Batman/Superman #4 is here and this is eagerly one of my most anticipated comic pick ups each month. This series really came out with a bang and I have loved every second of it so far.
The standard cover for this issue is by Emanuela Lupacchino, and is also one of the acetate covers which DC seem to be throwing out quite a lot. That is not a criticism in any way, I LOVE THEM! Such a great way to bring a comic book cover to life that little bit more. As for the art itself, it’s a very intense cover and sums up a fair amount that happens within this issue, which is a bonus. Lupacchino certainty has mastered the the use of colour contrast, especially between characters.
As for the variant cover, I absolutely adore this. It’s beautiful. From the tone of colours to the glistening details, this cover is just gorgeous. I have no words for it. Olivier Coipel has well and truly knocked it out of the park with this one. In my opinion, it is his best work to date. I adore it!
Batman/Superman #4 picks up exactly where it left off as The World’s Finest take on Blue Beetle in The Fortress. They are soon joined by more infected heroes, including Jim Gordon as the pair realise that they must come up with a plan to take down them, the infection and The Fortress without them catching on. That certainly isn’t going to be an easy task, even for Superman & Batman. As their plan unfolds one of the strongest heroes suddenly comes to their aid, this is where we finally find out what The Batman Who Laughs’ plan is as the secret identity of the sixth infected hero is revealed.
Those that are infected with the serum use both Batman and Superman’s past and ideals against them, they use them as ammo. Williamson really knows how to get under the skin of our heroes, and you can see that it really effects them. It’s harsh, but I love the way that it’s done. Usually we see heroes getting physically attacked, whereas this is both physical and mental attacking, and it’s clear that these are the ones that hurt the most.
Williamson expertly shows how much they each doubt themselves, specifically Superman. This adds a bit of shock to your system when you read through these pages as Superman is a character full of hope. That just shows how much The Batman Who Laughs and the situation around them has affected the pair. They constantly question themselves, but also those around them. Is this truly what his friends and companions think of him? Is this what they have been hiding deep down all this time?
The series really shows how tactical both Superman and Batman is in their thinking methods, especially Batman. I love that he has a plan for everything and everyone, and that really comes in handy for them in this situation.Williamson’s writing really shows the workings out in this issue, it shows how they go from being in a bad situation to making a plan and coming to a positive (ish) conclusion. Williamson has completely mastered that.
Williamson just gets Superman and that is clear with this issue. I love how he tries to get through to Jamie, despite his numerous attacks, he knows there is good in there somewhere. It also shows the lengths that Superman has to go to just to keep his powers and patience under control. If he ever gave into his anger, the ramifications would be catastrophic. Supergirl steals the show in this issue, she has two impeccably timed entrances and the confidence within each just oozes off of her. But that over confidence means she hasn’t had time to think it through as clearly, and the consequences for this is huge. This is often the difference between Superman and Supergirl, and I love that Williamson has shown that within the issue.
The artwork really gets to work here, as we can instantly tell that something isn’t quite right. Marquez has completely nailed that within this issue. The facial expressions on this page are just heartbreaking. It is stellar work from him. One thing I do love is that the series is so vibrant in places and also so dark at the same time, and this depends which characater the page is focusing on. It’s the perfect parallel and it’s so effective. From this series alone, Marquez has fast become one of my favourite artists at the moment. Each and every page is consistently incredible.
It has been like this throughout the whole series, but I love how Marquez shows who is talking within the speech bubbles. I think it’s so clever, and it just makes reading Batman/Superman #4 much easier and more consistent. There is clear and neat writing when someone not infected is speaking or thinking and dark and shaky when it’s someone who is infected. It’s a really effective technique and it makes it that little more entertaining to read.