Absolute Superman Batman Review
I own several of DC’s Absolute editions. Most were bought at a large discount or have a place in my favorite’s category. I would hesitate to recommend purchasing most of these expensive books because, unless you are already a fan of that particular story, they typically don’t add much to the original package. Absolute Superman/Batman Volume 1 is an exception.
I would agree with many in saying the Jeph Loeb’s work is overrated at times. He’s like an 80’s action movie. Enjoyable, but lacking in sig
I would agree with many in saying the Jeph Loeb’s work is overrated at times. He’s like an 80’s action movie. Enjoyable, but lacking in significantly meaningful substance. His contribution to the book is not why I would recommend it. Jeph seems to have flashes of brilliance followed longer periods of mediocrity. So many of his ideas could have been tremendous in the hands of a more consistent or patient writer and end up being just decent. Still, there were many moments in both of the two stories I wholeheartedly enjoyed. Some of the back and forth between Supes and Bats, President Luthor slipping Amanda Waller the tongue, Kara training with the amazons, Batman being a badass, and the field trip to Apokolips. Still, neither story really hit on all cylinders. It’s as if Jeph is trying to appeal to both adults and kids simultaneously with these two stories. This can be done, but I think it’s difficult for even an exceptional writer to do well. I believe this holds true for much of Jeph’s work. That being said, if you go into this book with that attitude that it’s all about the fun, you’ll likely enjoy it as much as I did.
What really made this edition of the book a must own for me was the extraordinarily gorgeous artwork. Both McGuinness and Turner provided what I think is some of the best work of their careers in this collection. While each have very different qualities in their illustrations, both are well suited for their chosen story.
McGuinness’s heavily muscled characters, bold thick lines, and cartoony qualities are marvelous. Combined with brilliant coloring by Dave Stewart, the images explode off the page. Jeph’s habit of filling stories with more heroes and villains than necessary actually gives Ed a chance to strut his stuff with a lot of guys and gals he wouldn’t normally get to draw in one story. The JSA, the Bat-family, “Legion of Doom” throwbacks, and a couple of others all look fantastic here. Shazam and Hawkman going toe to toe with the title characters makes for another entertaining highlight.