‘First Contact’ reunites the original Batman/Superman creative team of Greg Pak and Jae Lee, who provide a complex story with compelling art that you won’t want to miss.
Following the magic of the first four issues, the second story arc earned a lukewarm reception from comics fans. ‘First Contact’ begins with issue #8 and is sure to return any wayward readers to this title.
Batman and Superman work well together because there are fine lines between the application of brains and brawn, logic and heart, and strategy and action that must be adhered to or crossed with abandon, depending on the crisis at hand.
And their basic natures find DC’s most powerful characters at their best as a team when they are teaching each other how to think outside of their respective boxes and adjust to alternative methods of problem solving. Greg Pak makes great use of their complementary and contrasting natures with a story that won’t be shy on action or sleuthing.
Power Girl’s abilities are out of control, and the only one who can relate is the same guy who might fall victim to whatever is affecting her. Superman helps her anyway, despite Batman’s repeated warnings, because that’s who he is. However, Superman adds: “But if he were wearing this cape, I’d bet a million bucks he’d do the exact same thing.”
Huntress claims to be Bruce’s daughter, and even before the blood analysis establishes the truth of her words, he trusts her. His instincts about people always inform Batman’s actions and his suspicions: “I should do something. But again…I trust her. Not a good feeling.”
Jae Lee’s art is stunning, and he isn’t afraid to use angles that defy conventions of graphic storytelling in order to propel the story. He loves to have a character deliver dialogue with his/her back to the “camera.” It’s not what you expect, but the character is engaged with his own actions and readers have a heightened sense of being inside the panel as observers of the unfolding story.
Come back to Batman/Superman now. I’m not sure where Pak and Lee are taking this story, but it is one excellent adventure.
Greg Pak (W), Jae Lee (A), DC Comics, $3.99, February 26, 2014