Jae Lee Superman Batman
Together Again For The First Time (Again [And Again])
Batman/Superman is the latest in a series of high profile "first occurrence or meeting of [something]" books DC has published since rebooting its entire superhero line in 2011. Other major examples include Justice League (seen above), and some of the fifty-two #0 issues released last year.
The preponderance of deranged individuals in Gotham may have something to do with its incredibly weird public art and parks.
This is possibly the first time Superman has been given the finger in a DC Comics publication. That "the finger" gesture is made by a minority youth invites a deeper reading of the bullying scene as a political allusion, with Batman representing an aspect of Western power that wishes to see international conflicts resolved by the specific parties involved without interfering directly, and Superman representing what some might characterize as America's sanctimonious and ultimately unhelpful "Hall Monitor" posturing in affairs of the East.
Alternatively, this kid is pissed that Clark Kent broke the 7th rule of Fight Club.
Catwoman: Wanted Murderer?
The story implies that Catwoman is responsible for at least three murders and one attempted murder, all in Metropolis. Although it's made plain later that Selina was possessed by some kind of ghostly villain, it will be interesting to see if there are repercussions for her reputation in this title or elsewhere.
On this page Jae Lee makes two things very plain: he is totally over drawing circle-based layouts since Before Watchmen: Ozymandius; and he is calling out JH Williams III, Matt Wagner, Tony Harris and anyone else who wants to play the nontraditional page design game. This is both a beautiful piece of visual art and effective storytelling. Great contributions from colorist June Chung and letter Rob Leigh, as well.
Greg Pak and Jae Lee are very adept at choosing just the right moments for splash pages. Each one is a major action beat rather than the sort of dramatic pose or "reveal" that has become vogue in recent cape comics, When Jae Lee and June Chung are illustrating your comic, every panel is a dramatic pose or reveal, so splashes become even more important.
The World's Finest Tradition
It is has become World's Finest tradition that Superman make the incorrect assumption about Batman upon first meeting. This goes all the way back to John Byrne's Man of Steel, the 1980s Superman reboot that saw Superman travel to Gotham in an effort to arrest the dangerous masked vigilante. In that case, Batman actually kept Superman at arm's length by telling him that an explosive device would kill an innocent person should Superman get too close (it was a bluff, the explosive device was hidden on Batman all along). Years later in Superman: The Animated Series, it was Batman who ran afoul of Superman when he followed the Joker to Metropolis. Superman used his x-ray vision to peek at the the Dark Knight's true identity, but Batman subdued Superman with a piece of Kryptonite before executing what is surely one of the most brutal pwnings in superhero history. But things aren't so cute in the New 52, where Pak and Lee observe and update the tradition for modern sensibilities by having Superman mistake Batman for a murderous "monster, " and the ensuing conflict brings down a good chunk of a building.
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