We just finally got around to reading Tom King’s two-part story, “Superfriends,” told across Batman (2016) issues #36 and #37… and what a delightful treat it was! We think it’s certainly one of the cutest and best Batman and Superman stories ever told; and it really endears us to Tom King’s insightful portrayal of Batman’s more human side.
Alert: Some minor spoilers ahead!
Issue #36 explores the relationship between Superman and Batman – not just in their context as collegial iconic superheroes, but also as friends between two men. Also, given that Batman’s story arc to date is his impending marriage, King depicts the blossoming friendship between Selina Kyle and Lois Lane, once they’ve been (sorta) introduced to each other by their respective, awkward, bumbling… men.
Batman and Superman are essentially quintessential men, despite their costumes and capes. They both feel awkward about getting involved in each other’s personal, emotional situations: Batman didn’t call to let Superman know that he got engaged, while Superman – knowing that Batman got engaged – doesn’t feel he should be the one calling to congratulate Batman. This, of course, drives both Lois Lane and Catwoman bananas, which they then start confronting Superman and Batman, respectively.
Which leads us to our favorite scene in isssue #36, where King insightfully reveals Batman and Superman’s reasons – mirrored and in parallel with each other:
Then, after this amazing sequence, Batman #37 tops it off with the World’s Finest double date ever: Superman and Lois Lane, along with Batman and Catwoman! It’s an absolutely charming issue where all the action is really in the little details and well-written dialogue throughout the double date.
It begins with everyone needing to switch costumes, and there are little scenes that just bring out the characters (and differences of character) of Superman, Batman, Catwoman and Lois Lane.
For one, look at how Clark Kent “stays in character” wearing his glasses over Batman’s cowl. We’re also thinking about the scene when both couples exit the Love Tunnel – it’s one panel, but clearly shows the difference between both couples! There’s also a sequence involving baseball, which humorously reveals just how much guys will be guys – even if these guys are Batman and Superman.
Overall, it was a charming, funny story that really helped ground the characters in a more realistic way, while also shedding insights into their psyche and superfriendship. We really loved it and think it stands as one of our favorite Batman and Superman stories… EVER!