Batman / Superman #5 is the concluding issue to the inaugural story-line that kicked off the series and what an incredible issue it is. It’s a full throttle, Hollywood blockbuster epic that sees the team of Batman and Superman defend the earth from The Batman Who Laughs’ infected minions as they look to bring The Dark Multiverse itself down literally upon our heroes heads.
An epic finale such as this certainly requires an equally epic set of covers and that is exactly what we get. Interior Artist David Marquez has created a very foreboding cover that sees our beloved former heroes turned infected minions crawl out of the shadows and reveal themselves to a stunned Batman and Superman.
I adore this cover because it instantly reminded me of horror movies such as Ouija – origin of evil and Aliens as Jamie Reyes AKA ScaraB, one of the infected crawls upside down on the ceiling of a tunnel. This is tried and tested horror imagery that gets a reaction every time and the same can most certainly be said of this cover.
Jim Cheung has created an exquisite variant cover that sees The World’s Finest standing strong in quintessential formation. I love the addition of Superman’s heat vision as it really conveys the fact that they are now on the offensive. Enough is enough and that is a very exciting proposition indeed.
This issue is an out and out fight from start to finish. It felt like I was watching the final act of Man of Steel or Endgame as the issue certainly captures all the beats and elements of a blockbuster finale. The evil scheme depicted almost feels like it should be feature in a Bond movie. That is certainly not a bad thing as the stakes have been made to feel global from the start of the series.
The theme running throughout this series has been that of good and evil, and the ease of succumbing to the darkness within us all. Much like in The Dark Knight, ‘all it takes is a little push’ as it were. That theme runs perhaps strongest in this issue as our heroes specifically Superman is pushed to his very limit. The horror that Superman witnesses in this issue courtesy of The Batman who laughs is excruciating. Superman witnesses that which no friend, father or husband should.
This issue showcases the very best of both Batman and Superman in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Batman is driven and defiant while utilizing all of his skills, specifically his tactical nous while Superman is an absolute powerhouse. The villains of the piece come from across the DC Comics spectrum and all get time to shine. Supergirl and Commissioner Gordon make the most sense – thanks to their direct emotional connection to our heroes. These two really push their fair share of buttons and really torment both Batman and Superman.
The artwork featured in this issue like its predecessors is superb,as our characters have never looked better certainly with their villainous redesigns. The epic scope and scale of this issue is achieved magnificently thanks to stunning splash pages and panels that capture the most astonishing feats of power and strength. This is amplified thanks to Alejandro Sanchez’s incredible colours. The colours utilized are beautiful and add to the tone and atmosphere of every scenario.
Joshua Williamson has crafted a rather bombastic story line that is dragged down to Earth thanks to the ever relatable battle between good and evil, specifically the battle within. Seeing our heroes tested in such a way grounds them and adds even more realism. I love Batman’s dialogue in this issue when directed at Jamie Reyes. His constant belief in others is a beautiful thing, not always touched upon like Superman, but just as powerful.
Batman / Superman #5 is a very satisfying conclusion that has left the door wide open for the continuing exploits of The Batman Who Laughs and his unfortunate infected. I cannot wait to see what happens next.