Superman and Batman are alone in the Justice League watchtower, having a post-battle debrief. The Man of Steel is disappointed by Batman’s tendency to go it alone mid-mission.
The conversation is nipped in the bud as a group of evil Batmen and Supermen emerge from the multiverse… the ‘World’s Vilest’. With Batman and Superman at odds, and physical numbers on their side, surely this is going to be an easy win?
Don’t bet on it.
Just look at those grins. Our heroes have a disagreement but when the call to action comes, they’re united. And immediately they catch their challengers off guard with their division of labour.
There follows page after page of stunning visuals and brilliant dialogue courtesy of writer Dave Wielgosz, illustrator Jorge Corona, colourist Mat Lopes, letterer Clayton Cowles and editor Andrew Marino. Superman: Man of Tomorrow #19 is a DC Digital First offering so may be missed by potential readers married to physical media. And that would be a darn shame, as this is, hands down, the world’s finest Batman and Superman outing I’ve read since I don’t know when – it deserves to be in every Best Team-Ups collection from now on.
I won’t spoil much of this 16-page done-in-one, I want everyone to buy it – it’s only 79p/99c so hardly a big risk on the purchasing front. But here’s just one sequence I loved.
Wielgosz has worked on DC staff – he may still do, I’m not sure how the recent changes worked out for him – but he really should be writing full time. His byline has popped up in holiday specials and on the digital books occasionally over the past couple of years, and I’m more excited each time I see it. He really gets the characters and puts them in fascinating situations, using continuity without making reader enjoyment dependent on knowledge of it.
As for Jorge Corona, just look at those visuals – his default here is larger than life, dynamic, but he’s no slouch when it comes to subtlety. It’s tough to pick favourite panels as every visual is a delight, but keep an eye out for the titchy evil Superman, his expressiveness is a total treat.
The colours of Lopes add an extra layer of goodness, his unashamed bright tones at times throbbing with menace. And Cowles never fails to get the words across clearly and stylishly.
If you have a few pennies to spare, download this issue. You’ll be very glad you did.