There’s something in the air in Gotham, as Batman and Catwoman spend the night together to kick off a two-part interlude. Over in Metropolis  Hamilton County, Superman kicks off a great adventure as he joins a group of cosmic heroes trying to take down a new threat.

superman-santa

Superman 14
Written by Patrick Gleason and Peter Tomasi 
Art by Ivan Reis

superman-14One of the best parts about Superman in the Silver Age and even into the post-Crisis era were the wild, cosmic adventures he would go on. Kal-El of Krypton, an alien, should be just as comfortable fighting these space-faring threats as he would be on his never-ending battle for Truth, Justice and the American Way. Somewhere along the way, that got lost, and this new story seems to shift towards putting some cosmic fun back to the character.

The new storyline, Multiplicity, kicks off with Superman running into the Superman from the Red Son Elseworlds, under attack from creatures who were trying to “consume” him because he’s on “the LYST.” Also under attack here is the New Super-Man of China, Kong Kenan. The star of the book, the pre-Flashpoint Superman, is said to be “inconsequential,” which will surely come in to play as the story unfolds. The two Supermen are helped by the Justice League Incarnate, a team of heroes banded together from across the universes.

What do these creatures want with the Supermen? Well, we get a glimpse at the end of the story’s first chapter, as Captain Carrot – the leader of the Zoo Crew – is seen to be taken from his prison and drained of what makes him special and turned into a simple rabbit.

The story has been advertised as a sequel to Grant Morrison’s Multiversity story. The question, obviously, is whether Gleason and Tomasi can match the weirdness that Morrison has mastered. The bit with Captain Carrot is a good start, though. Also great is the issue’s variant cover by Andrew Robinson (seen here), harkening back to the cover of Crisis on Infinite Earths where Superman carried Supergirl. It’s a popular cover to ape, but it’s done well here.

Batman 14
Written by Tom KIng
Art by Mitch Gerads and Stephanie Hans

batman-14With the mission to Santa Prisca completed, and Bane taken care of – as far as Batman knows -it’s time for Batman to meet his end of a bargain: bring Catwoman to Blackgate Prison, where she’ll serve a life in prison, without parole. Because of Batman, Catwoman won’t be put to death for the 200-plus murders she believes to have caused. But before Batman takes her to prison, she wants the night with him, doing the things that they do.

She helps Batman take down a series of D-list villains while he’s on board with her stealing a cat statue from her own apartment – which promptly explodes. Because she’s a supervillain, of course. The theft leads to an intimate moment between Batman and Catwoman, but the Batman’s work is never done. We’ll get more between the two in the next issue, of course.

It’s a good interlude for writer Tom King’s overall arc, with Bruce and Selina talking about the way they do things and what they want out of life, although the “Bat” and “Cat” nicknames they use for each other comes off a little annoying. But it’s a minor issue, really. I enjoy these smaller-scale issues, and I’m ok with it being spread over two issues, as we have a series of 5- and 6-issue arcs telling the main tale. I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes next.

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