Superman/Batman # 50
By Koppy McFad
August 2, 2008 - 00:19
Writer(s): Michael Green, Mike Johnson
Penciller(s): Ed Benes, others
Cover Artist(s): Ethan Van Sciver/ Ed McGuiness, Dexter Vines
$3.99 US, 48 pages
A Kryptonian probe goes haywire, spreading chaos. Superman, Batman and a bevy of superheroes intervene but this leads to a bizarre revelation-- that the fathers of Superman and Batman actually met before each of them was even born.
This is a strange premise, to say the least. And it gets even weirder as we learn that this chance encounter of the World's Finest fathers may have indirectly led to the creation of Superman and Batman. Even Batman mentions that the chances of such a coincidence happening are infinitesimal but the story tries to convince us such an event was possible-- maybe even predestined.
Aside from the bizarre premise, the story is pretty entertaining. Various guest superheroes show up, sometimes just for a one-panel joke (like showing people roasting marshmallows over Firestorm's head) but they all contribute something to the story, reminding us that Superman and Batman are both part of a larger superhero community, that sees them as the leaders.
Even the art is fairly engrossing and pleasing to the eye, quite a feat considering that they use various artists with different styles, to show different settings. The transitions between artists is not always smooth but it just highlights what a wide scope this story has.
The big problem for this story is the 'gimmick' of the fathers of both Superman and Batman meeting and setting the stage for both of their sons to become superheroes. It just seems too unbelievable and contrived. On the other hand, this kind of thing was regularly pulled off in the 1960s-1970s when a writer would suddenly reveal that Batman's father had performed heroics in a 'Bat-man' costume before his son took up the mantle. Or that an evil duplicate of Superman was being raised by a family of criminals just a few towns away from Smallville. If the reader can just take this story as just a typical superhero tale that doesn't really change anything... then it should be enjoyable enough as disposable entertainment.
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