Batman/Superman Vol 1 Cross World by Greg Pak and Jae Lee

8/10 Full of stark contrasts.

Bruce Wayne doesn't expect Metropolis reporter Clark Kent questioning him about the murders of three Wayne Enterprise employees. Wayne is already in a dark mood sat on a park bench, brooding about his life. In Cross World, readers see life from two heroes points of view. Clark had a full life as a young boy living on a farm with a loving family, while Bruce was raised by his loving parents only to see them get shot dead by a robber. Since then, his life has fallen apart. While Clark keeps positive after his parents death, Bruce still hides in the darkness, unable to rise from it.

They have both had their moments of despair and this is the first volume where readers see the day to day lives of both superheroes, Superman and Batman, how they operate to cut crime in both Metropolis and Gotham.Though Clark thinks Batman has come to kill him, Batman sees that Clark isn't well and uses the automatic defence system Clark told him about. When he sees it's Kryptonite, he thinks he's definitely trying to kill him. Batman can tell there are strange things happening as he is being teleported to other places and Clark has no recollection of any change at all.

The reason becomes clear when Kaiyo the Chaos Bringer takes them out, believing them to be the most dangerous men on the planet. The story gets more confusing when an alternate version of Superman and Batrman are forced to fight each other to the death and Kaiyo reveals they have been lied to, their Batman is hiding a dark, dangerous secret. There's two secrets, or should I say two super villains to come in this series, so there's no point spoiling what comes next. Let's just say they look worthy of Batman and Superman's interest. Cross World Vol: 1 pits two Superheroes together who are supposed to be friends. In fact, according to this series, they have been friends since they were young when Clark was a young farm boy and Bruce Wayne the hopeful son of a millionaire.

Jae Lee's pencil art is different from the standard look of Superman and Batman comics. There is a more decorative look to the backgrounds. The Rorschat inkblot motifs add to the strangeness of the whole volume. It seems to represent Bruce Wayne's Batman as by being there, it shows the melancholy he must feel about his parents death. While keeping the darkened hues of black and grey for Batman, in stark contrast are Superman's colours of blue and red, creating a much different palette full of positive energy. This story is set before Clark and Bruce were friends or even superhero allies, as an alternate world can make for an excellent "could have been" scenario.

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