Public Enemies

Author: Jeph Leob
Artists: Ed McGuinness and Dexter Vines
Titan Books
RRP: £8.99
1 84023 915 8
Available 26 August 2005

Warned by his future self that he will instigate a coming global Armageddon, Superman is on the run after Lex Luthor, the new President of the USA and Superman's old nemesis, blames the Man of Steel for luring a chunk of the planet Krypton on a collision course with Earth. With a billion dollar reward on his head, and death looming from above, Superman turns to the one man he can trust to avert catastrophe - Batman...

Public Enemies sees Batman and Superman team up to do battle in order to save the Earth, once again, from destruction. This time it is Superman's home planet Krypton that is causing the problem. A chunk of it is heading straight for Earth and Lex Luthor uses this to his advantage by blaming Superman for this impending catastrophe.

With numerous superheroes after the Man of Steel, he and Batman must fight to stay free, and save Earth. Although, what should they do? A future Superman has already travelled back in time to try and prevent them from making matters worse, so it looks like what ever they do will only mean the end of life on this planet.

The opening to this collection is interesting showing the origins of both Superman and Batman - one born a hero when he was lovingly saved from his crashed space space pod by the Kent's, and the other becoming a vigilante after his parents were destroyed by a mysterious gunman. I loved the way that the panels for both of their origins mirrored each other, yet showed very different circumstances. This is by no means original, and has been used in many graphic novels, but it does work extremely effectively here.

Add to this the fact that Titan have done a fantastic job on the presentation - nice cover with an interesting red finish that looks almost metallic, followed by high grade paper for the pages - and you know you are on to a winner.

If only more graphic novels were given this treatment.

Darren Rea

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