BATMAN #36 once again changes the tone and pace of the title to tell a poignant, revealing and entertaining story that emphasizes that bond and relationship between two of comic's biggest icons.
Batman and Superman. They have fought side by side. They have fought each other. But are they friends? Bruce Wayne is now engaged and the question of how much that will affect his personal life might find it’s first answer in how the news is delivered to Clark Kent. It’s a situation that will force both men to question the nature of their relationship with each other, a situation that may also lead to the most epic double date in all DCU history.
‘Super Friends’ Part 1
Written by: Tom King
Art by: Clay Mann
Inks By: Clay Mann & Seth Mann
Colors by: Jordie Bellaire
Letters by: Clayton Cowles
It’s been a while since I reviewed this title, but I never stopped reading it. However this issue was such a joy to read, I HAD to say a few words. Tom King has once again changed lanes to reveal yet another aspect of Bruce Wayne; the friend. Over the years, Superman has had a complicated relationship with Batman. Both men are polar opposites in a way, but their need to serve a greater good has always been common ground. What King does here is use that as a way to show us how these two iconic characters view each other. It’s a narrative tool that has been used before (specifically in Jeph Loeb’s Superman/Batman comic from years ago) but King adds a layer by bringing in Catwoman and Lois Lane into the mix. So now we have four relationships being explored, and all four characters get added dimensions. There is genuine chemistry among all of them, and it is just a pure joy to read. There are many moments that made me smile, with Lois Lane introducing herself to Catwoman with an awkward handshake being my favorite. But not only is this issue filled with moments like that, it’s also peppered with some solid action scenes. Again the feeling here is pure joy.
Clay Mann and Seth Mann draw some great classic superhero images in this issue. Everything is clean and striking. But it is Jordie Bellaire’s colors that put the final seal on the package. The texture and palette help to ground the bombastic nature of the art, allowing some of the more subdued and quiet tones of the story to come through. It’s a nice balancing act and it works.
Clayton Cowles does some nice work with the lettering. There’s a subtle difference in everyone’s font in their word balloons and there are also some nice, classic comic book ‘sound effects’ too.
Without a doubt, this was one of the most enjoyable issues for me of the year. It may not be the most complex Batman story King has written, but it’s one that feels equally necessary to tell. Batman and Superman are two of the biggest icons in comics and exploring that relationship always makes for good storytelling.