Cover to Cover: Superman/Batman #'s 20-25, 37-42

So there was a Superman/Batman sale over at ComiXology a month or so ago. I bought into it and picked up quite a few issues, based on the artists I liked: like Ed McGuinness or Dustin Nguyen. Since scans are as easy as hitting "prtsc" and then cropping the image, I've loaded up an unholy amount of scans for you. Here's the first third of what I read:

Superman/Batman #20-25
"With a Vengeance!" 
by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness 

Have you ever played racquetball? You whack a ball in a room such that it bounces so fast, and so hard that your opponent can't return it. After reading through Loeb's story, I now know what the racquetball feels like. In the 6 issues, he bounces you everywhere, juggling the stories of Superman/Batman, the Maximums (an Ultimates knock-off team), Batzarro/Bizarro and the Joker/Mxyzptlk. It's crazy!

He throws all kinds of scenes at the reader, and while some of it will miss, you'll find something that's a hit. The Maximums accuse Superman/Batman of murdering one of their own, and it's up to the World's Finest to defend against their charges! Along the way they meet Red Son Superman, Batman Beyond Batman, Superwoman/Batwoman, Zebra Batman, Mullet Superman holy moly how many of these guys can they fit in here. There's so much going on, it helps to just turn your brain off and look at the art.

There's this great scene when Superman and Batman use a boom tube to get to the Maximums' world. Superman runs into a scene where Spider-Man "Bug" is witnessing Gwen his girl get thrown off the bridge:

It's a nice jab that highlights the difference between DC and Marvel. Superman's line, "Where I come from, it's what we do." just kills me. A good deal of the developments are magic'ed out of continuity in issue 25, and the main point of the arc seems to be to bring Darkseid back to the DCU in preparation for Final Crisis. The arc wouldn't have worked without McGuinness to pull off all the crazy ideas.

Superman/Batman #37-42
by Alan Burnett and Dustin Nguyen

This story's about the New Gods, which is unfortunate, because I don't really care about them. Darkseid manipulates a few people including the Scarecrow and Superman in order to restore his power. Batman tracks them down to Tartarus in order to save Superman and then has sex with Bekka, a New God.

Dustin draws a knockout Bekka and a great Batman. Burnett writes Batman as this tragic figure who won't let love into his life, and it rings true even as he gets it on with Bekka. Superman doesn't serve more purpose here than a prop, which is one weakness in the arc. I honestly feel it didn't need 6 issues to tell.

Here is some nude Bruce Wayne, because this will get me some hits from google images:

Here's a non-nude image of Batman I like. Just look at that cape!

NEXT TIME: Superman/Batman #'s 44-49, "The Search for Kryptonite"
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