Superman/Batman Annual #5

A comic review article by: Jamil Scalese
In recent months I’ve made an effort to read more DC Comics titles. I had been sticking to Marvel and the occasional indie book, but my guilt finally caused me to make an attempt to jump back into the world of the Trinity and whoever else is relevant these days over at Detective Comics Comics. So I’ve dabbled in some Batman titles, Flash, Secret Six and, most recently, Superman/Batman. The regular title has been decent so far, but its finger isn’t really on the pulse of the DCU as much as it could be. I knew this annual was part of the Reign of Doomsday storyline and, in turn, I did my homework and got my hands on a few of the other tie-ins. The thing to note, of course, is that this whole thing continues in the historic Action Comics #900.

I’ve always respected Doomsday as a major threat but only recently realized that my value of him comes from his delivery of one lucky knockout blow. Since then, there hasn’t really been a significant, worthy appearance of Darwin’s nightmare since the death of Superman. In the current revival of the villain, I’m glad to see there is a sense of purpose behind its return and definition of its power. After this issue you begin to wonder what the future holds for such a gaudy opponent of the Super Family.

It’s worth revealing that this annual is void of anything Clark or Bruce. Rather, we get a tilted view of Dick Grayson, Supergirl and Cyborg Superman. James Robinson does a good job of giving all the three significance in this plot and adding depth to some firmly established characters. Since it important that the action move forward in this series-hopping event, it's nice to get fascinating narrations by some second-tier legends. This is not even mentioning the important transformations made by two of the characters of the book, which are sure to garner a few smiles.

Sepulveda’s art is a huge boon to the quality of the work. The action scenes are beautiful in a devastating and chaotic way. The big-time battle between Cyborg and Doomsday feels like it’s blasting through the panels into your lap and the page layouts are creative and classical at the same time. His skill with expressions and anatomy should be noted as well as they really give life to the subtle moments.

While its purpose is to be another chapter in the Reign of Doomsday, this issue proved to be worthy of an above average grade. Still, the $4.99 price tag doesn’t make it a must-have.

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