Seraph’s Sanctions: Batman/Superman #31

Writer: Peter Tomasi
Art: Doug Manke & Jamie Mendoza
Colors: Wil Quintana
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Story arc title: The Final Days of Superman Part 2
Publisher: DC COMICS (April 2016)

The Breakdown:BS31_Full

Clark flies into Metropolis, getting the help of Batman in order to find Supergirl. His visit gets very personal as Superman reveals his slowly dying while Batman looks for his cousin while angry he can’t save his best friend. Meanwhile, as they track down Supergirl, they come across The Four Pillars from China as they target Superman.

 

The Good:
This was a powerful issue as Clark is making sure business is in order and look for Kara. To find his cousin, he goes to his best friend … and the World’s Greatest Detective, Batman.  Tomasi makes Bruce’s reaction to his best friend slowly dying and dealing with having to accept that Clark accepted that he’s going to die is handled with care. Even Alfred’s reaction was written superbly. Tomasi clearly continues his mastery of all things Bat while showing that he really has come to understand New 52 Superman well.  The issue goes through some good powerful moments while also giving us a thrilling little search for Kara and introducing the Four Pillars from China … hmmm … definitely set up for Rebirth. Yet, Tomasi gives this an atmosBatman-Superman-31-Batcavephere of a very personal story for Clark. And Tomasi goes great call backs to all his time with Bruce, stating how Bruce went out of his way to resurrect his son. There is a good amount of touching moments and thrilling action.

Manke and Mendoza’s art is very gripping. Mendoza’s inks really bring the best out of Manke’s pencils, letting the panel work look detailed and heavy in a great way. Manke’s art really looks amazing with Mendoza’s pencils as they hit the right emotional tones in the quiet scenes while making the action look near cinematic in others.  There is a crispness to Manke’s pencils under Mendoza’s inks that just make the art fuller and more engaging. And colors from Quintana are just so robust that it really makes the gritty scenes look dark while the lighter scenes look vibrant.

 

The Bad:
Nothing too bad. The battle with the Four Pillars could have used just one more page.

 

The Verdict:
As we races to the end of “The Final Days of Superman,” Tomasi sets the stage well for many things to come with Rebirth while highlightBatman-Superman-31-spoilers-DC-Rebirth-5-300x231ing the important things in Clark’s life. Manke’s art never looked better as Mendoza’s inks & Quintana’s colors bring out the best in it. We got great development for both Clark and Bruce as they discuss getting things in order and a conversation between two best friends as one is learning he’s about to lose the other. This was a bit of an emotional, thrilling and sobering issue.