Welcome to the Dr. Pepper Batman v Superman Prequel #4 review. Might I suggest that, while reading and in order to fully appreciate the comic in its entirety, you consume an ample portion of Dr. Pepper. Come on…you know you want to.
For a freebie comic you get with your beverage, this is actually really good.
This comic is quintessential Superman. It presents your typical day in the life of Superman. No crazy super villains to fight or cosmic disasters to thwart. This is the kind of stuff he does between breakfast and lunch while waiting for the Big Bads to declare their newest campaign for world domination. It’s really nice that this comic choose to focus on this, because it shows that he isn’t above the small things. Sometimes the main comic titles tend to focus too much on big epic sprawling stories and forget that it’s the simpler/core stuff that often makes these characters shine the most.
If it had been nothing more than Superman stopping a catastrophe, I’d have still given this comic a glowing review. But it goes a step above and actually gives more cerebral readers a chance to flex their gray matter. If you consider that a large portion of kids will be reading this, it’s nice to see that the writer doesn’t talk down to their intelligence. He presents a thoughtful analysis of the reality of Superman in the real world and even includes subject matter that is typically reserved for more adult ruminations.
I also find it interesting that while Zack Snyder is actively trying to distance his work form the 1978 film, the writer of this comic still chooses to include a scene which is vaguely reminiscent of the Donner version. In that film, Superman stops a plane from crashing in a lightning storm and averts a train derailment during an earthquake. Not only does this issue include a train derailment, but the way the train conductor in this issue glances back made me think of the plane pilot from the film. Considering that these scenes from the original film were inspired from the comic, it is just as likely that Christos Gage got his inspiration from the comic and not the Donner film. However, when you consider that this comic is being marketed to the general movie going audience, it is much more likely that Gage was trying to play up the average person’s preconceived notion of what Superman is. And to some, it’s still Donner.
The only negative I had for this comic was Superman’s ability to lift the train. I bring it up because the comic adheres to the laws of common sense in one scene, but then ignores them in that one. Superman has to slow the train down. He can’t just stop it. If he did, all the passengers would fly forward within the cars and it would be no different than if it had crashed. That makes sense. Believing that railway cars are fitted with load baring supports on the roof makes a lot less sense. I fully believe that Superman is capable of lifting this train. What I don’t believe is that the metal he is grasping onto could have supported that weight as well. Shouldn’t it have just torn off in is hand? It might seem like an odd complaint when you consider that I am debating the structural integrity of a train in the same book where a man can fly, but sometimes it’s the small thing that can make or break the sense of realism. My willing suspension of disbelief goes in accepting that Superman is capable of the impossible. That suspension does not however translate to the rest of the world.
- Superman #76 (1952). This marks the first occasion that Batman and Superman appeared alongside one another in the comics. How awesome would it be if the plot for Batman v Superman were actually a grudge match held between these two characters to determine who has the right to rescue Lois Lane. Meanwhile, she burns to a crisp while they duke it out. Ah…the stuff of legends….
- You love the one of a kind taste of Dr. Pepper.
- You want to see a Superman doing what Superman does.
- You want a comic that doesn’t undermine the intelligence of its audience.
Now this is just my personal opinion, and I haven’t seen the movie to make any kind of actual informed decision on the subject, but my gut tells me that this comic was actually more entertaining than the finished movie is going to end up being. And don’t forget…there’s nothing like a Pepper!
SCORE: 8.5 / 10