My favorite comic is Batman #36 (2016) – SuperFriends Part 1 because it shows how well Batman and Superman know each other through the insightful dialogue written by Tom King with art by Clay Mann and Seth Mann.
This issue features Lois Lane and Catwoman trying to convince Superman and Batman to reach out to each other, setting up the story that explores the different relationships between these characters.
While Lois urges Superman to reach out first, he claims he’s too busy to even bother.
When Catwoman points out Superman is Batman’s closest friend, he denies it and suggests it’s actually Commissioner Gordon or Alfred.
This makes for some fun dialogue:
Catwoman: “Alfred’s on your payroll. That doesn’t count.”
Batman: “Am I not supposed to pay him? Do you know how many cucumber sandwiches he makes? Every week.”
The highlight of my favorite comic is towards the end when Superman and Batman are both explaining to their significant others how they feel about the other man in tights.
Superman says about Batman:
“His parents died when he was so young. Shot. Killed right in front of him. He was raised alone. A kid in a huge mansion. With his memories of his mother and father. He had love, and they took it from him. He should be a killer. He should want to tear the world apart for what it did. And yet he took that pain. That shock of death. And he turned it into hope.”
Batman talking about Superman:
“His whole planet was destroyed. He’s the last of a holocaust. He grew up in the dirt. Finding out slowly how different he was. A stranger discovering every day how strange he was. He has the world to tear the world apart. And he could. With a pinkie. It’s not his world. We’re not his people. We should be ants to him. Imagine that. Always being on the outside. The pain that would come from always being on the outside. And yet, he took that pain and became the symbol of hope.”
They both even reflect on their own fortunate circumstances and how that compares with the other.
Batman: “I’m just a rich kid from the city. I knew my parents, I knew who I was, what I had to be. I didn’t have any choice but to be who I am. He had every choice and he became who he is. Every kid is inspired by him.”
Superman: “I had the love of parents, I had Ma and Pa. The whole way. I had a childhood full of laughing and learning. I have powers. I had to do this. All he has are his wits and his will. And he chooses to do this. Everyone wants to be him.”
But by the end of their explanations, they reach the same conclusions about each other:
Part 2 of this SuperFriends storyline takes place in Batman #37, which continues from the previous issue with a double date between our Gotham and Metropolis couples. As I reread #36 in preparation for this article, I found myself continuing on to Part 2 – it’s just that good of a story.
Let me know what you thought in the comments below. Have you read Batman #36 before? If you haven’t, are you convinced now? How do you feel about the dialogue from Batman and Superman?
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Batman #36 (2016) Credits
Tom King script
Clay Mann pencils & cover
Clay Mann & Seth Mann inks
Jordie Bellaire cover & interior color
Clayton Cowles letters