Jim Gordon continues to try his best to get some gosh darn respect in the streets of Gotham as the new Batman, but it doesn’t come anytime soon in this issue of Batman/Superman. He takes second fiddle as the story sticks with Superman and his growing pains. Appearances from Vandal Savage and Burnside’s very own Batgirl, issue #25 is a great start to a brand new arc.

With the main Batman title showcasing James Gordon without the mech suit, we get the same thing here. Bat Gordon is determined to find and apprehend Clark Kent. He feels that Kent puts too many at risk, including himself, and must be brought in. Clark sticks with his investigation into Dawn Command which leads him deeper into the rabbit hole with each new revelation. His snooping around doesn’t make Gordon happy at all and lands him at the top of robo bunny’s list. Superman has become accustomed to antagonizing Batman as he does his rugged vigilante thing. As smooth and wildly put together he comes off over the radio to Gordon, Kent quickly finds himself way in over his head later on in the book. A simple story with plenty of potential for character development.

The current Batman and Superman’s thoughts of each other echo the same sentiments that a few readers feel themselves. Neither one of them are the heroes that the public has come to known, but the product of integral characters going through pivotal moments in their lives. Gordon’s role has changed since his days as Commissioner of Gotham, but he’s still dealing with some familiar problems that came with his former position. From what I’ve seen in the main Batman title, Gordon still answers to stiff upper management who more than likely is corrupt, and he’s back to chasing a vigilante through the streets of Gotham.

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Things are a bit different on Superman’s end. With his powers reduced or completely gone, Clark rely on more than just his Kryptonian abilities. There’s a very good thought that’s brought up by Savage when he first encounters Clark. Superman has always gotten by through his brute strength and partnering with “brilliant minds”. It’s quite evident by the way Superman’s conflicts have been going, he’s not exactly the brightest crayon in the box. It’s entertaining watching Clark figure out the best approach to his situation. I like how Clark’s solution to being a powerless superhero is trying to mimic Batman. He’s doing a horrible job for the time being, but it’s nice to see that the big fella is learning. Bless his heart.

One thing that I noticed is the growing use of guest characters within these pages. I think it works in their favor, and I feel like Greg Pak agrees as well. The issue is packed with cameos. Vandal Savage has appeared in a few different titles in the past couple of months, and I’m a fan of it. It’s nice having a maniacal immortal villain around in the absence of the Demon Head, Ra’s al Ghul. Batgirl plays cleanup as she offers a lending hand to Kent who finds himself outclassed. Here, she shows off her intelligence and her dedication to doing the right thing. Superman has been forced to distance his self from everyone and do things alone to protect loved ones from getting hurt. Barbara steps in to assure Clark that even in the most troubling times, Bruce didn’t have to do it alone.

Spoiler
Batgirl’s arrival comes at a great time for Superman. With her help, and the added perk of working with Grayson and Red Hood, maybe Superman can get somewhere in his mission. It’s a smart idea to use Batman’s gadgets and what not, but the guy needs training/help. Who better to do that than the Bat-family? (Minus Tim and Damian)image

 I immediately noticed the difference in the art when I began reading. Cliff Richards and Beth Sotelo tackle the pencil and color duties for the start of this arc. Richards has a very nice, safe style that fits the tone of the book (there’s a lot of smiling involved). My only complaint is the fight between Clark and Savage. The panels look like computer generated stills and leave the fight feeling very static to me. Other than that, the pages look great. (The monster variants look snazzy as well).

Recommended if:

  • You enjoy your Superman stories with a dose of Batman in them
  • You’re a fan of Vandal Savage
  • You like seeing members of the Bat-Family

Overall:

Essentially this has become just another Superman title, only having Batman sprinkled in here or there, but the addition of other characters and finding out more info on Dawn Command keeps the story fresh. We’ll see where Superman’s ingenuity or lack thereof leads him. There’s a legitimate plot to take out Superman, so he’ll need all the help he can get during his time of weakness. Clark has to rely on more than just his brawn. And for God sakes, Kent, learn how to fight!

SCORE: 8.5/10