Batman/Superman #18 brings the third instalment of the ‘Worlds Apart’ story-arc which I have been very eager to get stuck into. Gene Luen Yang and Ivan Reis are accompanied this time around by Jose Luis who is sharing art duties with Reis.
In regards to the main cover Ivan Reis, Danny Miki and Sabine Rich have created an incredible cover with Auteur.10 making his cover debut. Auteur.10 looks omnipotent as he literally holds the narrative of multiple worlds in the palm of his hands. I love how the film reel concept from the interior has made its way on to the cover. Auteur.10’s character design is just so inventive. He looks fantastic as he takes centre stage.
The variant cover is created by international superstar artist Simone Bianchi, who I’ve been a fan of for years and years. I can’t begin to tell you how surprised I was to learn of Bianchi’s involvement with this issue. This beautiful pin-up piece is all about the colour palette. The shifting sky is just so eye catching. The fluidity between the light and darkness represents the contrast between Batman and Superman beautifully.
The issue kicks off with Batman and Superman from Earth-0 continuing to battle Auteur.10 deep within the structure known as the ‘Archive Of World’s’. This is the perfect way to begin the issue as Oracle proceeds to refresh the audience and to shed some much needed light on the villain. This is certainly welcome due to the complex nature of the story.
As our heroes from Earth-0 continue to fight, their counterparts from the ‘Archive Of World’s’ return to the ‘World Of Tomorrow’, specifically below Wayne Manor where they are immediately attacked by the Unknown Wizards Robots. By this point the audience finally get the answers we have been looking for. This was a much needed payoff that linked perfectly in with the events currently taking place between the Worlds Finest and Auteur.10
As we uncover the truth, the masterminds behind the events effecting both the ‘World Of Tomorrow’ and the ‘World Of The Knight’ make their presence felt. The introduction of Martha Wayne in this issue was absolutely facinating especially when she comes face to face with Batman. The lengths this woman is will to go to to see her plans come to fruition reach the same levels of conviction as Batman himself. I found this display of devotion to a cause absolutely captivating.
Dr Atom also makes his presence felt and then some in this issue as his arrival sheds a light on everything occurring in the last three issues. This character feels like an important component that could effect the wider DC Universe and its crisis level events in the future. Im thinking Alexander Luthor from Earth-3 or Superboy Prime kind of importance with ramifications felt for sometime to come.
As the issue comes to a close, Dr Atom roles the dice one final time in a last ditch attempt to prove that his motivations are alruistic. This act really opens the door to even more dynamic and inventive storytelling that writer Gene Luen Yang excels at. There are some truly memorable scenes in this issue that will stay with me for sometime to come, from Mr. Pennyworth doing his best Bane impression to Batman’s emotional reunion with Martha, every page is an emotional journey. Writer Gene Luen Yang has truly crafted a unique one of a kind story that will never be replicated. The relationships built between these characters feel familiar yet very much untapped with tonnes of potential.
Batman/Superman #18 continues the very high standard set by the previous issues. Ivan Reis alongside Jose Luis have created the most dynamic interiors imaginable. Every page is full of blockbuster artwork encased in patented film reel panels that interact with the artwork and tell a story all of their own. The artwork is truly mesmerising in this issue and the story-arc as a whole.
Batman/Superman #18 is another spectacular entry in this story-arc. Every turn of the page is a joy to behold. This needs to be collected in an absolute edition as soon as possible.
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