Friday, October 1, 2010

Superman/Batman: Enemies Among Us (Review)

Citizen's Grade: O.K.

The fifth volume in the Superman/Batman series, and the first that was written by someone other than Jeph Loeb. Written by Mark Verheiden (Executive Producer of Battlestar Galactica), with artwork done by Ethan Van Sciver (Green Lantern: Rebirth & Flash: Rebirth)and others.

Most of the story is narrated by Bruce Wayne's Butler; Alfred, who's first-hand knowledge and relationship with the Dark Knight gives him a unique perspective. When the Martian Manhunter attacks Batman for no reason, he contacts Superman for help. They come away confused that an old friend would attack Batman, and other sudden ambushes from other alien friends & foes only confuse them more.

An unexpected attack by Green Lanterns Hal Jordan & Kilowog starts to bring things into perspective though, as Batman & Superman begin to understand what's going apparent "voice" is reaching out to all the aliens on or around earth, urging them to help conquer humanity. Even The Man of Steel is not outside the reach of this dark, alien force! With Superman brainwashed as well, Batman must turn to the only human with the know-how to help him defeat this threat.....Lex Luthor.

Batman & Plastic Man travel to Superman's Fortress of Solitude in the Arctic to retrieve the only item that Luthor believes may defeat this threat against all humanity....the Blackrock! Plastic Man brings it back to Luthor, but as Batman begins to see Luthor's plan....Supergirl and Superman track down the Dark Knight! In order to save his own life, Batman allows the Blackrock to take him over. But since Blackrock is an alien life-form as well, humanity's last hope of survival is lost as the Aliens appear over Metropolis.

Superman is brought back to his senses by his love for Lois, and beats down Batman until the Blackrock looses control over it's host. With the Dynamic Duo free from the grips of the mind-controlling aliens, they formulate a plan to defeat the alien threat. However, the aliens are allied with Despero, who wants revenge on Humanity's heroes for defeating and imprisoning him. He has convinced his new Friends that Humanity is immoral and unfit for survival. The Alien race only eliminates races that they deem unworthy, but Superman asks them to look beyond Despero's hate and see the potential of Humanity.

As they peer into the mind of Superman, Batman has prepared for the worst....and the aliens know it. The Man of Steel convinces the Dark Knight to have faith, and the Aliens see humanity's potential in that simple act. They free the other aliens on Earth from their mind-control and leave in peace.

This volume has great mystery and build-up, with an unexpected ending. Hatred being defeated by Hope is a timeless and needed message in today's world.....and Superman & Batman are just the ones to deliver this message in fictional form. Verheiden's vision in this volume is good, and I hope he continues writing in the future for DC Comics. The artwork; as usual for Superman/Batman & anything with Superman, is great.

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