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Friday, September 13, 2013

Trehern Reads: #Superman #Batman: Generations #4

Greetings, Beasts!  It is I, Alan Trehern, here to pen a new series of articles that may or may not skyrocket into Internet fame.  Of course, this series is going to be's going to be's going to have everything going for it EXCEPT actual professionalism.  So let's begin with our first installment of TREHERN READS: Superman/Batman: Generations #4! Click the RAWR! for more...

Let me give you a little back story first to explain why I'm jumping ahead to issue 4 of 4.  A couple weeks ago, the local comic shop took a bunch of back issues and packaged 10 of them together for 5 bucks!  So the next 10 installments of TREHERN READS will be random comic books of the past.  So strap in, and take note, because this John Byrne classic is confusing as hell!

There are two parts to this story, one taking place in 1999 the other taking place in 2919, with a flashback to 1929.  Try to keep up.  The first story-arc involves the son of Batman hunting down Ra's al Ghul.  The son of Batman, dressed like Darth Vader, is hunting down Ghul to find his father, Bruce Wayne, who had gone missing twenty years earlier.  After a flashback, we see that Bruce Wayne is SPOILER! posing as Ra's al Ghul and using the dead Ghul's criminal organization to make the world a better place!  Instead of drug smuggling, life saving food and medicine!  What a guy!  Bruce Wayne, now tired of running the charity/crime syndicate, orders his son to take over because he wants to be Batman again.   Oh, did I mention that Bruce is now IMMORTAL??!!

Switching scenes, we see Batman breaking arms and telling folks he's back in Gotham, so sh*t your pants and run!  Freeing Superman from the Phantom Zone (again, this may have happened in previous installments), the Dark Knight and Big Blue are once again reunited, and they chit-chat about the previous 3-issues of story that I haven't read.  We also meet Knightwing (Superman's grandson) and Kyle Rayner, the Green Lantern.

Supes then decides out of nowhere that he doesn't want to be on Earth anymore and flies into space.  Bruce asks Knightwing if his supervision can still see Superman, and Knightwing replies, "...he's right at the limit of my telescopic vision.  Must be a hundred light-years away, already."  What!?!  A hundred light years in, what, 7 seconds?  How has Superman ever struggled in his career if he can move that fast??  Lex Luthor is a slow, fat, bald jerk, and he fools Superman 98.9% of the time!!  Get it together, Clarky!!

The second tale was the one that bugged me the most.  Now, we fast-forward to the year 2919...yeah, 2919.  Almost 1000 years later, and Batman just rolls up in his spaceship and is like, "Whoa dude, I bet Superman lives on that planet cause you know, sensors."  And sure enough, Gregg Allman Superman is there in his new Planetary Fortress of Solitude.  Bruce Wayne, again, is immortal so they chuckle about how f*ckin baller they are for outliving everyone, and then flashback to when they met for the first time.

1929: Here's the brief rundown: Superboy is in high-school, Lois Lane meets Clark, and Bruce Wayne is that bratty rich kid who funded the journalism contest. But what??  Lex Luthor is attacking with a robot??  Call on Superboy and ... Robin???  Yeah, before Batman was Batman, he was Robin.  I guess he figured the green panties would stop crime in its tracks.  I mean, even Superman wears underwear, but pants too.

Anyway, they all chuckle after defeating Luthor and send him off to juvey until the next issue.  It's a great homage to the comics of the 1950s, and there's even hints of Smallville in there, with awkward teenage Superman mythos scattered throughout the story.  The 2919 portion ends with old-Lazarus Pit Batman and Gregg Allman Superman teaming up with Why the F*ck is Lana Lang Here and they go out into the universe to fight crime once again!

The story itself is interesting, especially if you're super familiar with DC canon.  These alternate universe tales took place in the Elseworlds collection, and that's why so many weird and bizarre things can happen.  Byrne served as author and artist for this issue, and I am a huge fan of his.  His famous Man of Steel run in the later half of the 1980s defined Superman for the next 20 years!  Even though Generations #4 is hard to comprehend with a lot of WTF moments, I feel Byrne took these characters in directions you can't really go in the mainstream universe.  So kudos to that guy!  I may have my nit-picks, but it was an entertaining read by far!

The art is commendable, but it isn't groundbreaking.  It does exactly what is needs to do to tell the story; nothing avant garde or eclectic.  Byrne keeps the action in the boxes and doesn't tempt fate.

My final rating of Generations #4: 
8 out of 10 Green Panties!! 

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