Customer Reviews for

Enemies and Allies: The Dark Knight Meets The Man of Steel

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Great Caesar's Ghost - a brilliant foray into the meeting of two legendary characters!

Capitalizing on the momentum from his The Last Days of Krypton, Kevin J. Anderson in Enemies & Allies explores the early days of Kal-El. This time, sunny Metropolis clashes with dreary Gotham; and like all great relationships' first meetings, this one has its share of d...
Capitalizing on the momentum from his The Last Days of Krypton, Kevin J. Anderson in Enemies & Allies explores the early days of Kal-El. This time, sunny Metropolis clashes with dreary Gotham; and like all great relationships' first meetings, this one has its share of drama, suspense and excitement.

As with all of Anderson's books, Enemies & Allies moves at lightning speed, briefly revealing the backstories for Kal-El and Bruce Wayne, and then jumping into the page-turning plot. Along the ride, I found myself pausing for breath to appreciate the life he breathed into the secondary characters, such as Lois Lane's headstrong willfulness in chasing the big story, and nailing Perry White's perfect blend of sardonic, chauvinistic wit.

But what I found most interesting (and refreshing), more than the main thrust of Luthor's designs upon Metropolis, was the subplot concerning economic espionage between LuthorCorp and Wayne Enterprises; the subtle battle between Wayne and Luthor for the licensing and use of military technology, complete with board-room betrayals and blackmail, office break-ins and murder...

And as for Superman and Batman, in Enemies & Allies you get what you'd expect - and more. It was particularly inventive to follow Bruce Wayne's initial investigation of Superman from a skeptical detective's standpoint, using logic and only the facts, at first suspecting Superman to be a minion of Lex Luthor's. But as mistrust wears away to acceptance, and then as they become Allies against Luthor, McCarthyism and the larger Cold War threat, a truly interesting moral debate occurs between the two heroes - taking the form of arguments Wayne voices so powerfully, causing Kal-El to question his own belief in the black and white nature of good and evil and to ponder Batman's insistence that real criminals - as well as heroes - sometimes struggle in much grayer areas.

posted by Sakmyster on August 6, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Enemies & Allies, an uninteresting read

As a big fan of the superhero genre and an avid reader of Batman related fiction, I was pretty excited to read 'Enemies & Allies'. Set in the 1950s during the arms race of the Cold War, this book follows Superman and Batman in their early years and through their first m...
As a big fan of the superhero genre and an avid reader of Batman related fiction, I was pretty excited to read 'Enemies & Allies'. Set in the 1950s during the arms race of the Cold War, this book follows Superman and Batman in their early years and through their first meeting. Alternating between not only Superman and Batman's point of views, it also follows the notorious genius Lex Luthor and intrepid reporter Lois Lane.

Overall, while the book is an okay read, it isn't anything to write home about. The characters remain two dimensional and uninspiring, while the plot is barely as interesting as a sci-fi b movie. Most of the plot devices employed are hackneyed and done better in other material. The book isn't subtle, it isn't fleshed out, and it doesn't provide any insight or new angles on the characters. The author is also unfamiliar with large aspect of the 1950s from daily life to clothing and technology. The setting and technological marvels were more unbelievable than the many powers of Superman have ever been.

For a set of characters with over seventy years of history, this book doesn't offer anything new. There are thousands of stories about these characters interacting and you'd find more interesting content and stories in almost any of them.

posted by JessicaR on April 18, 2009

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  • Posted August 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great Caesar's Ghost - a brilliant foray into the meeting of two legendary characters!

    Capitalizing on the momentum from his The Last Days of Krypton, Kevin J. Anderson in Enemies & Allies explores the early days of Kal-El. This time, sunny Metropolis clashes with dreary Gotham; and like all great relationships' first meetings, this one has its share of drama, suspense and excitement.

    As with all of Anderson's books, Enemies & Allies moves at lightning speed, briefly revealing the backstories for Kal-El and Bruce Wayne, and then jumping into the page-turning plot. Along the ride, I found myself pausing for breath to appreciate the life he breathed into the secondary characters, such as Lois Lane's headstrong willfulness in chasing the big story, and nailing Perry White's perfect blend of sardonic, chauvinistic wit.

    But what I found most interesting (and refreshing), more than the main thrust of Luthor's designs upon Metropolis, was the subplot concerning economic espionage between LuthorCorp and Wayne Enterprises; the subtle battle between Wayne and Luthor for the licensing and use of military technology, complete with board-room betrayals and blackmail, office break-ins and murder...

    And as for Superman and Batman, in Enemies & Allies you get what you'd expect - and more. It was particularly inventive to follow Bruce Wayne's initial investigation of Superman from a skeptical detective's standpoint, using logic and only the facts, at first suspecting Superman to be a minion of Lex Luthor's. But as mistrust wears away to acceptance, and then as they become Allies against Luthor, McCarthyism and the larger Cold War threat, a truly interesting moral debate occurs between the two heroes - taking the form of arguments Wayne voices so powerfully, causing Kal-El to question his own belief in the black and white nature of good and evil and to ponder Batman's insistence that real criminals - as well as heroes - sometimes struggle in much grayer areas.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Superhero Collision

    Kevin J. Anderson's latest novel, Enemies and Allies, gives the reader a unique insight into the mind and world of millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne, more infamously know in pop culture as "Batman" and a young reporter named Clark Kent, better known as "Superman". The meeting of the "The Dark Knight" and the "Man of Steel" takes place during the late 1950's when Senator Joe McCarthy had American citizens seeing Communists lurking behind every corner, and the "space race" with the Soviet Union was kicked into high gear at the launch of "Sputnik", the first man-made satellite placed into orbit. In a world turned upside down and seeing red in every dark corner, both Batman and Superman dedicate themselves to uncovering the dark secrets of LuthorCorp, competitor to Wayne Enterprises, ran by the dark, enigmatic Lex Luthor.

    While the world's eyes were on the heavens, the attention of Gotham City and Metropolis are focused on their own unique superheroes of Batman and Superman. Anderson never misses an opportunity to point out the contrasts between the two men through their intentions and origins, their methods and motivations. While both men believed in bringing criminals to justice and protecting the innocent, the two men lead extraordinarily different lives and their methods could not have been more dissimilar.

    The novel takes the reader from the dark shadows of Gotham City to the streets of Metropolis, to areas as different as the hopeless desolation of a Soviet Gulag in Siberia and the tropical terror of Luthor's Island in the Caribbean Sea. The paths of Batman and Superman parallel and cross as both men try to piece together who the true enemy is, who is an ally, and wonder if it is possible that the dark vigilante could work with the glorified hero. Senator McCarthy alleges that the Communists are the true enemy of the United States. The mysterious Lex Luthor claims Martians are the true enemy of the United States, and boasts that only LuthorCorp has the technology to meet the threat of the Martians.

    As Anderson carries us around the world on a mission to discover the true enemy, unexpected alliances are formed, new enemies are created, and we are offered a unique insight into the characters of two of pop culture's most beloved superheroes. The novel is well-written, the characters developed in-depth yet still retaining a breath of mystery, and is truly a work which fans old and new will enjoy.

    If you enjoyed this novel, please feel free to keep up on other works by Kevin J. Anderson by visiting the following sites:

    http://www.wordfire.com (Kevin's main site)
    http://www.wordfire.com/kjablog (Kevin's main blog)
    http://www.anderzoneshop.com (the place to buy signed books and other items from Kevin)
    http://www.myspace.com/kevinjanderson (Kevin's MySpace page)
    http://www.twitter.com/TheKJA (Kevin's Twitter feed) If you enjoyed this novel, please feel free to keep up on other works by Kevin J. Anderson by visiting the following sites:

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fantastic

    Kevin really seems to understand what it is about Batman that makes him so cool. I love how the chapters are real short so we get to bounce around from the Batman storyline to the Superman one. Intriguing story. classic villain. Interesting era. Great action. I'd love to see Kevin write a story that's 100% about Batman. 4 stars.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    gift

    I bought this book as a gift for a friend and he loved it

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2009

    Loved it!

    Not just for teens, but all batman fans. Agree with many others - was wishing for more detail, because I read it so fast it ended before I wanted it to. it was a little strange at first, because I love superman, but he has to go into the "fantasy" place in my brain (being from another planet and all). Batman I have grown to love more as an adult, because he can be believed in as a human being without supernatural powers. So it took me a little while to let the 2 mindsets in my brain come to the same place. But also much like the characters in the book. I loved watching the relationship between batman and superman develop, both suspicious of each other at first and then coming to an understanding. The ending left me wanting to know more, and hopefully signifying the promise of a sequel.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Loved it!!

    Anderson has an excellent talent for making comic characters come to life with mere words as to give the reader the feeling you are watching a movie or at best looking at the rich artwork of a comic. This story covers the beginnings of both Superman and Batman who meet for the first time. The tale set in the fifties has a Superman character closer to the Superman Returns personality and Batman with a personality like he was portrayed in Batman Begins (the Dark Knight version).

    Lex Luthor is planning his usual world domination scheme using technology stolen from Wayne Enterprises. Luthor is more like the the mercilious Luthor portrayed by Kevin Spacey than the Gene Hackman version. He conspires with a Russian General in a plot that could launch a third world war.

    Lois Lane is the tough character that we remember Phyllis Coates as. She is also a swooner for Superman and is swept off her feet by the Man of Steel like the Lois Lane in the first Richard Donner film.

    Jimmy is an excitable teen who likes grade B scifi films and banana splits. Perry White is a tightwad with his wallet that only cares to report the news if the expenses of tracking it down are kept to a minimum.

    Alfred is the wise tough butler as portrayed by Michael Cain.

    The story moves at a very rapid pace and you finish the book before you know it hoping the story will never end. Anderson does have some references to his Last Days of Krypton novel and I hope that he continues to churn out some more comic related tales!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Truth, Justice, and the American Way

    There are probably several different tales and versions of the first meeting between two of DC Comics' most famous superheroes. This is one of them. ENEMIES & ALLIES tells the story of the first meeting between Superman and Batman. Both have recently made their first public appearances and get involved with a scheme of world domination by Lex Luthor.

    The story takes place in the 1950s amid the Cold War and the scare of nuclear proliferation. The author, Kevin J. Anderson, does a great job of capturing this fear, as well as others (e.g., communism, alien invasions, nuclear war, etc.), throughout the book. He also captures the lifestyles, mood, and golly-gee-whiz dialogue of the 1950s. Most importantly, it's obvious he knows and loves the mythic legends of Superman and Batman. Reading Anderson's words makes you feel as if you're reading a Superman or Batman comic or watching a TV series from the 50s.

    Character development and dialogue are two of Anderson's and this novel's highlights and strengths. I loved reading the dialogue and interactions between Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El and Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Lex Luthor, Ma Kent, and Batman/Bruce Wayne; as well as the interactions (and flashbacks) between Batman/Bruce Wayne and his parents, Wayne Enterprises board members, Commissioner Gordon, and Alfred the Butler with his dry sense of humor.

    The weakness of the novel (and where I got a little bored) was when the action started about 3/4 of the way into the book. The story was no longer about the characters; it became about the action where any generic superhero could have been inserted. That's when it would have helped to have a comic book in front of me, so I could visualize the battle (BAM! ZAP! KAPOW!) and quickly get through those parts. I'm not saying that the storyline or action sequences weren't good, but I would have liked to have had continued personal interaction.

    Overall, I enjoyed reading a comic book in novel form, and Anderson did a great job with it. I'd recommend ENEMIES & ALLIES to comic book fans and would hope he'd write more tales down the road, possibly using some of Batman's villains next time as well or perhaps showing the boys' first meeting with Wonder Woman.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Silver Age fans especially will enjoy the seemingly zillionth "first" team up of Superman and Batman

    In the 1950s, the Red Menace could be defined two ways: Communists or Martians. In that Cold War environs that could turn hot in a nanosecond, Clark Kent works as a reporter for the Daily Planet while patrolling the skies as his alter-ego Superman. He meets wealthy playboy Bruce Wayne when he interviews Gotham's finest for a feature article; Bruce uses a James Bond like image to hide his identity of crime fighting Caped Crusader Batman.--------------------

    Soon after meeting one another as civilians, Superman encounters Batman when both are working on the same threat from within the country. Brilliant sociopath scientist Lex Luther has collaborated with Soviet General Anatoly Ceridov to take over the world by setting up a nuclear confrontation followed by his firm selling the counter defense, which will enable him to do what Ike would one day fear, control the military-industrial complex. --------------------

    This is an over the top of Wayne Manor and the Daily Planet tale that is fun as Kevin J. Anderson cleverly brings 1950s symbols together including silver age superheroes struggling with a schizoid culture of post war optimism and cold war pessimism. The support cast is comic book thin even the icons like Alfred and Miss Lane while the two heroes travel the world to prevent Luther's scheme from succeeding. Silver Age fans especially will enjoy the seemingly zillionth "first" team up of Superman and Batman as they seem one step behind diabolically brilliant supervillain Lex.---------

    Harriet Klausner

    Warbreaker

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Enemies & Allies, an uninteresting read

    As a big fan of the superhero genre and an avid reader of Batman related fiction, I was pretty excited to read 'Enemies & Allies'. Set in the 1950s during the arms race of the Cold War, this book follows Superman and Batman in their early years and through their first meeting. Alternating between not only Superman and Batman's point of views, it also follows the notorious genius Lex Luthor and intrepid reporter Lois Lane.

    Overall, while the book is an okay read, it isn't anything to write home about. The characters remain two dimensional and uninspiring, while the plot is barely as interesting as a sci-fi b movie. Most of the plot devices employed are hackneyed and done better in other material. The book isn't subtle, it isn't fleshed out, and it doesn't provide any insight or new angles on the characters. The author is also unfamiliar with large aspect of the 1950s from daily life to clothing and technology. The setting and technological marvels were more unbelievable than the many powers of Superman have ever been.

    For a set of characters with over seventy years of history, this book doesn't offer anything new. There are thousands of stories about these characters interacting and you'd find more interesting content and stories in almost any of them.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 18, 2012

    Great read.

    I started my "love affair" with Superman and Batman as a child in the sixties. The stories and plot lines were simpler then and this story reflects that to a degree and captured the flavor and tone of the times. I liked the insight that Anderson gives into the character of the two heroes. This was a golden age story of two heroes that began and defined the DC universe. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward more of the same.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    I love this book

    I love how good the story is

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2014

    Lackluster novel

    I was hoping for a pleasant revisting of the rocky introduction of Batman and Superman. What I got was inanely one dimensional thoughts and dialog by two dimensional characters that bordered on parody.

    One of the great virtues of the novel form is its ability to create deeper, more complete and 'real' characters than a thirty odd page comic book can. Sadly none of that potential was realized in this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2014

    The Vigilante

    If you could be ANY hero AND/OR villain who would u be. Post to The Vigilante

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2014

    FIRST!!!

    Fff

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2014

    Dagger? ;) ----{------ NINGAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE NINGAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I also L-O-V-E Super-man!!!! :)

    MORE THAN 100$'S FOR SUPER-MAN!! AND MORE THAN100 *'S FOR HIM!!!!!:) ;)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2014

    Want to see a real sword?

    -----{--------------<> game on! Respond to yu!gi!oh!x and lets see what you've got!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2013

    Retro heroes

    A good book that takes place in the 50's. It is well written, moves nicely and would be most appreciated by fans who grew up on the series.
    Very entertaining.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2013

    Awesome book

    It is just like a comic

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2013

    AWESOME!!!!

    The people who did 7 11 13 14 15 are fools

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2013

    Great!

    Awesome storyline. Easy to follow. Great book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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