Sunday, July 13, 2014

Batman-Superman by Greg Pak issue #2

Now this is more like it! It's always great to have lower expectations every once in a while with a comic book, especially when your feelings for its premise issue are only lukewarm, and Pak's Batman-Superman is exactly that for me. Nevertheless, this follow-up issue entitled Double Time had a good pacing and narrative to it that kept my attention in place while reading. I'm not really sure about the purpose of the plot here yet but in the meantime, I'm completely eating up every character interaction between the Batmen and Supermen.

That I think is the overall strength of this issue. As much as I'm still unconvinced about the way Pak is weaving the plot (if there is even any at this point), he's surely doing a great job making me care enough about the contrast and conflict between the two different versions of Bats and Sups. I may have a softer perspective going into this, seeing as I'm quite an avid shipper of BatSups (because anything about them together is immediately my cup of tea). Objectively speaking though, Pak's Batman-Superman wears thinly in some edges, sometimes even indulgent with the character focus as oppose to the story it's supposed to be telling. Nevertheless, if you just adjust your perspective a little and enjoy the ride for what it is instead of reading too much into the details then I suppose this could be a lot of fun considering there are genuinely touching moments for this issue, particularly when New 52 Superman meets another version of his parents, the Kents, from Earth-2. I thought this was warm and poignant.

Meanwhile, New 52 Batman was more unexpectedly quick-witted than Sups, being able to make sense of where he has been transported to and how best to react to it with a clearer sense of objective. Both Batmen are intrigued by the scenario at hand and are more willing to cooperate even if they are wary of each other. This is not the case with the Supermen, at least on our New 52 counterpart's side. He's curiously paranoid, if not a little envious, of his Earth-2 version. Earth-2 Superman is the very epitome of nobility and heroism as we know it--although there are a few noticeable cracks in that armor. I get the sense that his inscrutability is an indication of something underneath that's less...Superman-ish. Yes, I don't know else to put it. I just think that New 52 Superman's distrust toward his counterpart is justifiable. Surprisingly enough, I think new 52 Superman is the most dynamic of all the characters. I appreciate the rawness of his youth and impulses. I love how lost and unsure he is of himself. It reminded me so much about Superboy which is oddly endearing somehow.

In addition to this beguiling dynamics among the Batmen and Supermen, Earth-2 Catwoman, Lois Lane and Wonder Woman make an appearance and that's pretty cool. I especially took note of New 52's awkwardness toward Lois since he's just friends with her in his world while she's clearly (and always been canonically) Superman's girl in this parallel world. I also laughed a little that New 52 Superman is obviously smitten with Wonder Woman (who apparently he has yet to meet in our world? Considering I believe the timelines more or less pre-JLA, I could get on with this). They would later on hook up in the New 52 continuity which I still feel weirded about but I'm not ready to talk about this just yet.

Can we talk also about New 52's T-shirt and jeans costume for Superman at this point? It's quite cute and very hipster. He can't fly yet as well, just leap which is like a callback to old-school Sups back in the first few years of the golden age where he has yet to have a more nuanced backstory. So far, I'm still liking Pak's Batman-Superman. We get a better sense of the villain here but I need more details which will hopefully be provided in the next issue.


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