Superman/Batman (Volume 1) – Public Enemies by Jeph Loeb


“In times of war, circumstances dictate action.”

— Jeph Loeb, Superman/Batman (Volume 1) Public Enemies

    The world’s oldest question: Superman or Batman? Now, what if it isn’t always a “or”? The two titans haven’t always been either side of the fence. Although their sense of justice and their means vary grandly thanks to differences in their childhoods, there are various similarities that bring these two together more often than not. Legendary Jeph Loeb brings forth one of the many popular series that stars the “World’s Finest” duo as they tackle the danger that lies within their reach. With Gods roaming Gotham and Metropolis, it is only fair to find non-believers among the crowd. Superman/Batman (Volume 1): Public Enemies reunites the two biggest members of the Justice League in a story of survival. President Lex Luthor announces that an imminent meteorite made out of nothing other than the famous and scrumptious Kryptonite is heading straight towards Earth. Jumping on the opportunity, Luthor convinces the world that Superman is at fault and conveys a “Wanted Dead or Live” order on Superman, with an extra 1 billion dollars on his forehead. With a special secret team in the palm of his hands, known villains appear from the shadows to take up for grabs the great Superman and his partner, Batman.


“Give me what I’ve always wanted—the end of you.”

— Jeph Loeb, Superman/Batman (Volume 1) Public Enemies

    Dark, gritty, cynic, and filled with death, it wasn’t. Simply put, this first volume to the series was simple, action-packed and passionate on several level. The first issues gets both titans to meet again over mysterious circumstances and lead them into a confrontation with a villain who might hold pertinent information for Batman’s past. Until we get a blast from the past with the arrival of Future Superman, things start to become urgent and chaotic. The alert of an imminent treat as well as disclosure on a potential mistake lead Superman and Batman to quickly hatch up a plan to seize the danger. Until the President comes forth to the media and puts the whole weight of the danger on Superman’s back. Accused for the giant chunk of Kryptonite coursing its way through the galaxy to Earth, Superman and Batman team up to take down Lex Luthor and find a solution to the problem in the sky. It is only from this part on that we’re gifted with a dose of DC Universe and its almighty collection of superheroes and villains. Page after page, we’re treated with a nifty collection of fights between Superman and Batman against the world.

   I’m quite thankful that this turned out a lot better than The Dark Knight Strikes Again, because that sequel was one atrocious pile of poo. With Ed McGuinness’ artwork, this first volume captures a more bubbly and cartoonish illustration. Although it does exhibit a finely drawn artwork, it felt a lot closer to an animated TV show put on paper. It isn’t a bad thing, but it does take away any attempt to make it anything close to sinister. The artwork does however put forth a more colorful palette and gives all the characters a more vibrant and popping presence. After all, with the countless number of appearances, especially the inclusion of both Superman and Batman’s “families”, the artwork was a great complement. While we’re still on this subject, I’d even say that the whole experience was so overwhelming, but still remained satisfying. Seeing the beloved heroes of DC unite in one volume and figure out their different allegiances was probably the highlight of this volume.

    Hey man, how is it “passionate on several level”? Well, friend, listen here. Although it might have been unintentional, Jeph Loeb’s writing for this volume depicted more bromance than necessary. Aside from the sexual jokes toward a certain character (Yes. You. Power Girl.), Superman and Batman’s relationship is probably the most exuberant part. To highlight this, I’ll definitely point at the narration. Original and clever overall, it however also added an extra layer of acute admiration for each other (Superman and Batman). Throughout the volume, both Batman and Superman narrate the story with background descriptions on themselves and comparisons to their fellow partner. As they continuously alternate bubbles, each pair are fairly similar and showcases the similarities between the two heroes, despite their differences. But these very similarities also show admiration and a level of bromance that slightly spills over the threshold. Even if the narration is overlooked, some scenes between these two Gods illustrates the love nonetheless. However, I did enjoy how laid-back Batman seemed, and giggle a little bit at his inability to panic and rush. While on the other hand, Superman’s recklessness and simpleton manner held some comedic value.


“If he returns, he’ll be more dangerous than ever. A man with nothing to lose.”

— Jeph Loeb, Superman/Batman (Volume 1) Public Enemies

   Superman/Batman (Volume 1): Public Enemies is still a fun and adrenaline pumped volume. It’s never a bad thing to have the two blockbuster superheroes share the same panel and wreck havoc against shared enemies. Another part I actually enjoyed are the allusions done to chess. The idea behind the metaphors was fun and invigorating. It showed tactic, strategy and chemistry. I do have to say that I’m a sucker for anything related to chess. I see a lot of things like a game of chess. And now I see Batman in the mist of it? Win. Even if the volume as a whole was quite hectic and simple plot-wise, it remained a fun and creative path taken by Jeph Loeb. If you ask me, Jeph Loeb knows his chess pieces and doesn’t hesitate in making good use of them. Although there are plenty of other series that are far superior to this Superman/Batman series, this still remains one of the many long series that has attracted attention and brings two of our favorite heroes together.

If it wasn’t obvious, this review was done in anticipation for the long-awaited Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice movie. Who’s pumped for it?! I’m ready for the premiere! Take my money already!!! 😀

Did you read Superman/Batman Public Enemies? What did you think about this trade paperback?

You haven’t, you say? How about you read this storyarc for yourself!

You can purchase a copy of Superman/Batman (Volume 1) – Public Enemies by clicking on that hyperlink !

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10 thoughts on “Superman/Batman (Volume 1) – Public Enemies by Jeph Loeb

  1. Haha you write like a god dude (for such a childish comic) and the passion between Batman Superman part made me laugh cant wait for the movie ! Do you know which comics issues inspired the movie ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. From the look of things, I think the movie is going to be its own thing. It might have some references to a bunch of comics like Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns or Superman Origins. Thank you so much for the kind word though, I really appreciate it! 😀

      – Lashaan


    1. I’m so glad to hear that! It’s really fun to see both Batman and Superman together in a comic, it shows a unique chemistry. One that anyone would enjoy anytime because of the major differences in each of the characters. Thank you so much for checking out my review and I hope-if you plan on reading this volume-that you will enjoy the experience! 😀

      – Lashaan


  2. Hahah thank you for the review I was thinking about buying it at a comic store and then I read your review. Helped me save some money. Super pumped up for the movie here too

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahah. I’d still recommend trying it out, but I definitely wouldn’t tell you to get it at full price. Jump on any opportunity to get this cheap! It remains a fun ride, and who knows, maybe you’ll enjoy it more than I did! 😉

      I’m pumped for the movie too! Less than 24 hours to go before the premiere! Can’t wait to see Ben Affleck’s Batman.

      – Lashaan


  3. Great review as always mate (and well timed too!), I read this story a few years back. It was fairly enjoyable but I’m not really a fan of Ed McGuinness’ art style (“bubbly/cartoonish” as you aptly decribe it). I have volume 3 in this series, called “Absolute Power”, which is rather excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally agree. It is indeed enjoyable, but it doesn’t push any real boundaries. I wouldn’t mind continuing the series just to see what else Jeph Loeb has up his sleeves. Will definitely be looking forward to Absolute Power. Thank you so much for checking out the review! 😀

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

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