Superman/Batman Annual #4 Review (Back to Greatness)
The announcement of Dan DiDio bringing back Terry McGinnis, the brainchild of Paul Dini and Bruce Timm into the spotlight after years of fans clamoring for his return since 52 was met with open arms by many who grew up watching Batman Beyond. From being featured in this annual issue to having a mini-series, it seems like the Batman of the Future may have a home in the DCU. And after reading this issue, not only he has a home, he's set to be a long-time resident. Terry McGinnis, welcome home. And for you, fellow reader, here is my humble review of Superman/Batman Annual #4.
The GoodFrom the marvelous cover art of Stan "Artgerm" Lau, to the wonderfully colored interiors of Renato Guedes and Jose Wilson, and the magnificent script from Paul Levitz, this annual issue has exceeded the already high expectations it was bestowed upon. Upon reading the first page, a wave of nostalgia washes over you, along with that new comic book smell to make it even more pleasant. My compliments to Renato Guedes on his pencilling and coloring, for he has matched Bruce Timm's style, but without outright plagiarizing his style. Terry, Bruce Wayne, Superman, even Ace look right in the designs and the coloring. I am very surprised he managed to make Superman look like Timm's version, but also add the vibe and feel of the Kingdom Come Superman as well. It's the best combination I've seen in my life since peanut butter and chocolate (HA! Take that, Reese's!) He has also done a great job of establishing the atmosphere of Neo Gotham as well as updating Metropolis in the same vein of the style established beforehand in Neo Gotham. All the compliments in the world cannot suffice how magnificent Guedes' work is. As for the story, if it's not noticeable at first, it follows after the 2-part saga "The Call" in Batman Beyond, where Terry gets inducted into the Justice League Unlimited, by Superman's request. What starts as a rising of thugs from Metropolis looking to terrorize Neo Gotham due to being scared out of town by a ghost, ends up being so much more. In here, we see Terry, as every bit the wisecracking adventurer as we came to know him, Bruce being the stern voice of discipline and warning in Terry's cowl, and Superman, engulfed in a new kind of sadness, both emotional and physical. I won't go on and spoil it, you just have to shell out the $5 on it to know the story. Sorry. *shrugs*
Anyway, the story brings back characters from Superman's rogues gallery, even the ones abducted by the ghost, to which surprised me, for Levitz is definitely trying to tie the Batman Beyond future into the mainstream DCU. Purists may not like this idea, for its nature of complicating things in the DCU even further than they should be, but all I can say is give it a chance. So far, it has integrated seamlessly without any chinks in the armor.