Pick of the Week – Superman/Batman #4 – 12.03.2003

Story by Jeph Loeb
Art by Ed McGuinness
Inks by Dexter Vines
Colors by Dave Stewart
Letters by Richard Starkings
Cover Art by Ed McGuinness

Published by DC Comics / $2.95

Strange how allegiances are created. My dad was a Brooklyn Dodgers fan, so when they left he couldn’t go to the Yankees, so he waited and when the Mets came to town, he became a Mets fan. By birth, I was then a New York Mets fan for life. Similarly, growing up, I always had Spider-Man or Hulk related things (toys, clothes, and some comics). It’s safe to say that I never had any DC Comics paraphernalia. So naturally, when I gravitated seriously to comics in my pre-teens, I read Marvel comics. I really had no interest in the heroes over at DC.

As I’ve grown into adult, I’ve often had to broaden my horizon and try new things. I think it’s obvious to state that the Mets really haven’t been the big draw in baseball in the past few years, but the baseball equivalent of DC Comics, the Yankees have been. In 1998, I found myself even rooting for the Yankees in the post-season, despite my allegiance to the cross-town rival Mets. Similarly, in my comics reading career, I’ve strayed over to the DC side of town, even establishing a love for a character (none other than The Flash) and enjoying other books and characters as well. But I’ve never warmed to the Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig of DC Comics: Superman and Batman. Nope, they two icons of the publisher never really interested me any deeper than the general knowledge of their origins and the like.

For some reason a few months ago, I picked up the first issue of Superman/Batman and to be honest, I have no idea why. Perhaps it was Jeph Loeb, who I know to be a great writer and have been enjoying his work for years. Perhaps it was because I’ve secretly always wanted to read a book drawn by Ed McGuinness whose style pulls a trigger on some level I can’t really define. Or perhaps it was just time to give The Big Blue Boy Scout and The Bat a try.

Well, it took four issues, but I can honestly — WOW. This is a fun book to read. I can firmly state that if you were to ask me what a superhero book in the 21st Century should be like, I would offer up this comic book.

Jeph Loeb has a way of telling a story, no matter the characters or the storyline, in a way that pulls you in. I think it is the inner dialogue narration style that does the trick — it really puts you there with the characters while it is happening. The story arc presented here is a compelling story that tries to answer questions about the Superman mythos many have asked but few have answered. Additionally its balanced with the brooding, tactical approach of Batman that’s come to be expected from the way the character has been written these days.

The art is really what puts it over the edge for me. Ed McGuinness should go exclusive to DC and draw Superman for the rest of his life. It’s amazing. I remember the old Curt Swan Superman artwork that defined the look to me growing up, and I think that McGuinness has the chance to define that look for a whole new generation. Throw in Batman, Captain Marvel, Hawkman and a whole host of other DC heroes and each page is not only filled with action, but laid out so smoothly and scattered with details that it takes minutes to move onto the next page.

Will this book turn me into a DC convert and have me buying all 12 other Superman and Batman? Not at all. I’m never giving up my X-Men. But just because the Mets aren’t in the post season doesn’t mean I can’t watch the Yankees.

Ron Richards
Let’s Go Mets!

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  1. Well, I’d say that the Yankees are represented by the Anti-Monitor and the Red Sox are represented by the collected heros of the DC Universe and the Mets can go suck an egg….

    Lastly, The Ulitmates #12 is the dumbest comic I’ve ever read.


  2. Dumber than that one issue of the Punisher by Ron Zimmerman, where it was all a dream?

  3. I think so….

    at least it was all a dream…with the Ultimates I’m stuck with the horrid reality of a Jerry Bruckheimer comicbook.