Enemies and Allies
Kevin J. Anderson
Morrow, May 5 2009, $26.99
In the 1950s, the Red Menace could be defined two ways: Communists or Martians. In that Cold War environs that could turn hot in a nanosecond, Clark Kent works as a reporter for the Daily Planet while patrolling the skies as his alter-ego Superman. He meets wealthy playboy Bruce Wayne when he interviews Gotham’s finest for a feature article; Bruce uses a James Bond like image to hide his identity of crime fighting Caped Crusader Batman.
Soon after meeting one another as civilians, Superman encounters Batman when both are working on the same threat from within the country. Brilliant sociopath scientist Lex Luther has collaborated with Soviet General Anatoly Ceridov to take over the world by setting up a nuclear confrontation followed by his firm selling the counter defense, which will enable him to do what Ike would one day fear, control the military-industrial complex.
This is an over the top of Wayne Manor and the Daily Planet tale that is fun as Kevin J. Anderson cleverly brings 1950s symbols together including silver age superheroes struggling with a schizoid culture of post war optimism and cold war pessimism. The support cast is comic book thin even the icons like Alfred and Miss Lane while the two heroes travel the world to prevent Luther’s scheme from succeeding. Silver Age fans especially will enjoy the seemingly zillionth “first” team up of Superman and Batman as they seem one step behind diabolically brilliant supervillain Lex.