“One of your comics was four bucks!” my eight-year-old told me with practiced amazement as we sat down for dinner.
“Another one was five bucks!” I shot back. Her eyes got wide and for once, she didn’t know how to respond. So she ate her dinner. My lovely wife chose to leave well enough alone, not interjecting a thing about the cost of my comic pile for the week, so I spoke up for her, “Reading comics isn’t cheap anymore.”
When a simple pile of six comics runs you twenty bucks (or more!) it’s no longer an affordable hobby. It’s a labor of love. Or dedication. Or something like that. Such is the case with this “Super-Sized Special!” edition of “Superman/Batman.” DC calls in an army of creators to contribute to this seventy-fifth issue that just so happens to occur during their seventy-fifth year of publishing.
A lead-in story features the standard-issue duo of Batman and Superman teaming up with the Legion of Super-Heroes, which always makes for great fun. Brainiac and Batman share a moment that Levitz manages not to telegraph from the start of the story. The end result is chuckle-worthy and fun. The rest of Levitz’s lead tale is worthy of this title, a timeless (well except for the blatant mention of “2010”) story that serves to introduce Legion characters to readers of this title and also revisits the places of importance for Clark, Bruce, and Lex. Surely, Levitz plans to investigate some of this in greater detail, but for an extra-sized issue, this is a nice piece.
The only way the art could have been better on this book would have been to include work from George Perez and Kevin Maguire. The artists who do contribute to this issue bring their best, and had fun doing. The end result is a celebration of the Bat emblem and the “S” shield. Of the lot, the Adam Hughes drawn two-pager starring Supergirl and Batgirl is the most endearing, Rafael Albuquerque’s characters are fun and jovial (as they were in the story he drew earlier in this series), and Bermejo’s two-pager is a riotous surprise. Of course Rouleau’s dog tale is fun, Tucci’s art is entertaining, and Manapul’s story is a nice variance from the heroic standard. Jill Thompson drops a pair of pin-ups in our laps and David Finch speculates on bronze futures.
Seagle and Kristiansen deliver an offbeat tale that seems ill-matched to this collection on the surface, but its inclusion adds a bit of depth to the rest of this issue.
For five bucks, I would expect fries and a soft drink with this issue, but I didn’t get them. I just got a nice collection of stories featuring the world’s finest characters: Batman, Superman, Ace, Krypto, Supergirl, Batgirl, Superboy, and Red Robin. This is a nice issue, and the fact that it’s composed of multiple continuity-free stories makes it the perfect gateway comic to share with a friend. Of course, it’s also a nice little comic to jump back to every so often to get a taste of just how fun and enjoyable this expensive habit of ours can truly be.