Batman/Superman #31 review

A dying Superman wants to say his goodbyes, and ensure his work carries on. So it's off to Gotham for something of a twofer - tell Batman what's up, and ask the world's greatest detective for help in finding Supergirl. 

He arrives to find Batman in a scrap with a bunch of minor villains and helps out, quickly wrapping matters up because he's not got a lot of time. After a sharing session at the Batcave, Superman shoots off around the globe, and when he rejoins Batman, in New York, they're ambushed by metahuman brutes yelling a single phrase in Mandarin. 

Before the fight, though, Batman reveals what he's learned about Kara...
Whoa! DC Rebirth isn't here and already Supergirl's TV home enters the DC Universe. It's a nice surprise, one of many great moments in part two of Peter J Tomasi's Super-League story. One especially appreciated aspect is Superman mentioning that he's been trying to find Kara for weeks - as a fan of her latest series I was wondering what happened after her final page plot-tease, and why the heck she never showed up to help her cousin during his recent troubles. Tomasi looks to be addressing both while positioning her for the upcoming Supergirl: Rebirth special that will kick off her new series. 

The action sequences this issue are big and brash and brilliant - well-choreographed, exciting and giving us something I don't think we've seen previously. 
The subtle arrival of Superman on the scene, helping Batman at a speed that makes his actions difficult to gauge, works really well. The artwork comes from penciller Doug Mahnke, inker Jaime Mendoza and colourist Wil Quintana, all of whom surpass their previous A-game, from the moody opening splash of Superman zooming through Bat-shrouded skies, to this fantastic page of character and comedy. 
Hands down, this is my favourite Batman/Superman moment since 2011. And the page that follows, well, check it out for yourself. Tomasi gives us a Superman and Batman who have become good friends; for most of the DC New 52 period, a super-hand in a Bat-fight would've been viewed as an unwanted interruption, but here it's welcomed. 
Rather than gritted teeth pouting, there's gentle needling. I hope this is the relationship that continues, however things shake out come Rebirth. 

This issue also features more on the drifter zapped last issue by something that's making him think he's Superman, and a fine moment with Alfred (who looks like he may have his hand back, or at least have donned a prosthetic). 

Yanick Paquette's cover is a terrific composition, nicely coloured by Nathan Fairbairn - does anyone know what the, presumably, Chinese characters spell out? Signatures? I wonder if this issue's ever-excellent letterer, Rob Leigh, would know...

Tomasi uses DC continuity - the battles with Vandal Savage, Rao and Darkseid; Supergirl's final issue; his superb run on Batman and Robin - to build his story without overwhelming the human moments. This is a tale of history, friendship and legacy, and a real treat for fans of the World's Finest team. 


  1. Wow! Makes me want to read the issue and another thing that gives me hope for rebirth!

  2. This felt like classic World's Finest. They are clearly friends. They verbally jab each other. They care for each other. And Superman's feelings about Kara were fantastic.

    This is my Superman.

    1. It's like the characters were put into storage in 2011... er, 2008 - whenever the last time these two really got on, and have been plucked out, refreshed by their sleep.

    2. I'm going to have to get this issue. If I had the money I'd but a crate full of them, to support this interaction and care toward continuity. I suppose it could be said that it's been this long to build a friendship, but still, I wonder if there would have been more support from fans such as us if this was how the characters were presented in the first place. It's funny how DC gave out Loeb's Superman/ Batman #1 as a "tie-in" to the horrid movie in theatres right now. It illustrates in both words and drawings how these two are best friends, despite the differences, and goes totally against the nature of the movie. I really hope that with Batman/ Superman issues like this we'll continue to see this relationship - then again if New 52 Supes is out of the picture, will it go back to "before-this" between Bruce and Pre-Flashpoint Kal.

    3. I'm not going to ry and guess how things will turn out, we may get Batman aged up to 'bearded' Supes, but that seems unlikely as they've just de-aged him. Also, I suspect New 52 Superman will take over the books when re-powered and the older version and family will go to their own world.


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