Comic Review

REVIEW: Batman/Superman #22

Batman/Superman #22 is here and sadly ushers in the end of this title and creative teams current run. I for one have loved every issue of this series and eagerly anticipate its return. 

In regards to the main cover, series regulars Ivan Reis, Danny Miki and Sabine Rich have created a remarkable cover as fan favourite Mr Mxyzptlk looks to team up with Batman rogue Calendar Man. The detail captured on the faces of our heroes and villains is absolutely superb. Every wrinkle, line and smirk is expertly captured as Calander Man in particular has never looked better. I love how Mxyzptlk is captured on every page of the calander tailored to that specific month. The nod to Batman day in September is particularly appreciated and the use of a white background is very clever as it highlights Mxyzptlk’s mastery over reality.

Batman/Superman #22 Review | The Aspiring Kryptonian
Photo Credit: DC Entertainment

The variant cover created by Gary Frank and Brad Anderson serves as a very powerful pin up piece as the Worlds Finest continue to serve. Gary Frank has captured Batman and Superman at their absolute peak and Superman appears to be at his most confident as he glides over a determined Dark Knight. The grim backdrop definitely suggests to me that the good fight is far from over.   

Batman/Superman #22 Review | The Aspiring Kryptonian
Photo Credit: DC Entertainment

Batman/Superman #22 sees the return of everyones favourite fifth dimensional imp – Mr Mxyzptlk – as he looks to team up with Gotham’s own Calendar-Man as the pair seek revenge against the Worlds Finest. 

I love how these two came to be. Mr Mxyzptlk’s timely intervention just as Calendar-Man is about to die really highlights the haphazard aura surrounding Mxyzptlk. The characters whimsical tone and mischievous nature is very much on display throughout this issue, often breaking the fourth wall and speaking directly to the readers, which is great fun!

Calendar-Man really shines in this issue, writer Gene Luen Yang leaves no stone unturned as he uncovers his hidden depths. This is dipicted in such a creative way that could only be achieved with the inclusion of Mxyzptlk. Gene Luen Yang and Paul Pelletier’s ingenious method of incorporating the panels containing the actual story as part of the narrative left me speechless. This should have come as little surprise to me considering the creativity behind the previous story arc.

I love how Calendar-Man shows off the many facets to his personality in this issue. From awe and wonderment at the discovery of the fifth dimension, to his violent and aggressive streak as he takes on our beloved heroes and fellow villains alike. The action in this issue definetly takes a gory turn as the violence intensifies. 

As I alluded to earlier you can’t have Mxyzptlk feature without some shenanigans for good measure. I love how he alters the flow of the story from beyond the panel, this is quintessential Mr Mxyzptlk. An observer of sorts who acknowledges the fact that he exists in a fictional universe. This makes him the perfect person to round out the series as he is more than just an antagonist, he is also a fan.     

Once again writer Gene Luen Yang has created yet another multi-layered, reality warping story that has left me wanting more. This talented writer truly understands these classic characters and is able to place them in new and unfamiliar scenarios. This is a version of Calendar-Man I have never encountered before but I’m certainly glad I did. 

Paul Pelletier’s artwork is absolutely incredible in this issue. Calendar-Man’s time in the fifth dimension looked suitably otherworldly as ‘Kirby Krackle’ engulfs the backdrop. I love these segments, as we don’t get to spend too much time in the aforementioned fifth dimension. 

The action and combat featured in this issue looks phenomenal especially when enhanced by fifth dimensional powers. Superman and Batman take the brunt of these augmented attacks and my word do they look impressive. This issue like the previous arc really allowed for the creative team to express themselves in the best way and it’s seriously impressive.

Batman/Superman #22 is an absolute treat. The thought of Gene Luen Yang getting his hands on a character as unique and distinctive as Mr Mxyzptlk had me salivating. Especially considering the writers own imagination and creative vision and I was not disappointed.

Haven’t picked up Batman/Superman #22 yet? You can get the standard cover by Ivan Reis here (UK), or here (US).

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