Batman / Superman #11 is a fitting finale to a story-arc that has seen Ultra-Humanite one step ahead of The ‘Worlds Finest’ from the very beginning. Believing himself to be the superior being, Ultra-Humanite has pushed our heroes to the limit both mentally and physically.
Batman and Superman are at the ragged edge as Ultra-Humanite dominates all who appose him. This is definitely reflected on the main cover as Ultra-Humanite looms large over a the weakened duo. I love how aggressive Ultra-Humanite appears on this cover. Of course he is a villain who prides himself on being the superior intellect, however it would be remiss to forget his aggressive streak and ability to back it up. That’s why I love this cover so much. Seeing Superman’s heat vision used to such little effect only reinforces Ultra-Humanite’s threat level. Cover artist David Marquez looks to have made a slight departure from his regular art style and instead looked towards anime for inspiration, or so it seems. I am always intrigued to see artists experiment and try new things. Our beloved heroes look as dynamic as ever having adopted a more simplified look.
The variant cover for this issue is created by Jae Lee and June Chung and depicts both Batman and Superman swooping into action against a backdrop of thunder and lightening. The first word that comes to mind when thinking about this cover is ‘Gothic’. This is due to not only the uneasy backdrop but heavy shading that engulfs both our characters. I’m certainly not used to seeing Superman in this way however, seeing The Man of Steel’s eyes pulsating with heat vision make him look totally intimidating.
Batman / Superman #11 certainly has that big fight feel, as Superman takes on Ultra-Humanite single-handedly while Batman remains compromised due to Ultra-Humanite’s machinations. The issue kicks off with Batman attacking innocent lives, including Superman at the behest of Ultra-Humanite who has transformed The Dark Knight into one of his drones.
It is truly painful to see Batman used in such a way, striking against the very citizens he swore to protect. Witnessing Batman fight against these transgressions every step of the way simply broke my heart. Batman is known for his mental toughness and resiliency and seeing that acknowledged by Ultra-Humanite is truly saying something.
This issue focuses heavily on Batman and Superman’s friendship which I absolutely adored. This comes to a head during their clash at the beginning of the issue. Ultra-Humanite callously looks on as Batman strikes down The Man of Steel. Clark’s emotions spill out as he refrains from hurting his partner and friend. Once again my heart was breaking as Bruce pleaded with Clark to end his life so that he could no longer be a threat. Clark’s sorrow is truly palpable as his partner looks to make the ultimate sacrifice.
As the issue progresses we receive some much needed character development pertaining to the Ultra-Humanite. We gain valuable insight into his motivations as well as his hatred for The Man of Steel which could honestly give Lex Luthor a run for its money. Even Atomic Skull who is no longer with us receives a satisfying conclusion and fitting eulogy from none other than Superman. This takes place while Superman and Ultra-Humanite go toe to toe. This encounter truly has it all, as the combat featured is bold and dynamic. Both characters, evenly matched as they are get their fair share of licks in as they utilise all at their disposal to beat the other. The velocity at which Superman flies into Ultra-Humanite can almost be felt by the reader.
Batman / Superman #11 comes to an end with a highly satisfying conclusion. The epic encounter between Superman and Ultra-Humanite ends in very dramatic fashion that leads to Superman questioning his place in the world now that his secret identity has been revealed. As well as that, we also receive a fresh perspective on the Ultra-Humanite like never before. This is my favourite part of the issue as the tragic side of this rather tormented being floats to the surface.
In this issue, artist Clayton Henry and colourist Alejandro Sanchez compliment each-others work perfectl,y as they produce nothing but dynamic artwork with each and every page. Sanchez’s colours are luminescent as every page seemingly lights up, The Atomic Skull’s energy benefits from this the most. Clayton Henry’s artwork is so distinctive. It has a real dynamic quality about it that I just adore. Every page of this issue has been a total feast for the senses.
Batman / Superman #11 is a fantastic read and satisfying conclusion to an enjoyable story-arc. Joshua Williamson really has stripped back our beloved characters to reveal their raw emotions, especially when it comes to The Ultra-Humanite. Little by little Joshua Williamson has pulled back the layers of this classic villain to reveal motivations that have festered and tormented the character for years. Even prior to his transformation into the Ultra-Humanite. Superman truly represents everything the Ultra-Humanite hates and is therefore begrudgingly jealous off.