Superman/Batman: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice Special Edition #1
DC Comics (April, 2016; as posted to comiXology)
WRITER: Jeff Loeb
PENCILER: Ed McGuinness
INKER: Dexter Vines
COLORIST: Dave Stewart
LETTERER: Richard Starkings
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Tom Palmer, Jr.
EDITOR: Eddie Berganza
Metallo attacks STAR Labs in Metropolis looking for information. His metal body is dying but he may have a chance at recovering his original body…in Gotham City, where John Corben was buried. He tries to slow Batman’s obviously upcoming investigation by digging up multiple bodies but Clark’s an investigative journalist and figures out what Metallo is up to. In the graveyard Superman finds Batman during his investigation just as both are attacked by Metallo, who uses a Kryptonite bullet on Superman and buries them both. Meanwhile, President Lex Luthor learns that an asteroid of Kryptonite is heading for Earth, and it’s a big one. He tells Captain Atom that the government will handle this one…to help Superman of course…as the hero is joined by Major Force and a bunch of other superpowered agents.
What they got right: The comic begins by comparing and contrasting Superman and Batman’s origins, giving something new to the tellings on the off chance is this someone’s introduction…though not being for kids anymore I’m not sure who wouldn’t know it among the target audience. Metallo trying to get his old body back, presumably with a way of returning to it, and his declaration of not wanting to hurt anyone again and seeing where that goes also has the makings of a good plot, as is the Kryptonite asteroid.
What they got wrong: Although I would rather they chose one over the other. As I said, I’m not sure who wouldn’t know Superman and Batman’s origin stories but this is a unique way to present it, as a comparison of the two philosophies. I do wonder who has the legal rights here. Corbin might have survived if the scientist had tried to heal him rather than sticking him into a robot to go hunt space aliens so technically he’s right about his body being his property, but he did also attack STAR Labs and dig up a bunch of bodies he doesn’t have legal rights to. Maybe this gets explored later, but the heroes, not even Superman, tries to talk to him about it and go straight to the punching.
What did I think overall: This is still part of the tradewriting phase we’re currently stuck in but this is a good start. If I haven’t made it clear yet it’s the comparisons of the title heroes’ origins and worldview (and how the former shaped the latter) that makes this worth reading.