June has been an eventful month for Superman fans with the release of the film, Man Of Steel and the release of the first issues of the comic book titles Superman Unchained and Batman/Superman. Writer Greg Pak along with artists Jae Lee and Ben Oliver are off to a good start with the Batman/Superman comic book. The issue’s title, Cross World, is interesting due to the panels on the page that display the different upbringings of Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent. The work done by the creative team in the first few pages creates questions of how these two individuals can coexist.
The difference in the upbringings of Clark and Bruce are the highlight of the title page because their experiences have influenced how they view the world. Clark believes there are explanations for the bad choices people make. From Bruce’s perspective, there are not always reasons for those kinds of decisions. From the start of the issue, Pak makes it evident how uncomfortable Clark is in Gotham City. Lee’s art work in the opening panels is excellent in capturing how Clark feels as he is searching for Bruce Wayne.
Pak excels at expressing the thoughts of Bruce and Clark during the sequence where they first meet each other. Clark is upfront and honest whereas Bruce is mysterious and reserved. Bruce appears to be resigned to his surroundings and his arrogance is evident during his conversation with Clark. Bruce does not appear to care that he referred to Clark as Kemp instead of Kent. From Bruce’s perspective, Clark is another reporter in the media concerned with spreading rumors. In Clark’s opinion, Bruce is an unappreciative individual. Both of their perceptions of each other are the complete opposite of what they actually stand for. From the reader’s point of view, it makes it appealing to ponder how the alliance between Bruce and Clark will form into the partnership that has become established.
During the battle in Metropolis between Batman and Superman, Pak delves into the psyches of the two superheroes again. Batman realizes that he will not be able to match Superman’s strength so he must use his intelligence to gain an advantage. Superman does not expect Batman to remain calm during their encounter. During the clash between the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel, the villain who has manipulated the conflict transports the heroes to Earth 2. On Earth 2, Batman attempts to stop the fighting as he does not understand why Clark is in a physical conflict with him. From his point of view, Bruce and Clark have been allies for sometime as he is able to shield himself from Superman and weaken him with Kryptonite. However, the mysterious villain known as the Trickster continues her deception. She is able to make the surroundings on Earth 2 recognizable to Superman as he believes Batman has made him burn his father’s tree. The issue concludes with Jonathan Kent asking his son what he has done as the Trickster is pleased with what has transpired on Earth 2.
A noticeable difference is the change in the art in the last few pages. Jae Lee draws the majority of the issue while Ben Oliver is the artist for the last few pages that are on Earth 2. Greg Pak succeeds in the first issue of Batman/Superman and leaves readers anticipating issue #2. The artwork, particularly Lee’s, is excellent as his pencils contribute to the success of the first issue starring the two iconic superheroes.
Batman/Superman #1 by Greg Pak, Jae Lee and Ben Oliver is available now
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