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Elseworlds.net Reviews

Superman/Batman Generations: An Imaginary Tale.
Art/Story: John Byrne
Review By: Matt
Art: 5/5 -
Story: 4/5 -
Overall: 9/10

The Story:
This 4 part Elseworlds watches the World's Finest pair from 1939 (their first meeting) to 2919. The gist of it is that the pair meets in 1939 for the "first" time with both of the duo not having been around for very long (though Superman had-had a history as Superboy.)

The story follows the World's Finest team and their families with each issue having a story from each decade up until 1999 (where there's a huge skip to 2919). Over the course of the story each decade's politics and attitudes affect the pair in a variety of ways (from Lois Lane and her smoking to Batman's son wanting to enlist for Vietnam.) Each time a gap is taken the art style of the period is reflected, with the clean cut 40's to the harsh grim style of the 80's.

What I liked:
I've always been a big fan of Byrne's art; (his X-men run is superb) so when I heard he was doing, this I was quite excited. And I wasn't very disappointed. The art is gorgeous and the style changes work very well with Byrne's art and as Byrne usually does the clothes, furnishings etc reflect the time period. One of my favorite things is that Byrne uses the Silver age Superman origin; which one wouldn't expect from Byrne (can you say Man of Steel mini?). The use of the world's finest supporting cast is also very refreshing with obvious avenues not always being taken. The story is very compelling and you find yourself actually caring about the Super/Bat families. The tale doesn't over use its Elseworlds status and deaths aren't
gratuitous. Overall a very enjoyable piece.

What I didn't like:
When reading this, one almost forgets that Supes and Bats live in the DC Universe. Other DC heroes make fleeting appearances and really don't affect the story that much. Villains as well aren't that varied with mainstays like Twoface, Toyman etc not even appearing (and no NEW GODS). Also there's a lack of events. Though events didn't really appear until the 80's they would have a great affect on the duo but there's none to be seen. The main thing I didn't like is the ending. The 2919 chapter harks back to 1929 and the "real" first meeting of the two that I enjoyed but there's, a bit which is obviously an editorial, change right at the end that ruins a perfectly good open ending.

Overall though I did enjoy this. And with a sequel on the horizon maybe Byrne can correct any mistakes he made. It is worth getting but there are better Elseworlds (JLA: the Nail, JSA: The Liberty Files.) If you haven't got it and want to, buy the collected edition, as there's not much use in buying all 4 issues.

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