In BATMAN/SUPERMAN #13, readers get to live out the fantasy of waking up one day and realizing that you are a Superhero. It was, in the words of the dark night himself, “pretty awesome”.
In an effort to prepare them to defend the world from Darksied, and to appease the mysterious Lord Satanus, Kaiyo brings Batman and Superman back to their home dimension. This time however, Kaiyo has learned from her failed experiment in BATMAN/SUPERMAN #12, and erases the memories of the two heroes. She hopes that without their memories, the two will be able to face Darkseid without being hampered by their “sentimental” attachments to others.
The story of this issue features a Batman and Superman that retain all of their reflexes, resources, powers, and combat expertise, but no knowledge whatsoever of their past lives. It is a thrilling ride of self discovery wrapped in fantastic battles and sinister undertones.
I can’t stress how much the little nerdling in me loved this comic. You can just picture yourself waking up and realizing that you are this untouchable super powered hero, with a character like Catwoman flirting with you; or as a super-strong, super-fast martial arts master, with an arsenal of cool gadgets, cars and, oh yeah, a billionaire alter ego. I loved the fact that Superman woke up naked, and embarrassed. The idea behind this comic was that each character retained their essential nature, and by the same token that Superman felt the need to selflessly jump into action to save Catwoman, at his core Superman is basically just a bashful farm boy. I thought it was also an interesting twist that without the memory of his parents murder, Batman basically reverted to the embodiment of his alter ego Bruce Wayne, a self obsessed playboy, who also happens to have the abilities of the worlds greatest detective.
The art in this issue is also really good. Artist Jae Lee and writer Greg Pak incorporated the dark tones and angularity of the grittiest batman comic, with a really fun and funny storyline. Some of the sequences with Superman in the foreground and an upside down world in the background were particularly cool. I also enjoyed the angular and sleek character design of Batman. The effect was exactly what this comic was going for, that even though everything seems to be pretty exciting and light there is still a tangible air of something more sinister. The same can be said about the choice of scarecrow as a villain. The memory loss trope has been used about a million times before, but it was cool to see it actually come in handy in crime fighting when Batman is unaffected by the fear toxin simply because he can’t remember his fears. That event might also have proven Kaiyo right, in that Batman is a more effective crime fighter now that he does not remember the things that make him weak.
While I am a big fan of the style choices in this artwork, it does have a few flaws. The hyper dark coloring occasionally makes some of the scenes a bit muddy and hard to read. Also, I am all for adding some flare to a frame, but I don’t understand the point of throwing in random bits of glowing things, mechanisms, and wires that don’t seem to have any point.
Not much happened to advance the plot this week. The first image in this article is from BATMAN/SUPERMAN #12, because that frame explains everything you need to know about BATMAN/SUPERMAN #13. The entire plot can be summed up with: Batman and Superman lose their memory.
Despite the fact that this issue didn’t do much to advance the plot of the series, and the few small art issues, I absolutely LOVED this comic book. A really good comic allows you to see yourself in the characters, and lets you live out fantasies through the characters on the page. This issue was a really fun tale of what it would look like to wake up one day as a superhero.