Ladies, Ladies, Ladies!
I love Mark Verheiden, and I was stoked that he was going to take on the Superman/Batman series. I was dismayed when I saw the first cover. I believe my exact words were "I can't help but notice that neither Superman nor Batman are on the cover." Little did I know...
Gender bending is a daring subject matter even for fanfic. I applaud Verheiden for taking it on in an actual comic book. And to do it to Superman and Batman! Bravo. But for all the impressiveness of what he was trying to do, it sadly didn't really work. It was a wasted opportunity.
Basically the story is that Earth 2 Superman (gray hair) and Batman (retired) have been lured into a trap at the Metropolis Zoo. The Ultra-Humanite has placed himself into the body of a gorilla there, using Brainwave, and successfully works it so Batman and Superman switch bodies with The Huntress and Power Girl, respectively. Though they still see themselves as Batman and Superman, to each other and the rest of the world they are now women.
Sounds good so far. I think it would be funner if they could also see themselves as women, but at this point I'm just glad this is happening at all.
Check out Batman (Huntress) saying something a little flirtatious to Superman (Power Girl):
"Trust me, Clark, you're her alright." And yowzaa! You're hawt! Basically that and "Except for feeling a draft, I'm doing fine," are the only funny lines of the whole book. And that's too bad.
It gets boring and confusing because it has to be over in such a hurry. In a few pages they learn what's happening (Brainwave did it), what's going to happen (Power Girl and Huntress are going to fight back to gain control of their bodies and thus destroy Superman and Batman permanently) and what they need to do to stop it (find where their own bodies are being hidden and get...back...in them...somehow).
All I'm saying is that if you're going to give us something as delicious as SUPERMAN and BATMAN getting switched into the bodies of BUSTY LADIES please let us enjoy the ride a little.
It doesn't help that the boys are so indifferent to their situation. They just keep making small talk about what they've been up to lately.
That panel is kind of cute, though, if you consider that it's actually Superman and Batman. I like the adorable way Batman is holding on.
It's a little icky that Batman is actually in the body of his daughter. And Superman, his cousin. I mean, there's nothing specifically incestuous about what's happening here, but it's still kinda...personal.
It's a stand-alone, so by the end they get back in their bodies and all is right with the alternate world. Supes and Bats don't remember what just happened, the ladies do.
I would have like a 12-issue arc. They could have, y'know, dealt with other superheroes hitting on them. They could have taken a paycut at the Justice League. Superman would have to explain the situation to Lois. Robin would be all confused...hilarious! It would have been better if it wasn't Earth 2, though. I am just not comfortable with Earth 2. I never will be. There, I said it.
Kevin Maguire's art is pretty nice, but it's kinda gross too. I mean, obviously it's boob city, but check out this nasty porn face on Powergirl (Superman). I don't even know what her mouth is doing. Is that her tongue? Lips?
As for the cover art (Ethan Van Schiver and Moose Baumann), have you ever seen Power Girl with long, golden locks? I'm not even going to comment on the boobs, because what's the point?
I want to say thumbs up to this comic so badly. It should have been the greatest comic of all time. Instead it's a wild, mind-boggling ride that's over before it starts. Booooooo.