BOOK REVIEW

Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman comics stories even better than the movie

Six graphic novels that prove the old cliché about the superiority of books over cinema

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 April, 2016, 1:03pm
UPDATED : Monday, 11 April, 2016, 1:19pm

Whether you come away from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice thrilled or bored, there are always more (and often better) stories about DC’s icons up for grabs. Here are six excellent comic stories featuring some combination of Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman that are worth seeking out.

1. American Alien by Max Landis.

Delving into Clark Kent’s pre-Superman years, American Alien is one of the finest Superman stories in years – perhaps decades. The series perfectly captures the essence of Clark as he tries to figure out his place in the world.

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2. Wonder Woman: Hiketeia by Greg Rucka and J.G. Jones.

Wonder Woman saves a woman from a sex slave ring. But when the woman murders her captors, Batman tries to bring her to justice.

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3. The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller.

This seminal work pits an aged Batman against an ageless Superman. Large chunks of the movie are taken from this series, but a lot of the context is lost. Some of the storytelling and the themes haven’t aged well, but the book lays out the conflict much better than the film does.

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4. Luthor by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo.

Until the American Alien series, Luthor was the best examination of the motives behind Superman’s arch-enemy. Much like in the movie, Luthor manipulates Bruce Wayne/Batman, who has his own questions about the newly arrived Man of Steel, but here, Luthor crosses the line from mad genius to true evil.

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5. The Man of Steel by John Byrne.

This limited series from 1986 retold Superman’s origins for (then) modern audiences, jettisoning a lot of the Silver Age silliness of the previous decades. The book details a brilliant first meeting between Superman and Batman.

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6. Trinity by Matt Wagner.

Ranked as one of the 25 best Batman graphic novels by IGN, Trinity is a little lighter than the other four. It tells a story of the three heroes’ early meeting as they face off against Batman foe Ra’s al Ghul, Superman clone-gone-wrong Bizarro and Amazon rival Artemis.

Tribune News Service