Review – Batman/Superman #17: Enter the Archivist

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Batman/Superman #17 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Batman/Superman #17 – Gene Luen Yang, Writer; Ivan Reis, Penciller; Danny Miki, Inker; Sabine Rich, Colorist

Ray – 9.5/10</h3?

Ray: Gene Luen Yang’s first issue of this team-up title was one of the best surprises in the first month of Infinite Frontier, giving us not one but two new multiverse worlds—a world without Batman, and a world without Superman. Told in old-school pulp styles, they quickly fleshed out these Elseworlds just in time to slam them together. The next issue is a little chaotic, featuring three different realities—in addition to the crossover between the multiversal worlds, there’s a main framing segment featuring the “real” Batman and Superman as they battle a mysterious alien known as the Archivist. I’m not sure if this character is actually connected to Brainiac, but he basically comes off like Brainiac if he was a film student—collecting worlds in the multiverse and picking which provide the appropriate drama he’s looking for. The character is genuinely threatening, but also hilariously over the top at points.

Terror in space. Via DC Comics.

The two worlds have crashed together, and while the narrative can be a tiny bit hard to follow at times, it’s clear Yang is having a lot of fun. The best part is probably the presence of the two Lois Lanes—one a fairly faithful version of her old-school self, the other a disguised supervillain known as the Spider Lady who survived an attack on Metropolis. This version of Superman feels very faithful to the Fleischer-era take who spent most of his time battling more down-to-earth villains, while Batman and Robin often feel like a darker version of the Batman ‘66 partnership. Even amid the chaos, there’s a fun banter between the various characters, but the mix of villains help to keep this story moving quickly. Yang and Ivan Reis pack a lot of story into only 20 pages, making it feel like one of the best buys on the stand among standard-sized comics. Easily one of the most promising books in DC’s growing stable.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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