michael Green and Mike Johnson, a ton of in-jokes, a surprising yet logical conclusion, and on top of all that?

Read the rest of this entry �

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The Top 70 Deadpool Moments Day 7: But It Just May Be a Lunatic You’re Looking For

May 2nd, 2009 Posted by Gavok

Back in the day, hermanos used to have all those cool “4th Letter is for…” graphics. Hm… his name does start with D. Yeah, let’s do it.


10) Separate Ways
Cable/Deadpool #42 (2007)
Writer: Fabian Nicieza

Cable’s “death” in the comics was oddly done. It took place in X-Men #200 with this Cable/Deadpool issue acting like deleted scenes. Deadpool doesn’t even get a cameo in the big X-Men issue. No respect.

Having just done away with Sabretooth and having smoothed over things with Deadpool for the umpteenth time in their relationship, Cable explains that he needs to destroy the island and destroy all the future-related information in his computers. Deadpool volunteers to find where Cable keeps the backup of that information so he can help take care of it. Right before Deadpool can take off, Cable stops him.

Cable walks through the wreckage of his island paradise and thinks, “Thank you. I’m proud of you. Goodbye.”

I couldn’t imagine a better final moment between the two.

With Cable fighting Gambit and Sunfire, Deadpool is off to find that computer backup while taking on the Acolyte Senyaka. Cable is on the losing end of his fight and thinks about the concepts of sacrifice. Before the island can explode, he makes sure to teleport Deadpool off the island and back to his apartment.

“You sacrifice yourself to keep your dream from being corrupted. But most of all… you do it for the people in your life who matter the most…”

Back in his apartment, the layout is similar to the opening scenes of Cable/Deadpool #1. Deadpool immediately destroys Cable’s computer backup, looks out the window and says, “I wasn’t worth it…”

He turns on the TV to see news of Providence exploding, validating that Cable’s out of the picture. Going from sad to serious, Deadpool ends the issue promising, “…and I won’t let you down…”

Read the rest of this entry �

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Why My Love Never Ends For Superman/Batman.

April 16th, 2009 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

I got back in town today, after a short trip down south, and I picked up my comics, including Green Arrow and Black Canary in which our heroes are having marital trouble (more on that, later), Oracle: The Cure on the cover of which Barbara Gordon legally changes her name to Boobara Gordon (more on that, later), reviewed the posts for the last few days, including David’s entry about Frank Miller and his grim n’ gritty image (more on that, later) and read the latest Newsarama Interview with Dan Didio in which he explains Jason Todd’s latest killing spree (boy, have I got a lot to do), and then I read Superman/Batman.

In Nanopolis,Superman has been shrunk by the Prankster, and Batman shrinks himself to go after him.  As they navigate through a shrunken world, mysteriously able to breath, despite being small enough to not be able to inhale oxygen, both are picked up as the saviors of different groups of beings.  Batman is picked up by a nomadic tribe of micro-organisms who have been enslaved by nanites, which the Prankster scattered around his lab.  Superman is abducted by the nanites themselves, who wish to use his energy to grow larger and take over the world.

Meanwhile Robin and Steel stay in the lab, trying to maintain contact with Batman and Superman, while the Prankster keeps up a running commentary while tied to a chair.

That story is a giant loon, fed on nothing by nuts and crammed into a whack-a-mole machine.  I dare you to read that without feeling better about life in general and comics in particular.

It’s not that I don’t like Ollie and Dinah’s ongoing soapy drama, or the fact that Jason Todd is back and conflicted.  It’s just that this story, and this series, is the distilled essence of comics.  Imaginative, convoluted, ridiculous, and fun, it manages to take its readers to other worlds.  It’s equally generous to its characters dealing out very little death and limited angst while still giving them a wider range of emotions than they’re allowed to display in just about any other comic.

It warms my heart to know that any loonball story I might think up, and I’ve thought up a few, could be matched or topped by whatever the next story of Superman/Batman is.

(Also, two different birthday parties are mentioned in this particular arc.  If this story ends with cake in the next issue, I am seriously going to do a little dance in the comics shop.)

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Comic Book Morality

February 21st, 2009 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

The latest issue of Batman/Superman has Batman announcing his absolute control over Gotham and much of the world.  This doesn’t surprise me.  Batman is self-righteous, is a control freak, is someone who balances, not always well, his sense of responsibility with his sense of entitlement.

What does surprise me, at least as far as the character is concerned, is that he does this after brutally beating Catwoman and Nightwing.  Considering the fact that the character is emotionally involved with both of them, that comes off as him beating his girlfriend and his son.

Why this sudden reign of terror?  Because he acquired the powers of Superman.  I’ve said before that Superman/Batman is the comic to watch, and I meant it.  I mean it now.  I just find it interesting that this comic follows a very common literary idea: excess leads to disaster.  Read the rest of this entry �

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Why Superman/Batman Is The Comic To Watch II

September 21st, 2008 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

Well. Yes. There is also that.

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