Batman/Superman #8 is published by DC Comics, written by Joshua Williamson, with art by Nick Derington, colors by Dave McCaig, and letters by John J. Hill. Having used the Lazarus Pit to restore the people of Kandor, Zod basks in his triumph. But his triumph proves brief — for life isn’t the only gift the Pit bestows, and a city of maddened miniature Kryptonians is not a joyous sight. Caught between a swarm of Kandorians and two of their greatest enemies, the World’s Finest have their hands full.
Writing a short comic story can be a rather unique challenge. As readers, we become used to the length of issues it takes to tell a story. Cutting down that length can make the events feel less impactful. The situation develops at such a speed that before you can completely appreciate the threat or even the motives in play, the story has wrapped. This feels doubly true for Batman/Superman #8.
An entire city of micro-sized Kryptonians feels like a problem that would ravage a city. Yet, it is resolved in a single issue here. While I appreciate that a story’s lengths can be influenced by any number of factors, I just wish Williamson had shot for a scenario that wouldn’t feel so underserved by the short issue count.
The only other story aspect I struggle with here is the speed with which the Kandorians obtain the power set of yellow sun-powered Kryptonians. It never fails that, somehow, every Kryptonian that shows up on Earth is able to have powers within minutes, if not seconds of arrival. And while an explanation is thrown out for why, it feels pretty weak. Some may view this as nitpicky, but I like established rules to be followed. A stable continuity helps these stories make some sense.
That having been said, the other aspects of Batman/Superman #8’s writing are well handled. The characters felt true to their personalities and their actions never strayed from how I expected them. Williamson has an excellent grasp of the players in this story. From Zod’s unique sense of honor to Ra’s al Ghul’s self-importance, every character manages to get their moment in. While the story has it’s bumps, the art for Batman/Superman #8 is solid. Derington’s work is clear and effective. The story moves from panel to panel in an easy-to-follow fashion, and the characters’ emotions are given the appropriate amount of weight. The coloring done by McCaig is one of the stronger elements of Batman/Superman #8 visual presentation.
With the bulk of the story happening in the presence of the Lazarus Pit, much of the art is washed in hues of green. While the alchemical substance’s glow can impact the art, it never completely overrides it. It’s an atmospheric touch that would be easy to take too far or not far enough. McCaig lands it just right.
When all is said and done Batman/Superman #8 delivers an enjoyable superhero tale. There’s some action, some emotion, and disaster is averted. Both its writing and art are clear and tell the tale well.
When all is said and done Batman/Superman #8 delivers an enjoyable superhero tale.