In the first Superman/Batman book we bemoaned a lack of decent plot, built as it was around a series of punch-ups between heroes. This second volume brings a bit more story into the series, dropping a second (but obviously much slower) space craft from Krypton into Gotham City bay. Inside is a teenage girl, talking fluent Kryptonian, able to fly and generally over-flowing with super powers. Superman leaps to the obvious conclusion, guided by an inscription on the side of the ship: she’s Superman’s cousin. Batman, being more suspicious in nature, fears that she may not be a force for good and a fairly long-winded “is she, isn’t she” plot develops.
Enter Darkseid, the god-like villain of Jack Kirby’s New Gods, trying to turn Supergirl evil, while Wonder Woman pops up on the scene to help try and teach Supergirl some less testosterone-fuelled life lessons. And you’ve got yourself a conflict that Loeb essentially uses the rest of the book to resolve.
It’s an entertaining enough superhero romp, though the main characters’ key personality traits are played for all their worth, with Superman always seeing the good in people and Batman pessimistically wary throughout. Loeb has drawn little sophistication into the characters but then this seems to be what Superman/Batman is all about. Like it or lump it.
Turner and Steigerwald do a good line in skinny superhero lasses and muscular super-blokes, dropping them onto an impressive array of attractive backdrops as their adventures take them through a series of dynamic locations.
And that’s really the crux of it. This is light adventure fiction for those who want to get their superhero fixes in one big hit and aren’t really that bothered about how it fits in with the milieu, though it’s arguable that there’s still just a little bit too much left in for the hardcore fan for it to have been pulled off properly.
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