I will say, I’ve had a hard time wrapping my brain around the New 52. DC and I haven’t always met eye to eye. Their heroes are so iconic, with origins that are so ingrained in the cultural hive mind. And yet, I find myself constantly intimidated whenever I want to jump on to a new story line or pick up a new issue #1. Despite it all, I will always take a chance on Batman. Even when his story lines wander far from the core foundations of the book, I can always somehow relate or understand his actions and motivations. If I picked up a comic where Batman is stranded on a space station, fighting a monster made entirely of candy wrappers, all I would need to know is that it’s Batman on a space station fighting a monster made entirely of candy bars. I wouldn’t need to know why he was there or even how a collection of candy wrappers became the physical manifestation of a hostile life form.  I feel this was about Superman to a lesser extent. While I still can relate and understand his motivations, his story lines generally tend to go down a complex path that require a little bit of explanation.  I always felt that Batman and Superman crossover titles were the perfect middle ground for me.

The way that the New 52 books have handled the relationship between Batman and Superman has felt.. tolerable. These two heroes have always shared this odd sort of kindred spirit vibe, that the new books have yet to really explore. In JUSTICE LEAGUE, the two feel more like business acquaintances and less like seasoned compatriots. Mainly because the two seemingly just met previous to the events occurring in the new JUSTICE LEAGUE books. In BATMAN/SUPERMAN #1, we flash back to the early careers of these two heroes and how they met.  In a book called BATMAN/SUPERMAN, I really appreciate that the book first introduces us to a street smart Bruce Wayne and inexperienced Clark Kent. On one end, we have the emotionally cut off Bruce Wayne who knows all too well the true nature of human beings.  On the other, we have the optimistic Clark Kent who eagerly imposes his idea of right and wrong on any situation without fully understanding the situation.  By introducing these two characters as their alter egos, we are forced to see these two icons at their most basic. Which serves as the perfect jumping off point for their entire ongoing series.I’ll tell you, very little is made clear in this first issue. Our two heroes are obviously up against a foe who knows better than to attack them head on. Instead, decides to throw an older version of Batman at the younger more head strong version of Superman.  The younger Batman is thrown into the future or an alternate reality where Catwoman is his wife.  This story line seems to mirror the chaos that has taken hold of the DC universe. Reality was somewhat rewritten when the New 52 launched and us readers are constantly trying to get a grasp on the new continuity.  BATMAN/SUPERMAN #1 establishes an all too familiar feeling of not knowing what the hell is going on and more importantly.. ‘why is Superman wearing jeans?’

Writer Greg Pak seems to really understand these two characters and the overall feel of the DC universe right now. While I have no idea what the heck is truly going on in this story, the premise never really feels too far out of reach. The dynamic between Batman and Superman is spot on and their actions never really feel out of character.  Except when they are and it’s acknowledged.  Jae Lee’s art’s always grabs hold of me and leaves me wanting more. Although, at times, I can’t tell if Lee’s background art is meant to be part of the story or just his artistic vision of Gotham. But, holy fudge knuckles, this book is beautiful.  Ben Oliver does his best to keep up with Lee and succeeds 89% of the time.

I don’t know if consequences of this book will effect the entirety of the DCU, but they sort of feel like they will. Which, to me is the sign of a great ongoing series.

You can grab BATMAN/SUPERMAN #1-3 on comic store shelves now.

Final Score: 8.5 out of 10