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Smallville Season 11 Vol. 2: Detective (NOOK Comic with Zoom View)

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  • Posted August 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    During the decade that Smallville was on the air, that televisio

    During the decade that Smallville was on the air, that television program (and others to a lesser extent) was denied the use of various characters from the Batman franchise. This was largely because Christopher Nolan, the producer of the Dark Knight Trilogy, and other DC Comics' execs, didn't want the characters to appear in too many adaptations. The fear was of a saturation of Batman-related media that might take away an appetite for the future films. I think the fear was pure bunk, as Batman never ceased selling well in any adaptation, but oh well.

    Now that said films are over, the writers of the comic-book continuation to the Smallville series are now able to finally make use of the character. It isn't the same thing as having Bats on the small-screen, but it is neat. The interpretation is a mix of Christopher Nolan's and John Byrne's concept of Batman, with the modern camaraderie from the past fifteen years of stories thrown into the mix.

    In Smallville, Season 11: Vol. 2, Detective, Superman and Batman cross paths investigating shipments of weapons to the crime bosses at Intergang. Such weapons shipments have been causing horrible chaos in both Gotham City and Metropolis. At first, instead of working together, Batman and Superman trade blows due to a misunderstanding, as Bruce is desperate to find the man chiefly involved with the weapons shipment to Intergang, Joe Chill, the man who murdered his parents. Upon hearing about this, Clark agrees to help Bruce, and a partnership is born.

    This was actually a nice representation of Batman here. I listed several influences I could see in the development of the character and his relationship with Superman. I would say that the comic Batman: Year 100 also had an impact in the more utilitarian way that Batman dresses and uses gear. It's a weird desire on the part of the writers of the Smallville comic to take the most realistic treatments of Batman, and the most fantastic ones, and mix them together. Surprisingly, it really does work well.

    I'm a tad disappointed to see Barbara Gordon as Nightwing (not Batgirl), and to see Robing nixed altogether (at least so far), but the moments we see of her and her friendship with Bruce are nice, and she works in this continuity quite well.

    Clark played a serviceable role as the main character and the more idealistic foil for Bruce. He kind of took a less prominent role given the nature of the comic in introducing Batman to the Smallville universe. Or at least he was outwardly less idealistic, as Clark seems to realize that Bruce is just as idealistic as he is, but just can't show it on the outside yet. It seems Clark is hoping to draw that side out of Bruce.

    I won't say too much more, other than that it was nice to see Green Arrow and Chloe in action more, and to see Lois doing some reporter, and kick-butt stuff again. The first volume had them acting as entirely too much peripheral, and not enough supporting, cast. It's funny to see Ollie jealous of the attention Batman gets, and to be considering allowing Mia to become Speedy in response to Batman having a sidekick. On the villainous side, the weird goings-on of Lex Luthor (and Tess who, though heroic, seems to be trapped in his head) is fascinating as well.

    This comic has had a reasonably good start so far, and here's hoping they continue to do well and put out great stories.

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