Batman Superman #1 Review

by Olivier Roth on August 30, 2019

Writer: Joshua Williamson

Artist: David Marquez

Colorist: Alejandro Sanchez

Letterer: John J. Hill

Published by: DC


The world’s finest are back again in their own co-lead book as Williamson and Marquez, DC’s newest acquisition from the House of Ideas, get to play around with Batman and Superman as they investigate The Batman Who Laughs in a continuation, or so I believe, of Scott Snyder’s recent mini-series. And this all ties-in quite nicely as well with the current Year of the Villain event going in the DC Universe proper. 


The issue acts, as many number one issues do, as a staging point for the greater narrative that is about to unfold as both Batman and Superman are set on a course to try and find and stop The Batman Who Laughs. The crux of this issue is the investigation into the kidnapping of a young boy by The Batman Who Laughs. 


The issue starts off with an ominous flashforward - I’ll note, I believe this is a flashforward as there was no real indication of it in the caption boxes, but later in the issue there is a “Earth 0 - Now” caption - where Williamson and Marquez give the reader a pretty gruesome scene presided over by The Batman Who Laughs. It’s a great way to catch the reader’s attention and want us to know more. 


From this ‘flashforward’, we are brought back to present day where the investigation is underway. What I really enjoyed from this moment forth, and what I’ve enjoyed in plenty of other Batman/Superman team-up books, is the dual use of the caption boxes where we get to hear the innermost thoughts of both protagonists. It’s been done innumerable times in the past, but I like that these dual captions also sometimes “talk” to each other. What I mean by this is that Batman’s thoughts will be reflections of Superman’s thoughts, and vice-versa. 


This being, I believe, Marquez’s first work at DC, all I can say is that it’s an almost perfect debut for him. I love when artists imbue emotions within their drawings (think Kevin Maguire and anything he does) and that is exactly what Marquez does perfectly in this issue. You can feel the shock and concern on Superman’s face; you can see the pain and determination in Batman’s. This is what makes for great comic art. 


Not to be overshadowed, Sanchez also brings his A game to the colors throughout the issue. The biggest challenge for any colorist dealing with Batman and Gotham at night is to not drown out the art with too many heavy blacks and other oppressive colors. Sanchez creates a great balance between the darker elements of Gotham and the art on the page with a smart use of light throughout - whether it be city lights or computer reflections - it’s done with a deft hand. 


Batman Superman #1 may be tied to a greater event, and may have had the issue’s title already spoiled, i.e. “Who are the Secret Six?”, but it stands really well as its own entity with a great turn by the creative team. Well worth the purchase.

Our Score:


A Look Inside