Batman/Superman #3 – Joshua Williamson, Writer; David Marquez, Artist; Alejandro Sanchez, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Joshua Williamson’s had the biggest DC sales hit of his career with Batman/Superman, an event book, and it seems to be performing the same role Justice League does – while that book covers Lex Luthor’s plot as we race towards a 2020 Crisis event, Batman/Superman covers the Batman Who Laughs’ plot as he infiltrates the DCU.
The last issue saw Batman and Superman barely survive the Shazam Who Laughs’ attack, and Superman made the risky move to deliberately infect himself with Joker venom and “convert” himself to the villain’s minion knowing that his physiology can fight it off better than most. The opening segment of Batman/Superman #3 has a terrifying insane Superman barely keeping his violent instincts under control, as he breaks the Laughing Batman out of the League’s prison and makes a stand against Batman. But the issue has a fantastic mid-issue twist that’s a great example of how Batman always thinks several moves ahead. Despite the danger of this plot, this isn’t even the main threat of Batman/Superman #3.
The corruption of Commissioner Gordon was one of the biggest subplots coming into this series, and it finally comes full circle this issue with a tense chase segment that reveals how far gone Gordon has become. I’m not sure why he’s decided to take on a Phantom of the Opera mask this issue, but it certainly adds to the dramatics.
Gordon makes for a great villain here, because while he doesn’t have any powers, he’s got one advantage that none of the other converted do – knowledge. He’s been working with Batman for over a decade and can anticipate him like few other enemies can. The issue never slows down, with a new surprise infected appearing at the end of the issue in a spectacular segment that really shows off David Marquez’s art. Next issue promises to reveal the full roster and set the duo against their biggest threat yet. We’re only three issues in, but this title seems to have a stronger central concept than these team-ups have in previous versions.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.