Overall, “Batman/Superman” has been a fun and smart-looking comic, a good addition to the line. “Batman/Superman” #4 wraps up the title’s initial storyline, and while Greg Pak, Jae Lee and Ben Oliver turn in a good-looking comic that’s satisfactory, a little bit of the spark from the earlier issues isn’t present in what ends up a predictable conclusion.
Set in the past, some plot aspects are a given by the very setting. There can’t be any major changes to the main universe’s Superman or Batman, and readers already know that they won’t remember this team-up. (The latter being such a given that it’s even included in the solicitation for the issue.) As a result, this story feels a little pat. Pak wraps up everything fairly easily, with no major conflict or struggle, really. It’s not bad, but there are no surprises. Previous issues always had a fun little flashback or side step (like Bruce and Clark meeting as children and finding a common ground in “Batman/Superman” #3), but perhaps because we’re in the wind-down, it’s incredibly straightforward. The dialogue is nice, though, and Batman’s admonishing of Superman that it’s his job to do the impossible is a fun little character moment.
Lee’s art looks great as always; he and colorist June Chung work so well together. I wish we were still getting the intricate and ornate page layouts from the first issue, but those were probably the first thing to go as the deadlines loomed. Lee plays so well with darkness, with the twisted branches on the backgrounds of the first page, or the shadows gently crossing Bruce’s face as he watches the fight unfolding in front of him. Ben Oliver’s portion of the comic works well in providing a contrast between the different universes, while still providing a similarity between what Lee’s doing here and these pages. Oliver’s art has the same softness to it that Lee creates on the page, and Daniel Brown’s colors match June Chung’s quite well.
All in all, while “Batman/Superman” #4 is a bit of a soft landing, it’s still a good enough conclusion for the first storyline. Hopefully Lee will be back for future storylines, although Brett Booth stepping up to the plate next month shows that DC isn’t afraid to put some of their top-tier artists on this title. Not the most riveting of conclusions, but it’s pleasant enough that it’s safe to say “Batman/Superman” is a critical success.