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Superman/Batman #27

Posted: Saturday, June 24, 2006
By: Ray Tate



"Nevermind"

Writer: Mark Verheiden
Artists: Kevin Maguire, Dave McCaig(c)
Publisher: DC

When I saw this issue of Superman/Batman in Previews nearly boasting about Power Girl being reunited with the "real" Huntress, I naturally suspected treachery and greeted the announcement with derision. I thought to myself it's probably just the generic Huntress in the "real" Huntress' costume. That could not possibly be Helena Wayne.

The other shoe dropping turns out to be that the whole story is Power Girl's dream. Years ago, I would have probably railed against such a cheap trick. I've since learned that there are cheaper tricks, and quite frankly, I'll take Huntress back any way I can get her.

Had the Huntress come back after Snotty-El punched time, I still would have thought the Infinite Crisis was meaningless crap, but I would have always added the caveat "however, it did one good thing. It brought back the Huntress." If she came back in the form of DC's latest gimmick lesbianism, I wouldn't care. You can have her feeling up Montoya all you want. Bestiality? Okay. Have her making out with Ace the Bathound. Just give me back the "real" Huntess" and ditch the poser.

Mark Verheiden, the new writer of Superman/Batman, while making the return of the Huntress a dream does not treat the dream as a dream. Meaning, the team-up between Huntress and Power Girl has a plot that functions logically through the characters. Nothing in the book is presented as surreal. Verheiden writes Power Girl, the Huntress, Batman, Superman and the villains as they were. The only catch is that it's just a dream, but this dream makes far more sense than the whole of the DC universe. The last page in fact catches up with the "reality" of DCU proper, and it made me ill.

Previews also decided to tell another cruel joke. The idea of Kevin Maguire handling the artwork for the book struck me as even funnier than an actual tale of the "actual" Huntress appearing in the post-Crisis DCU. Kevin Maguire. Right. Pull the other one. I knew damn well that he would probably be replaced at the last minute by some no-talent. So I did an initial flip through at the Phantom of the Attic, and lo and behold, Kevin Maguire illustrates the "real" Huntress. He illustrates the entire book and not just one chapter either. I'm stunned. If you could have seen my expression as I read the book it would have been one of a madly grinning deer caught in headlights.

While there is a catch, Verheiden gives we readers so desperate for the return of Helena Wayne, the "real" Huntress, what we want. This issue of Superman/Batman is carefully plotted tale that's exuberant in its celebration of what was, meaningful to these characters--even those who never existed--and self-contained. Kevin Maguire also really does draw the whole damn thing. Consider this then a diamond among the coal.



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