Comic Vine Review

44 Comments

Batman/Superman #4 - Refracted Review

5

It's the end of the first arc. Will Batman and Superman survive their first encounter? Of course they will but what sort of repercussions will result from this?

The Good

This arc has been a trippy read. We've been reading the strange first encounter between Batman and Superman in the New 52 Universe. What has made it weirder is we thought we already saw their first encounter (which happens later) in JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 plus the fact they ended up on Earth 2 with their counterparts. But everything is nicely explained in those regards.

Greg Pak has shown he can write the two with care but also further fleshed out the Earth 2 versions of them, as well as Lois, Wonder Woman and Catwoman. If nothing else, this arc has made me long for more stories dealing with the Earth 2 characters before their demise.

In this final battle, things get pretty intense. Throw in Jae Lee's art and it all has an almost surreal feel. Seeing the fights and interactions between the heroes and the bad guys all looks so good. You can't help but want more. Ben Oliver does a good job wrapping up the art in the issue as well.

The Bad

How come Batman and Superman don't mention this encounter or anything about Earth 2 after this? Well, it was pretty obvious what would happen. It's something that had to happen. Still, it was a fun arc to read.

The Verdict

Greg Pak and Jae Lee have given us quite a first an arc in this series. It's been a strange adventure packed with some really cool moments. You can't help but want to see more of the Earth 2 versions that Pak has fleshed out. It'll be interesting to see what Pak has planned for Superman and Batman next. Pak shows he gets who the characters are and we're in for some great stories in the coming months.

44 Comments
Posted by EnigmaLantern

Is Lee still staying on the art? Great issue by the way, great end to a great first arc.

Posted by Booster_Bronze

I really like Jae Lee's art style, but the story was confusing as heck for me. Could anyone explain to me how the crystal was destroyed? It seems like it broke for no good reason.

Posted by SandMan_

Good stuff.

Edited by G-Man
Staff
Posted by Saint_Wildcard

We need to see more Shirt&Jeans Superman in the future

Online
Edited by KryptonSabbath

I really like Jae Lee's art style, but the story was confusing as heck for me. Could anyone explain to me how the crystal was destroyed? It seems like it broke for no good reason.

I enjoyed this it at the start but by the end I was just way to confused...

Edited by TheAcidSkull

LOOOOOVED THIS!

Posted by longbowhunter

I'm going to echo others comments. A confusing but beautiful read. Glad I followed through with the arc. I think it'll be better read all together with the Darkseid one shot.

Edited by spinningbirdcake

We need to see more Shirt&Jeans Superman in the future

You will in Greg Pak's first issue of Action Comics in November.

Posted by kingjoeg

Didn't enjoy this, it was too confusing. How did the crystal get destroyed? Why did the airplane crash? Too many plot points that were glazed over in a rush to complete the arc.

Posted by mcbean

This book is AWESOME

Edited by The_Absolute

Superman (E2) used Batman's (E2) satellite to reflect the superman killing energy back to the crystal, destroying it. The Batwing was hit by that same energy blast.

Great story arc. I wished they kept that meeting instead of the awful JL one. Interdimensional something or other altered the space-time whatever erased their second first-time meeting.

Also Jae Lee's WW is perfect!!

Posted by danhimself

the only think I've hated about this arc was towards the end of this issue when they explain just how much the New 52 Superman sucks

Posted by timelord

This story arc was short and sweet which made A nice change. Really looking forward to the Annual in Jan.

Posted by Superguy0009e

This was an awesome arc!

Posted by Eternal19

though I enjoy Jae lee' art I don't think that he Is he best choice(business wise) for this book. DC could be making a killing of this book if they got a more traditional artist.

Posted by JamDamage

Jae Lee never stays that long where he should. He's done some mini-series but never the regular on a title and I'm scared he's going to leave the title. I hope so much he doesn't. Sure he might not really draw that many backgrounds, but who the hell cares when all I want to do is look at his character designs. He is the master of .............his noirish style if that saying anything. Loved this book. Loved this arch. It was fun and trippy, and I want more of Pak and Lee together. Lets hope DC is reading all the good reviews this title is getting from these 2 togther and doesn't make the mistake of not going on with these 2 together on this title, but it's DC and if there is one thing they seem to keep doing is making mistakes. A lot of them.

Posted by admwriter

Wow... I REALLY disliked this arc. Between Jae Lee's scratchy and unpleasant "art", the FOUR ever-changing POV boxes and the predictable and inevitable ending, it made for a very disappointing read.

Edited by SandMan_
Posted by danhimself

@sandman_ said:

@danhimself: what are you talking about?

when they're having their memories erased Earth 2 Superman is telling New52 Superman how different and dangerous he is....I don't like being reminded about how much the New 52 Superman sucks

Posted by johnny_spam

Greg Pak has a great voice for Batman and Superman. I enjoyed seeing him write all the characters from both worlds. But I think by the end Jae Lee's art was more of a problem than anything else it may look great but it felt off this issue. Pak just needs the right artist to make this book even better since Brett Booth is the next artist that probably is not going to happen.

Posted by Saint_Wildcard

@spinningbirdcake: I know but I feel like that arc was cut way too soon. We needed a few years of it, atleast 2. It was fun and its what got me hooked into Superman.

Online
Posted by UltimateSMfan

Loved this! Kaiyo is so powerful. It really does seem like she could be Darkseid's daughter.

Edited by asjmooney

Jae Lee never stays that long where he should. He's done some mini-series but never the regular on a title and I'm scared he's going to leave the title. I hope so much he doesn't. Sure he might not really draw that many backgrounds, but who the hell cares when all I want to do is look at his character designs. He is the master of .............his noirish style if that saying anything. Loved this book. Loved this arch. It was fun and trippy, and I want more of Pak and Lee together. Lets hope DC is reading all the good reviews this title is getting from these 2 togther and doesn't make the mistake of not going on with these 2 together on this title, but it's DC and if there is one thing they seem to keep doing is making mistakes. A lot of them.

Agreed

Edited by feedonatreefrog

Loved this. It felt timeless, small and intimate like a play, but grand in its foreshadowing.

A small, but worthwhile excursion.

I still want a 10 year old Bruce/Clark team-up book (regarding the previous issue).

Posted by Lvenger

@sandman_ said:

@danhimself: what are you talking about?

when they're having their memories erased Earth 2 Superman is telling New52 Superman how different and dangerous he is....I don't like being reminded about how much the New 52 Superman sucks

He's not like that too much anymore. He's mellowed out somewhat under Snyder's pen. And hopefully Pak will bring some of his E2 Superman writing qualities in Action Comics.

Edited by EnigmaLantern

@g_man said:

@enigmalantern: Brett Booth will be doing the art in the next arc.

Aww, that's ruined it abit for me. Oh well..

Edited by toptom

@lvenger said:

@danhimself said:

@sandman_ said:

@danhimself: what are you talking about?

when they're having their memories erased Earth 2 Superman is telling New52 Superman how different and dangerous he is....I don't like being reminded about how much the New 52 Superman sucks

He's not like that too much anymore. He's mellowed out somewhat under Snyder's pen. And hopefully Pak will bring some of his E2 Superman writing qualities in Action Comics.

To be fair he is still far more agressive than his pre-52 version. I mean, the very first thing he did with Wraith was trying to punch him in the face..even if he has saved him from those black hole lasers.

However, if i am honest, i haven't many problems with a little more aggressive Superman...as long as the one who takes his fists deserves them (though i can't wait for his clash against wraith, so i wasn't really bothered by that)

Posted by Lvenger

@toptom: True but that was one out of character moment under Snyder's pen contradicting Clark's reasonable, calmer personality with Snyder writing him. The problem with an aggressive Superman is that it violates the peaceful, more reasonable Pre Flashpoint version who was a much more well rounded character in personality. That's one thing I miss about that version of Superman as he was the best interpretation of the character with 2+ decades of history to his characterisation.

Posted by danhimself

@lvenger said:

@danhimself said:

@sandman_ said:

@danhimself: what are you talking about?

when they're having their memories erased Earth 2 Superman is telling New52 Superman how different and dangerous he is....I don't like being reminded about how much the New 52 Superman sucks

He's not like that too much anymore. He's mellowed out somewhat under Snyder's pen. And hopefully Pak will bring some of his E2 Superman writing qualities in Action Comics.

I really do hope that that is the case...I'm so close to dropping DC as a whole and I really don't want to

Edited by Lvenger

@danhimself: What about Smallville: Season 11? In any case, I still feel DC are in better shape than Marvel New 52 and all. Marvel have just ruined their characters without a reboot by disrespecting them and screwing over the fans at the behest of their arrogant execs.

Edited by danhimself

@lvenger said:

@danhimself: What about Smallville: Season 11? In any case, I still feel DC are in better shape than Marvel New 52 and all. Marvel have just ruined their characters without a reboot by disrespecting them and screwing over the fans at the behest of their arrogant execs.

well the digital stuff would be the exception...I guess I should say that I'm close to dropping the New 52...

what???? Infinity has been killing it!! Best event in years! Plus I love Superior Spider-man

Posted by Lvenger

@lvenger said:

@danhimself: What about Smallville: Season 11? In any case, I still feel DC are in better shape than Marvel New 52 and all. Marvel have just ruined their characters without a reboot by disrespecting them and screwing over the fans at the behest of their arrogant execs.

well the digital stuff would be the exception...I guess I should say that I'm close to dropping the New 52...

what???? Infinity has been killing it!! Best event in years! Plus I love Superior Spider-man

Can't say I agree with you. Hickman has overcomplicated the Avengers into a cosmic, convoluted confusion that lacks distinct characterisation and succinct plots with interesting story threads. Infinity has been a bit better but not much. Fantastic Four has been screwed over by Fraction making things worse. And, whilst I don't want to get too much into it, only my loathing for Cyclops exceeds my disdain for SpOck. I hate what Superior Spider-Man has done to Peter's legacy. Slott has taken a dump on it and I hate writers that distort the essence of who Peter is and make the villain seem somehow alright in all this rubbish writing. It's his own personal fan fiction and I hate it. Only two titles appeal to me from Marvel and I'm reading them. Whereas with DC, there are plenty of better quality New 52 titles that I'm interested in but can't read right now. For me, Marvel are in a worse place than DC though both aren't what they used to be.

Posted by Wolverine08

@lvenger said:

@danhimself said:

@lvenger said:

@danhimself: What about Smallville: Season 11? In any case, I still feel DC are in better shape than Marvel New 52 and all. Marvel have just ruined their characters without a reboot by disrespecting them and screwing over the fans at the behest of their arrogant execs.

well the digital stuff would be the exception...I guess I should say that I'm close to dropping the New 52...

what???? Infinity has been killing it!! Best event in years! Plus I love Superior Spider-man

Can't say I agree with you. Hickman has overcomplicated the Avengers into a cosmic, convoluted confusion that lacks distinct characterisation and succinct plots with interesting story threads. Infinity has been a bit better but not much. Fantastic Four has been screwed over by Fraction making things worse. And, whilst I don't want to get too much into it, only my loathing for Cyclops exceeds my disdain for SpOck. I hate what Superior Spider-Man has done to Peter's legacy. Slott has taken a dump on it and I hate writers that distort the essence of who Peter is and make the villain seem somehow alright in all this rubbish writing. It's his own personal fan fiction and I hate it. Only two titles appeal to me from Marvel and I'm reading them. Whereas with DC, there are plenty of better quality New 52 titles that I'm interested in but can't read right now. For me, Marvel are in a worse place than DC though both aren't what they used to be.

Haters gonna hate! Hickman's Avengers and Infinity have been incredible! :D

Posted by Lvenger

@wolverine08: Eh his Fantastic Four work was better IMO. Smaller scale stuff and cast of characters for Hickman to focus on in his writing. But I don't want to sound too much like Fade as I'm sure Infinity has its appeal. I just can't get into it like I can get into Morrison's vastly superior writing that's all.

Edited by detective38

reading this arc in its entirety made me appreciate it more the ending was a little to predictable though. I'd have to give the issue and the story arc as a whole 4/5

Posted by Wolverine08

@lvenger:

Oh, don't worry, you're not sounding like Fade at all. You don't superciliously state your opinion, and insult anyone who doesn't agree. Overall, I can see how Hickman's Avengers and Infinity stuff can come off as convoluted and be unappealing to some , but I've been personally loving it! :D

Posted by Lvenger

@wolverine08: Heh fair enough. I can see where you're coming from.

Posted by danhimself

@lvenger said:

@danhimself said:

@lvenger said:

@danhimself: What about Smallville: Season 11? In any case, I still feel DC are in better shape than Marvel New 52 and all. Marvel have just ruined their characters without a reboot by disrespecting them and screwing over the fans at the behest of their arrogant execs.

well the digital stuff would be the exception...I guess I should say that I'm close to dropping the New 52...

what???? Infinity has been killing it!! Best event in years! Plus I love Superior Spider-man

Can't say I agree with you. Hickman has overcomplicated the Avengers into a cosmic, convoluted confusion that lacks distinct characterisation and succinct plots with interesting story threads. Infinity has been a bit better but not much. Fantastic Four has been screwed over by Fraction making things worse. And, whilst I don't want to get too much into it, only my loathing for Cyclops exceeds my disdain for SpOck. I hate what Superior Spider-Man has done to Peter's legacy. Slott has taken a dump on it and I hate writers that distort the essence of who Peter is and make the villain seem somehow alright in all this rubbish writing. It's his own personal fan fiction and I hate it. Only two titles appeal to me from Marvel and I'm reading them. Whereas with DC, there are plenty of better quality New 52 titles that I'm interested in but can't read right now. For me, Marvel are in a worse place than DC though both aren't what they used to be.

I don't see it as convoluted at all...I understand what's going on in Avengers and Infinity just fine...New Avengers not so much but I think that's only because he hasn't given away as much concerning the plot

I don't think that Slott has done anything to Peter's legacy...I mean if you've read Spider-man for any amount of time then you should know that stuff was going way to well for Peter and something had to break...He had a great job, apartment, the city liked him, he's an Avenger...the Parker Luck had to step in and break it all down at some point and it's doing that with SpOck...I remember saying back when he got his job at Horizon that I knew something bad was about to happen to him because this was all to great....we know that SpOck is only temporary despite what people at Marvel try to tell us because they have to say that stuff....I don't see how Slott is making Ock look good either..IMO he's making him into that much more of a villain and making me hate him more...I love it

Fantastic Four....I don't know...it's not horrible but it's no where near as good as Hickman's run

I like what Bendis has been doing with X-men...this stuff is just plain great compared to the last 10 or so years of X-men books and I think that somewhere down the line he'll get around to redeeming Cyclops...I think the best thing that could happen for Cyclops at this point would be the O5 Cyclops joining the UXM and just hanging with Scott all the time

Deadpool is actually readable and better than it's been in a long time now

I just can't get down with the New 52...for every decent book there's 3 or 4 that are just plain horrible...I hate a lot of their new personalities and I hate how the new 52 was done solely for the new readers while throwing the old readers to the curb...their continuity has been trashed to the point that despite only being 2 years in they're already retconning things....Superman has turned from someone that the rest of the heroes and citizens could look up to into this brash, headstrong, hit first ask questions later, emo teenager looking idiot...Tim Drake has been altered to the point that they should have just created a new character...they're killing the already crapped on clone Superboy and replacing him with Cable..I mean John Lane Kent....heck the Teen Titans as a whole have had their entire legacy crapped on

the only books that have done well are the books that weren't dependent on the reboot like Swamp Thing, Aquaman, Animal Man, and Batman...all of the stories done in those books could have been done just fine without the reboot...they wouldn't have had to change a thing...

wow I've ranted for a while lol..gonna stop now

Posted by Lvenger

@danhimself: No worries, I understand what you're saying and I share a lot of concerns about the New 52. But for me, it's Marvel that are still doing worse for their characters than DC are. I don't like what Bendis is doing to the X-Men taking them down a time travel soap opera lane and Fantastic Four is a shadow of what it once was. As for Superior, it's a disrespectful mess that makes me hate what Slott is doing to Spider-Man. Not only that but the execution of the concept is done horribly too. See this very funny artist's strip of it which will show you the massive errors in Slott makes in his writing. When Marvel are doing stuff like this, the New 52 kinda looks tame in comparison, trust me.

Posted by Armaghetto

I really like Jae Lee's art style, but the story was confusing as heck for me. Could anyone explain to me how the crystal was destroyed? It seems like it broke for no good reason.

Confusing as hell to me too. Couldn't keep up with who was talking when. Waste of my time frankly.

Posted by Chewblocka

I loved this issue and the arc, all together.

I think Jae Lee's art is FANTASTIC. I love his style and I think the colors and Pak's writing are just a perfect match together. I really really hope he stays on the book for a while although im also excited for Brett Booth.

Only beef I have is that this arc was too short. Perhaps a couple more issues would have done the trick.

I felt like this could look really good if made into animation.

Edited by ptigrusmagus

I had to reread the previous issues before this finale to get the most of it. I liked the story and art but it wasn't what I was expecting. I guess I was expecting something simpler haha

Posted by CantDance93

Fantastic story and art! Can't wait till Greg Pak take's over Action Comics. Good riddance Lobdell, now if only some could replace him for superman...