Cover & Art by Jae Lee
Written by Greg Pak
Beware of spoilers!
I was a little confused by issue #1 of this series. It wasn’t that I disliked it I just wasn’t sure what the point of this series was going to be. With the launch coinciding with the release of ‘Man of Steel’ in movie-land as well as ‘Superman Unchained’ in the comic-world so it felt like a little saturation of the market in terms of Supes.
This title is I guess the closest you could find to high-brow in the world of DC Comics and so the art here is luxurious rather than your standard comic fare. Jae Lee creates some truly striking images in these pages, the shading that Lee employs makes the image look relatively 3D. I’ve only read this title in digital form but it almost feels like if I were to pick up a copy in my local comic store that the pages would all be relief.
There is a definite gothic tones to this book which naturally aligns itself well with image of Gotham city, the Batman and most scenes featuring Batman. Lee also manages to marry this type of imagery well with the world of Superman, a character that not many would connect with gothic imagery.
Going hand-in-hand with the gothic there’s a lot of shadow in use during this issue. Lee seems to gravitate towards silhouette as a tool for portraying body language without being caught up in the intricacies of the characters costumes.
The story currently features Earth Prime and Earth Two versions of both lead characters and although their designs are visually different it is sometimes difficult to understand which character is giving a monologue in shared scenes. Once you can pick-up the colour schemes of the monologues it becomes much easier to understand the flow of the story.
As for the story itself it’s going on a rather slow burn right now and I have to admit that I’m not 100% sure what is happening at times. An unknown villain is toying with Batman and Superman in both universes and is picking them up at will and dropping them off in the alternate. In doing so both characters get a glimpse of lives that could have been. For Clark it’s seeing his dead parents and for Bruce its seeing the kind of family he could have if he was married.
Don’t get me wrong though. The slow burn doesn’t harm this issue in any way. There’s enough action and character development to push the story forwards whilst you get lost in the beautiful artwork on these pages.
Issues #1 left me a little cold but issue #2 has me thinking there is some great potential behind this title.