DC This Week

Review – Batman/Superman #18: Enter the Archive

Batman/Superman #18 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Batman/Superman #18 – Gene Luen Yang, Writer; Ivan Reis, Jose Luis, Pencilles; Danny Miki, Jonas Trinidade, Inkers; Sabine Rich, Colorist

Ray – 9/10

Ray: Alternate reality stories usually fall into two categories—a crossover between two where the heroes fight, or a done-in-one story of how events play out in an alternate reality, usually with a grim ending. Gene Luen Yang has managed to do something completely different, giving us a chaotic but surprisingly coherent tale involving three different worlds and multiple Batmen and Supermen. Quite the way to kick off a run. While our Batman and Superman are trying to survive an attack by the deranged mechanical villain known as Auteur.io, who seems to have ties to Lexcorp’s entertainment holdings, two other worlds have intersected. A world without a Batman meets a world without a Superman, and everyone has taken on some surprising roles. One of the best things about this issue is getting to see the heroes (including a young Robin) feeling their way around a very different kind of hero.

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Terror in the archive. Via DC Comics.

There is a lot going on here, and much of it centers around a sinister alternate take on Martha Wayne. After losing her husband, she and her cowardly, sheltered son seem to have made deals with a mysterious villain from another dimension—and are planning to turn their world’s Luthor over to him. This is a more nuanced take on a darker Martha than the crazed Joker from Flashpoint. Along the way, we get some surprising characters showing shades of Two-Face, Bane, and Bizarro. Yang is clearly having fun just cutting loose and blending countless parts of DC mythology. The main universe doesn’t have all that much to do this issue outside of the framing segment, but that’s fine. We get a lot of these versions of Batman and Superman, while these unique versions only exist here. It’s a compelling look at whether their heroism would persist even without the yin to their yang—and the answer seems to be yes.

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

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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This post was last modified on May 24, 2021 5:16 pm

Ray Goldfield

Ray Goldfield is a comics superfan going back almost thirty years. When he's not reading way too many comics a week, he is working on his own writing. The first installment in his young adult fantasy-adventure, "Alex Actonn, Son of Two Seas", is available in Amazon now.

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