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Superman/Batman Annual #1

Posted: Monday, October 30, 2006
By: Kevin T. Brown



"Stop Me If You've Heard This Before…"

Writer: Joe Kelly
Artists: Ed McGuiness, Ryan Ottley, Sean Murphy, & Carlo Berbieri (p), Dexter Vines, Cliff Rathburn, Sean Murphy, Don Hillsman II, Bob Petrecca, Andy Owens, & Rodney Ramos (i)

Publisher: DC Comics


No, what you see in the Artist credit line is not a mistake: Ten different artists to do this one book. And not one of them made a damn bit of difference. No matter what, this book is a mess. I have no idea what Joe Kelly was thinking when he thought this was a great idea, but I urge him to stop thinking it! I feel embarrassed to even admit I read this book. If Joe Kelly intended to make this book one long running joke, he didn't exactly fail. This book is definitely a joke, but it's not a funny one.

I can only guess that Joe Kelly was trying to write an homage to Jeph Loeb's run. Doing all the wacky stuff that Loeb was doing. Well, there's a good way to do it (Loeb) and there's a bad way to do it (Kelly). What Kelly wrote here is….. well, I have no idea what he wrote here. I believe he was trying to show what happened for Superman and Batman's second meeting. The thing is, it makes no sense. Not even in a Mxyxptlk sort of way.

The story started off well enough, until we get to the part of the ever "humorous" booking snafu, but this time it's getting on board a cruise ship. First of all, I've been on numerous cruises, so I know what goes on to get on board. I know what occurred in this book is flat out impossible. Period. No way, no how. I realize you can give the writer a bit of creative freedom in some things, but not this. It's not like you're checking into a hotel. You have to deal with thousands of people all at once, not just a few here and there. I could go on and on, but why bother? Kelly obviously assumed that's how it is, so I'll assume he meant to write a good story.

The entire cruise ship snafu aside, the rest of the issue is not much better. It's one lame joke on top of another lame joke. It got so bad that I was actually feeling bad for Batman and Superman even appearing in this story. One particular annoyance (of many) was the appearance of Deadpool. Oops, I mean a character who only appears to be Deadpool. A character who was already a joke rip-off of Deathstroke. So we have a rip-off of a rip-off… Oh, I'm just rolling on the floor dying of laughter at this point. The Bizarro "producer" at the end of the story had it right: Best story ever! Kelly even forgot that Bizarro means the opposite of what he says. Or maybe not.

I'm really don't want to comment on the art, but I must. The number of artists should tell you what the book looks like. We get "treated" to very few pages of Ed McGuiness artwork, and then the other artists attempt their "best" McGuiness imitation. Let's just say it's uneven, poorly executed, badly drawn, and not even a fair McGuiness-like attempt.

Look, this story is just flat out bad. B-A-D, BAD. Kelly really outdoes himself. No, really, he does. When I figure out what he was trying to do, I'll let you know and then I can tell you what he was trying to outdo. For now, ignore this book. Save yourself $3.99.



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