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Review – Batman/Superman #3 (DC Comics)

Batman Superman #3 (DC Comics) variant cover (detail) by Paolo Pantalena
Blurred Lines in Batman/Superman #3
Overall
9.2/10
9.2/10
  • Writing - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Art - 10/10
    10/10
  • Overall - 9/10
    9/10
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User Review
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Batman/Superman #3

Writer: Joshua Williamson
Pencils: David Marquez
Colors: Alejandro Sanchez
Letterer: John J. Hill
Variant Cover: Paolo Pantalena & Romulo Fajardo Jr. 
Maturity Rating: Teen+
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: October 23rd, 2019

The Batman Who Laughs has returned with his most sinister plot yet. In order for Superman to stop him, he must do the unthinkable – he must become him. 

Blurred Lines in Batman/Superman #3

The thin line between ‘hero’ and ‘villain’ continues to blur in Batman/Superman #3. Kicking off right from where things left off in issue #2, Superman has infected himself with The Batman Who Laughs toxin. In a desperate attempt to gain insight into his sinister plot, Superman goes ‘undercover’, prepared to sacrifice everything – even his own sanity. With time running out, Batman and Superman must work together like never before in order to discover the remaining three members of the ‘Secret Six’. Will the Dark Knight and Boy in Blue be able to get to them before it’s too late?

Writing

Batman Superman #3 (DC Comics) main cover by David Marquez
Batman Superman #3 (DC Comics) main cover by David Marquez

Joshua Williamson is the best thing to come into the DC Multiverse since Scott Snyder. He’s adept at his craft, knows his Bat-Mythology, and most importantly as is shown throughout Batman/Superman #3– he can write one heck of a good mystery. One of the things lacking in all Batman iterations over the past few years is that The World’s Greatest Detective doesn’t detect a thing. The Bat has become reactionary, a shadow of his former self. Constantly at the mercy and whim of pretty much every foe he encounters. In Batman/Superman #3, Joshua Williamson is taking the caped crusader back to his roots. 

Beyond his skills of detection, Williamson does an impeccable job of providing readers with some great moments of Bat-levity. It’s a welcomed change from the constant brooding and introverted introspection that audiences have been accustomed to since the Rebirth event. Batman isn’t The Flash and he certainly isn’t Hal Jordan, but he does have his own sense of humor and wit, two traits that Williamson is able to bring out beautifully. 

It’s a daunting task to try and give a voice to one of the most regaled characters in all of comic book history; let alone do it for two simultaneously. Not since the great Jeph Loeb have I encountered an author who seems to understand the harmony and balance necessary to have Batman and Superman sharing the same page. Williamson is a force; it’s as plain and simple as that. 

Art

Wow. Just wow. Artist David Marquez may not be a writer but the dude is one first-class storyteller. At the risk of sounding redundant, this is the best drawn Batman comic I’ve seen in years – maybe even of all time. Better than Capullo, better than Frank, and yes – even better than Lee. 

I don’t say this lightly but Batman/Superman #3 is truly the ‘Vitruvian Man’ of comic book art; absolutely perfect in every way, shape, and form. There are so many subtle nuances in the character’s expressions, with such brilliant details, that I could have spent this entire review just discussing the art. But of the countless incredible panels in Batman/Superman #3, my favorites aren’t those which include Batman or even Superman. My favorite character rendition is none other than Gotham’s own Commissioner James Gordon.

It may seem like an odd choice: no super suit and no powers. But it is through the lens of Jim Gordon that Marquez truly shows off his skills. The way he draws Gordon’s eyeglasses in that opaque, reflective fashion adds an incredibly ominous element to the character. Now Marquez is not the first to do this, and he won’t be the last either, but he is by far the best. Of all the characters in the DC Universe, perhaps none has a more unwavering, incorruptible moral code than Jim Gordon. When Marquez depicts Gordon in this manner, it’s his way of saying to the readers that for perhaps the first time ever, we can’t see into the soul of Jim Gordon. We don’t know what he is going to do. Which for Batman, is truly terrifying. 

Conclusion

Nothing makes me happier than to see Joshua Williamson penning a great Batman story. I’ve loved the guy since I first discovered his seminal series Nailbiter and have been a fan ever since. Few writers know how to captivate audiences, to instill in them a true sense of excitement and fear. This is where Joshua Williamson shines. Batman/Superman #3 is drawing on the creative inspiration of Scott Snyder and brings his characters to an entirely different level. Like Loeb and Sale or Snyder and Capullo before them, Willamson and Marquez are truly the new dynamic duo to watch out for in the DCU. 


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