There’s been some incredible changes to the status quo of DC’s two most popular heroes as of late. Batman and Superman have a lot on their plates with the current shake ups in their lives, respectively. On one hand, Batman has gotten “stronger” along with a new identity. Over yonder in the bright city of Metropolis, Superman has decreased in his signature powers. So where do we go from here, and what happens when the World’s Finest come face to face? Welcome to the Truth storyline.

Now, I only review Batman/Superman, but this will be the place for your Truth coverage. I’ll recap everything that is going on in Action Comics, Superman, Superman/Wonder Woman, and of course Batman/Superman. And now, back to your regularly scheduled review.

Truth is a Superman arc, but of course it makes sense that Batman would get involved with such drastic changes happening to Clark. But as we all know, Bruce had a few changes of his own; namely death. As a result, Bruce is not in this issue, and the current robo-bunny Batman makes more of a cameo than a full-fledged feature. Instead, we get a glimpse into the psyche of Clark as he adjusts to his current condition, and the realization of the absence of his good friend.

A hero's welcome
A hero’s welcome

Action Comics

Action Comics #41 and Batman/Superman #21 had similar events occur in the beginning of each issue. Just about everyone knows what’s going on with Superman, so people are practically lining up to take a shot at him. He may be depowered, but he’s still Superman. In Action Comics, the Man of Steel purchases a bike and makes his way cross country back to Metropolis. He returns to find a city that’s looking a bit more Gotham-y nowadays, but he manages to find a pleasant surprise back on the block where he use to reside peacefully as Clark Kent. Here, he runs into his old pal Jimmy Olsen as well as a large block party of supporters for Kent, including a female fire fighter named Lee Lambert (who I assume will play a bigger role later). The people here were happy that someone from their neighborhood was the Superman. Even after losing some of his powers and his cover being blown, Superman still serves as an inspiration to many of citizens on his city. Of course, fear runs rampant throughout the city, but Supes is still a symbol of hope. With his tattered cape wrapped around his knuckles, Kal-El takes off to do what he does best–save the day. There seems to be forces working hard against Kent, however as a terrible fate awaits his former neighborhood.

Spoiler
As Superman battles an oversized shadow monster, a large task force heads towards his old neighborhood to burn it down. Someone’s really trying to dirty Clark’s name.
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Batman/Superman

Back to the issue at hand, there’s a very great scene with Superman and Lex Luthor. The scene was very reminiscent of Allstar Superman where it seemed implausible for Clark Kent and Superman to be one in the same. Superman is this spectacular alien specimen while Clark Kent is a large clumsy oaf. Luthor is such a smug individual and his involvement in this story is sure to be entertaining. The rest of the story spends a lot of time in Gotham City. Continuing from the pages that were seen in the sneak preview, we get to see the conclusion to Superman and the new Batman’s first encounter. It really is like the tables have turned and both heroes have switched roles. Superman manages to give Luthor and Commissioner Gordon the slip as he goes to investigate what the hell is going on. Losing his powers and being outed as Clark Kent, you think that Superman would’ve been in contact with Batman pretty early on. Clark even mentions this to himself as he sat quietly on the bus. That’s right. Superman was riding public transportation. Once he arrived in Gotham, there’s a small scene where he calls Lois Lane. Their conversation threw me off. Not through me off in a bad way, but more that it was unfamiliar. Their conversation is pretty brief and really awkward, and it had me really empathizing with Clark. Suddenly, I found myself relating to an alien from a planet far outside of our solar system. Clark was alone; his good friend was missing in action and his other friend/coworker/former lover was also a cause of a lot his problems. The phone call with Lois revealed another layer of issues that Superman has going on his life.

The biggest draw of this issue was Clark’s discovery of Bruce’s disapperance. Wayne Manor is now called Arkham Manor, but the reality didn’t really set in until seeing an empty BatCave. It finally dawned on me that everyone is gone. Bruce is gone and Dick is an agent. Jason is doing his hotheaded redhead duo thing (is Jason still naturally redhead or has that been officially retconned?) and Damian is off globe-trotting with his pet gargoyle. The emptiness and silence in the cave echoed so loud. Alfred and Clark share a meaningful conversation, but just like many of us readers, Superman is not quite convinced that his friend has kicked the bucket

Spoiler
Superman remembers that Alfred is a trained actor so he’s not quick to believe that Bruce is dead. However, there’s many issues at hand, so the mystery of Bruce will have to wait. He does receive an awesome gift from his “deceased” friend–the Batcave!

[caption id="attachment_20919" align="aligncenter" width="1076"]Superman working on his brooding in front of the Batcomputer Superman working on his brooding in front of the Batcomputer[/caption]

Ardian Syaf’s pencils are really amazing. The new designs of both Bstman and Superman are handled well. Many times, character designs will differ greatly between artists. Especially with crossover stories, the look of characters can alter across books. Syaf draws the new look Superman and the Chappie Batman nicely during their fight and their meeting at the end. Not to mention the lonely expressions of Clark peek through even without the use of words. The art in this book continues deliver strongly issue after issue.

Recommended if:

  • You’re following the Truth storyline
  • You want to see Clark’s reaction to the loss of Bruce
  • You’ve been following this title

Overall:

Batman/Superman #41 serves as a bridge to reconnect Batman and Superman after their drastic changes. Mostly a Superman title, it offered great introspection into Superman’s mind on how he feels about everything. It’ll be great to see how things play out as the arc progresses and the other titles get involved as well. One of the most interesting things taken from this issue was the humanity and relatable factor of Superman in his current state. The drama should kick up a notch as he and Batman figure out if they can trust each other and work together as the World’s Finest.

SCORE: 7.5 / 10