You have seen them fight everyone from Darkseid to street thugs, to interdimensional evil versions of themselves, and even each other. But what do the ‘Word’s Greatest’ heroes do on a double date with their respected loved ones? Will they agree on what to do? Where and what to eat? Will everyone get along? What exactly is ‘Superhero Night’ at the county fair? And what’s this about having to switch costumes?
‘Super Friends’ Part 2
Written by: Tom King
Art by: Clay Mann
Inks By: Clay Mann & Seth Mann
Colors by: Jordie Bellaire
Letters by: Clayton Cowles
As much as I enjoyed the last issue of Batman, I have to say this one takes the ball from issue #36 and runs it into the end zone. There are so many great moments that it’s hard to pick a favorite. There’s the Ferris wheel ride, the throwing ball game, and superheroes eating corndogs. Tom King fills this issue with so much fun and joy and unlike the last issue, the focus isn’t just on Batman and Superman. Lois Lane and Selina Kyle are central to this story (as they are to their partners) and both women get a lot of bonding here, maybe even more so than the boys. Some of the funniest moments come between the two at the expense of Bats and Supes. That’s not to say that the titular hero doesn’t get laughs of his own, as probably the best running gag in the issue is Batman’s simple answer of “No” to many requests and suggestions.
There is also something sort of deceptively deep about the concept of this issue. At first glance, the trading places costume switcharoo seems like just another gag. But scratch that surface a bit and you start to see that this is about how all these characters see each other, how they see themselves, and how we as readers perceive them as well.
Clay Mann gets the chance to draw a lot of faces here, and his gift for subtle expression is excellent. He captures things like the slight stiffness in Bruce’s face and the exasperation in Clark’s without resorting to over the top cartooning. The line work is also very clean and sharp, with an almost classic comic book look that is perfectly broken up every now and then by modern looking layouts and panel work.
Jordie Bellaire once again proves why she is my favorite colorist in the medium today. The atmosphere and mood created by her color palette really makes you feel like you are in a carnival.
Batman #37 was exactly what I needed from this title after the intricate and deeply disturbing recent arcs. It’s another issue that proves how well Tom King can write The Dark Knight; constantly changing the feel of the stories to give you more insight into one of pop culture’s most significant fictional characters. A definite must read!