In case you didn’t know, there’s a BIG film that’s being released soon. Everyone is talking about it, and it’s the most anticipated movie of the year!

No, no… I mean, yes… No! Not that one! This one!

Glad I cleared that up! I’d hate to see a Civil War at DC Comics… Anyway, the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is right around the corner, so you know what that means… Marketing. Toys.  T-Shirts. Toys. Cereal. Toys. And Dr. Pepper. Yes, you read that correctly. Dr. Pepper!

Warner Bros., DC Comics, and Dr. Pepper have teamed up to release five Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice prequel comics. Each comic is a one-shot story, set in the BvS universe, and is free with the redemption code on Dr. Pepper cans… or bottles. Why? Because…

Spoiler

I’m kidding… the real answer is money.

 

If you read comics, and you’re like me, then I’m sure these free comics make you skeptical. I mean, how good could a free comic be, much less one that’s practically a gift with purchase when you buy a soda? If you don’t read comics, then you’re probably already skeptical of comics in general, and are now trying to figure out why you’re reading a comic review. Don’t worry, we won’t judge you. Instead, we’ll just sensually whisper, “Read Batman comics” in your ear. Alright, let’s get on with the review of the first comic: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Prequel – Batman.

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Holy crap! Christos Gage! I love this guy! This could actually be legit!

(Reads comic.)

Holy crap! This was actually decent! I went into this hoping I’d just get a glimpse of Bat-Fleck’s chin, and instead, I got a decent story AND a small Bat-Fleck chin. But seriously, the story wasn’t bad.

This issue focuses on Batman, but it does so indirectly. In fact, Batman is hardly in this issue. A villain named Firefly has brought together a small crew, and they’re executing one of their jobs. Firefly – who you might recognize if you read comics or watch Gotham – is known for having a flare for fire, so you can expect a few cheesy arson jokes. The meat of the issue comes from two of his crew members.

One of the thugs is younger and working his first gig, while the other is a little older and has more experience. The older of the two thugs gives the kid a lay of the land, what’s expected from Firefly, and a rundown of the Bat. I can never get enough of reading other characters’ perspective of Batman, and this is no different. Most of the mystery and legend is standard fair, but some adaptions are made pertaining to Batman becoming more hostile. The ties to the book come in once the thug starts talking about why Batman is that way. Sure, he’s witnessed and experienced a lot, but what really changed him was the arrival of that “alien,” that destroyed Metropolis.

Just like that, you have some depth, some interest, a set-up for the film, and a Segway for Batman to make his entrance.

BvS prequel
Look! Bat-Fleck Chin!

This is a solid, quick story that Gage handles rather masterfully considering the task at hand. What’s really nice about this, is it gives us a glimpse into Batman as a character in this universe, as well as his tone. Keep in mind, this is a different Batman than Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale’s interpretation, so aside from the trailers, this is the first taste of what’s to come!

And again, for those of you that have never read any Batman comic books, I urge you to check some out! Trust me, I’m well aware that there are some stereotypes pertaining to the quality of comic books (and they’re there for a reason), but there are also some really good stories! Keep in mind, most of the films you watch and love are heavily influenced by their source material. So if you feel like dipping your feet in the pool to learn more about Batman, here’s some recommended reading:

 

Batman Year One
Batman: Year One
by Frank Miller & David Mazzucchelli – A classic story of Batman’s origin that’s similar to the tone of Nolan’s Batman.

 

Batman The Dark Knight Returns
The Dark Knight Returns
by Frank Miller with Klaus Janson & Lynn Varley (The 30th Anniversary Edition will be released on February 16, 2016!) – A groundbreaking story of an older Batman, and one of the inspirations for Batman v Superman.

 

Batman Zero Year Secret City
Batman: Zero Year – Secret City
by Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo – A more modern re-imagination of Batman’s origin.

 

Recommended if:

  • You purchased a Dr. Pepper.
  • You want to know a little bit about this film universe’s Batman.
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice interests you.

 

Overall: This prequel is a short, fun read, and it’s free! So go out, grab a Dr. Pepper, and enjoy a free comic (or five) with 23 flavors of awesome!

SCORE: 7.5/10