One of the greatest team-ups in the world is unarguably the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel. The “Superman / Batman” monthly series gets the graphic novel treatment again with this new collection of issues #78 through #84. The book is entitled “Superman / Batman: Sorcerer Kings” and includes four different stories.
The first short story is titled “Who Would Win?” It centers on an argument between two boys over who would win in an epic showdown: Batman or Superman? We get to see the imaginary scenarios the boys make up in vivid pictures provided by artist Ed Benes. Writers Joe Kelly and Jack Kelly do a great job getting into the minds of teenage kids verbally duking it out over their favorite super hero in the tradition of, “My dad can beat up your dad!”
The second short story features Huntress and Power Girl coming up against a powerful alien force in “A World of Their Own.” Is it hostile or just misunderstood and frightened? Brett Booth’s penciling perfectly captures writer Amanda McMurray’s touching tale.
The three-part arc “World’s Finest” revolves around Superman and Batman’s century-spanning confrontation with Epoch, the Lord of Time. Using his time-travel device, Epoch bounces from one time to the next in his attempt to take over the world in the 853rd century. Only Batman and Superman can stop the evil maniac. First, they have to figure out how to get out of the time-loop Epoch has trapped them in.
Chris Roberson penned this sci-fi adventure which is fun because of the different versions of the Caped Crusader and Last Son of Krypton we get to see in the various times they show up in. Artist Jesus Merino provides our heroes with some eye-catching futuristic costumes that make things interesting as well.
“Sorcerer Kings” is a four-part tale that has Superman and Batman teaming up with Detective Chimp, Doctor Occult, and Klarion the Witch Boy to save the world from impending doom at the hands of the Coven. They must all work together to battle a monster that Felix Faust, Morgan Le Fey, Brother Blood, and Blackbriar Thorn sent across time to insure their plans come to fruition.
Writer Cullen Bunn weaves a complex tale of magic and time travel, giving fans of both fantasy and science fiction something to enjoy. ChrisCross’s artwork is exciting and successfully brings the mystical creatures and demons featured in the tale to life.
Four pages of color and black-and-white character designs and cover sketches by artists Travel Foreman and Fiona Staples are included. These little extras give readers background on how covers and characters come to be. They help to show people the sort of work and talent that’s put into the comics they pore over every month.
“Superman / Batman: Sorcerer Kings” gives enthusiasts of the two super heroes a great outlet where they can veer off the continuity of the monthly comics and get a little crazier than usual. There’s a lot more fantasy and science fiction elements employed for these four tales. It’s also refreshing to get a chance to experience the visions of different writers and artists all in the same book.
For more articles by Eric Shirey, check out:
Blu-ray Review: “The Dark Knight Rises”
“Batman Live” Review – Dallas, TX
“Superman: Earth One Volume Two” Graphic Novel Review