Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Batman/Superman #13 Review


The Kill-Bot Factory

Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Max Raynor, Alejandro Sanchez, and John J. Hill
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 28, 2020

I liked the setup to this new arc of Batman/Superman. Our heroes fighting off Brainiac versions of their villains on the Dark Side of the Moon? That's the fun I want from this book, and adding Batwoman and Steel to the mix is even better. Let's see if it all pays off in Part of Two of Planet Brainiac!

While the issue begins with Batwoman and Steel, I am sad to report that they don't have much to do with this issue. It's a damn shame, too, since the little panel space they get is promising. I would love to see more of this team-up, but I am not holding my breath. I mean, what do you think I am, a little kid?

The issue follows the Joshua Williamson formula of focusing more on the overall feel and concept over any real, concrete explanation. A rogue computer program hacked it's way into the Batcomputer and merged with the villain database Batman and Superman were working on and produced robot versions of the World's Finest's worst villains on a moon base death factory. Wait, there is more! The program is now putting Batman and Superman through mental and physical tests to figure out how it can help them defeat their enemies. I gave up trying to make sense of it at the moon base death factory, but that's probably for the best as Williamson is having fun here in an arc that is more Silver Age than anything else.

Along the way, both of our heroes and the rogue AI are learning a little about themselves, and Williamson makes sure to throw the little bits in that show why Batman and Superman are so great. He makes sure to put it in each issue, and it's less forced here than usual.

The story does pick up when Williamson plays the Joker card as he uses the classic sci-fi trope of giving the evil computer a virus, though here it is more of a chaos theory type of thing. I thought it was a clever twist, though Williamson could have given it a little more time to breathe.

The big twist, though, is that this isn't the final issue of the arc. It felt like this was going to end, but instead, we get a cliffhanger that is one of those things that every writer doing a Bat/Supes book wants to do eventually. You will have to see for yourself what that is, but the ending promises more ill-explained yet fun shenanigans next issue.

I have said it already, but if you want an air-tight story that goes through understandable steps to get from beginning to end, this is not going to be for you. Joshua Williamson is having fun here, and while I wish the situations had more laughs as well, I did like it enough. I thought Max Raynor's art was good throughout, though I wish he could let loose a bit with more robot villains. Overall, this isn't an instant classic by any stretch, but it does a decent job of giving you the World's Finest doing crazy stuff together.

Bits and Pieces:

Joshua Williamson continues to make Silver Age fun his top priority in a goofy issue that doesn't take itself too seriously. It's not a mind-bender, but it's not trying to be. If you are sick of the usual dark and dismal fare, you might want to check it out.


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