Batman/Superman #19 – Gene Luen Yang, Writer; Emanuela Lupacchino/Matt Santorelli, Steve Lieber, Darick Robertson, Kyle Hotz, Artists; Sabine Rich, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Gene Luen Yang has been telling some of the most fascinating stories in DC Comics since his run on this title begins, and this month he’s joined by four all-star art teams as things get much weirder. Batman and Superman have been joined by counterparts from multiple worlds as they confront the insane Auteur.io to try to get back home. But as the villain spirals out of control, he opens a portal that sends the heroes away from their worlds—and into the unknown, as the issue becomes a tribute to genres of the past. First up, a visit to a Rann styled in the design of old-school pulp sci-fi serials, as the heroes pursue the Phantom Zone crystal powering the villain’s armor. They’re confronted by a new version of Alanna Strange who protects this world, encounter a gigantic mutant worm, and nearly expose the being beneath the armor before things spiral out of control—and they wind up on another journey.
Next up, Darick Robertson takes the helm on art as the heroes find themselves stranded in a Wild West pastiche complete with a great train robbery—and a confrontation with the heroic wild card El Diablo, whose favorite weapons raise Batman’s ire. The reveal of exactly where Auteur.Io is hiding is one of the most clever twists of the issue, and provides some fantastic visuals. But then, we find out exactly what the Auteur’s motivation is, and it goes back much longer than expected. This is one of the most clever original villains I’ve seen in a while, and the visual style of the issue is fantastic. The only quibble I have is that with so many Batmen and Supermen running around, it can be a little tricky to keep track of who’s where. But that’s a minor flaw in one of the most ambitious and exciting books DC is putting out right now. Just let Yang reinvent comic book history for as long as he wants.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.