Batman vs. Superman contains excerpts from six different comics stories that features Superman and Batman going toe-to-toe. These range from comics from the 1980s through 2011. Note: the book is not a tie-in to the recent film Batman v. Superman, and doesn’t serve as any sort of inspiration for the movie either, as far as I can tell. My favorite, hands down, was “Who Would Win” from Superman/Batman #78 (2011). Two kids argue about who would win in a fight, the way so many kids have throughout the decades, I’m sure. At the end, we see that Batman and Superman have been observing the conversation and Batman asserts that he would totally win. It’s adorable and reminds me of an excellent episode of Batman: The Animated Series called “Legends of the Dark Knight” in which a group of kids all tell their version of what they heard Batman is really like.
The longest and final excerpt is from issue four of The Dark Knight, called “The Dark Knight Falls.” Okay, I know that The Dark Knight, published in 1986, is considered a classic of the Batman legacy and as such it’s no surprise it’s included in this anthology. However, it takes place in an alternate universe future and I found it hard to follow, jumping in at #4 as we do in this book. It’s such a dense story in the first place, that it really requires all available background information (ie. issues 1-3) in order to truly understand what’s going on here and why. The other stories in this anthology did not have that problem: some were clearly part of a larger story, but not to the extent that reading an excerpt is confusing. I had to re-read several sections from “The Dark Knight Falls” just to keep up.
On the whole, I really enjoyed this anthology. It’s a great introduction to the characters and a good spotlight on how they differ and use those differences to work together, ultimately.
Review by Jessica A.