Sirk TV Graphic Novel Review: SUPERMAN/BATMAN VOL. 4 – SIEGE [DC Comics]
With the impending film coming out next year, the lore of Batman/Superman in terms of their interaction will ultimately fuel the DC Comics Universe leading into the “Justice League” or whatever Warner Brothers has in mind to motivate its crossovers. “Batman/Superman Vol 4: Siege” [Greg Pak/DC Comics/200pgs] operates heavily in the arena of mythology throwing a ton of backstory the reader’s way and peppering it with additional characters such as Kara (Supergirl) and Braniac among others. The opponent this time is a person that can conceivably get into the mind of Superman and literally be faster to disable him. Lobo (who still needs his own movie) comes in early but we see that this is simply a misdirect. It turns out that the unknown force comes from a lost city of Krypton. The Fortress Of Solitude had been destroyed from a previous encounter so Superman cannot tap into its database. The background of this enemy without giving him away is that he has constituted a Living Death for these former sons and daughters of Krypton, warping their minds against the son of Jor El (aka Supes). Ultimately what this and the rest of this specific graphic novel examine is the existential crisis of Superman. Here it is the lost aspect of family. Superman can’t bring himself to kill these people from his home planet who are bent on destroying him. Add to the fact that Batman uses Lois Lane, almost without his knowledge, as bait to lure them out compounds the situation. This kind of thing can border on betrayal which ultimately fosters hate. These kind of paradoxes and backstory can definitely inform the psychology of the upcoming movies. The post siege story of this shows our criminal (still locked in the neutral zone – and not Zod by the way) pushing others beyond his purvey to hunt down and kill Superman. A Doomsday Mist (another interesting possibility) causes Superman to expend his powers rendering him flesh and blood for a matter of hours provoking another existential crisis in that he can’t defend himself. This leads to some interesting trust and ego issues with Batman (also interesting aspects to explore in a Cinematic Universe). This graphic novel offers some interesting elements going forward in showing that great minds think different ways especially from how they were molded and created.
By Tim Wassberg