writer: Jeph Loeb
artists: Jim Lee and Scott Williams
since Frank Miller had Batman strap on Kryptonite gloves in
a dark and dismal future, fans have been arguing over who
would actually win in a fight between The Dark Knight and
The Man of Steel.
they've clashed in the past and in the future, pre- and post-crisis,
usually with the help of some pesky mind-control as the plot
device. For newer readers, the key point is being in continuity.
Leave it to Loeb and Lee to answer that question in a run
that would have been spectacular without it anyway.
though they stoop to the above-mentioned device, they get
past it quickly, and give us the good stuff.
the control of Poison Ivy, Superman has been unleashed against
Batman. But even when not in control of his faculties, Kal-El
still can't help being who he is. So the answer as to who
would win should be obvious: the guy who will do whatever
it takes to win.
Morrison and Mark Waid would agree, even though this time
Batman doesn't have to stoop to any fancy-shmancy gimmick
like rendering Superman's skin transparent. Simply put, he
clearly never enters Metropolis without a piece of Superman's
home town on his person.
from the knock-down drag-out fight (tastefully decorated with
sprigs of ivy strewn about Superman's personage), the re-burgeoning
relationship between Batman and Catwoman has the most development.
Still smarting from an earlier rooftop kiss, the two find
time in the sewers to charge their defensive strategy against
Superman with a slight erotic undercurrent.
the Superman vs. Batman idea, the Batman/Catwoman clinch is
not a new ploy. As early as 1947, DC writers have toyed with
their attraction. Back then, they revealed Catwoman to be
a fake identity created by an amnesiac Selina Kyle, and Bruce
Wayne found himself attracted to the hapless pet store owner.
(Yes, a pet store owner.)
decades later, she revealed that she faked the amnesia, as
she knew that Batman could never love a criminal. Of course,
by then she had him hooked, and eventually they married and
had a daughter, Helena. (sob…oh, my Birds of Prey…).
'80's, Mike Barr and Alan Davis flirted with reforming Catwoman,
and for a while she fought alongside Batman, in that weird
purple skirt. Catwoman wore it, I mean, not Batman. That romance
faded when The Joker brainwashed her, which as we well know
could put the kibosh on the strongest love.
DC let this time stick? Loeb has certainly handled it with
a degree of sensitivity and cleverness. Fans should really
want it to happen this time around.
not completely distracted by it, Batman has definitely lost
a small amount of composure. From Loeb's glimpses of Bruce's
thoughts, it's clear that he still feels the touch of her
lips. And he certainly doesn't fight it when they kiss again.
dialogue echoes a scene from Superman: The Movie, but
with a twist. Miss Tesmacher kissed Superman when he was weakest,
saying "later, you might not let me." Knowing that Batman
could lose against Superman, Selina comments, "later, you
might not be able to."
an adult take, and I mean that in a good way. Clearly, she
recognizes Batman's obsession. In Selina's own way, she, too,
is finding a path to justice. For the first time in the characters'
histories, they may actually be compatible.
Loeb and Lee have agreed to stay on for at least another six
months beyond their initial twelve-issue run, there's time
to prove it.