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Review: Superman/Batman #77

Superman/Batman #77

We begin with Supergirl investigating a grisly mass grave in Suicide Slums, and after getting a rude brush off from the cops, she heads off to find Batman. And gets good old Damian Wayne instead! Well, Robin in midst of a tussle with Killer Croc. Kara butts in and of course Robin tells her that he didn’t need the help. Robin offers his assistance despite Kara wanting Dick or Tim, and the two meet up at the Metropolis morgue.


After an x-ray of a body of one of the victims, it is determined that the victims were students of Metropolis University and Lexcorp interns. The two then find out a Halloween party is being held and many of the potential next victims will be there.


With Damian looking like a 1940s gangster (Kara calls him “Li’l Matches,” a reference to Bruce’s Matches Malone persona), and Kara in a pink bunny outfit, because Damian couldn’t find a street walker outfit, the two arrive at the party. Kara sees someone wearing a Jack O’Lantern head mask and darts towards him, paying no attention to Damian’s warning not to blow their cover. Kara then zooms the guy up and interrogates him, though notices something is wrong as she can’t feel anything from him. Damian, now back in Robin gear, realizes that the guy is none other than Scarecrow, but it is too late as Kara is hit with some Fear Toxin.


Kara then thinks she sees Reactron, who was responsible for the destruction of New Krypton, rise as a Black Lantern, only its Damian and Kara attacks him. Kara also has to deal with images of Superman telling her that she is weak. Damian finally is able to get Kara to calm down and realize that she is only hallucinating. Damian knocks out Scarecrow as he is in midst of a Scooby-Doo villain rant (I would have gotten away with it, if it wasn’t for you meddling kids). When Crane comes to and is being placed under arrest he tells his plan of revenge against Lex Luthor for stealing the Sinestro Corp ring that he had been given during Blackest Night. The two part on good terms, but not before the two take swipes at each other to end the issue. There is a nice bit at the end where Dick has some fun with Damian over the team-up. Damian does say she was a fair and adequate partner, for an alien, unfortunately we’ll never know if Dick retorted with a Starfire mention!


In all a fun story, and the first time in a long time that a regular story in this title (not counting the Blackest Night two part story from last year) lined up with events currently happening in the main Superman and Batman worlds.


That being said, the story drives home a point that kind of bugs me about the soon to come Damian Wayne joining the Teen Titans; Damian pretty much is a little jerk in this story and constantly talks down to Kara. I have not been keeping up with Batman & Robin to see how this interpretation of the character lines up with Grant Morrison’s current “version” of Damian, but it seems Joshua Williamson is using Damian as if he was still the unrefined brat from the Batman and Son storyline.


And that is the problem with other writers being quick to use, or forced to use as I’m sure the case can be, characters crafted by one specific creator for their own purposes, without the character getting much of a chance to breathe on his or her own. Of course I know “how many writers have written Bruce Wayne? Dick Grayson? Clark Kent? Etc”, but there is a difference in taking a character with a long established personae and making him or her own or adding something to that character, its another to take someone whom you probably just have a general thumbnail knowledge of and trying to write to that. Its one of the reason it seems Paul Dini is the only writer that can write Harley Quinn well, its probably why people say no one knows Booster Gold better than Dan Jurgens, because Jurgens created the character and so on.


Now does that mean no one except Grant Morrison can write Damian? No, of course not, but at this point, despite whatever growth Damian is showing in Morrison’s Batman & Robin, it seems other writers have the idea that Damian is still the arrogant little jerk he was when he first appeared on the screen. And that will make the character harder to accept if you aren’t reading the Morrison title.


Another point that needs to be made is that, not only has it been a while since this title has been tied to current events, within the confines of a regular dress issue in the DCU, it has been quite a long time since the Bat-Family proper has been the focus of the story being told. This book probably hasn’t seen it since the SuperBat story back in #54-56 in early 2009. Not that it’s a bad thing necessarily, but a joke was made on a recent comment about any writer that wanted to write a Bat-Title was getting a new series, it seems that if any writer walked into DC, and asks to write a Superman story, they are getting this title!


All I’m saying is that a little mixing and matching would be nice in this team up book. Superman Family heavy stories are fine, but it seems this title has been a Superman title that co-stars the Bat-Family.


Alright, that’s enough ranting, suffice to say this issue was still a decent enough piece of fun.


Superman/Batman #77:


4 out of 5 Batarangs


Reviewed by SteveJRogers

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