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Batman vs. Superman: The Greatest Battles & Star Wars: Princess Leia

Batman vs. Superman: The Greatest Battles

By Jeph Loeb, John Byrne, Joe Kelly, Jack Kelly, Geoff Johns, Scott Snyder and Frank Miller (Authors) and Jim Lee, John Byrne, Ed Benes, Grag Capullo and Klaus Janson (Illustrators) DC Comics (Publisher)

Unless you’ve been away in deep space, you know that Batman and Superman, two of DC Comic’s top heroes, will clash in theaters next March. The film, however, will not be the first time these comic-book titans have battled. Batman vs. Superman: The Greatest Battles explores their sometimes contentious relationship in a series of clips from previous comics. In this collection, you’ll enjoy the Dark Knight vs. the Man of Steel in conflicts drawn from some of the best storylines in comic book history. From the Batman: Hush storyline, we see what would happen if Poison Ivy took control of Superman and sent him after Batman. At the dawn of a rebooted DC Universe, shortly after the industry-changing Crisis on Infinite Earths, the reader gets to relive how these archetypes of the Protector and the Avenger first meet. A third tale, which has to be seen to be believed, explores whether our heroes would ever fight to the death — and includes a perfect, deadpan line by Batman: “Have to say, the kid actually had a lot of it right. How I’d beat you.” The fourth tale explores their explosive first meeting in the rebooted New 52 universe (“Your belt’s EMPTY, Batman.”). In the next, a Joker-controlled Justice League tries to assassinate Batman (“Hello, Bruce. Sorry about your little ‘Justice Buster’ suit.”). And, saving what some might say is the best for last, the final tale is part of Frank Miller’s classic tale, The Dark Knight Returns, the basis for next year’s film. Hopefully, these tales, illustrated by some of the best in the industry, will tide you over until next March. If not? Well, you can always go get the full stories from which these clips originate.

Star Wars: Princess Leia

By Mark Waid (Author) and Terry Dodson (Illustrator) Marvel Comics (Publisher)

For those complaining that Leia Organa didn’t get nearly as much screen time in Star Wars: The Force Awakens as she deserved, Star Wars: Princess Leia should make them deliriously happy. Mark Waid’s story, taking place immediately after “Star Wars: A New Hope,” picks up after the Rebellion’s satisfying victory over the Empire with the destruction of the Death Star. Leia is dissatisfied by the refusal of the Rebellion’s military commanders to send her out on missions because, as a princess, she’s “too valuable an asset to be unguarded.” Overhearing two Rebellion soldiers from Alderaan—c’mon, you didn’t think they ALL died when the Death Star blew up the planet, did you?—complaining about how she seemingly hadn’t mourned her subjects, she assigns herself a mission: “I am attending only to my sacred duty, as the last member of the House of Organa, to find, gather and protect every last surviving son and daughter of Alderaan.” The book also delves into Leia’s long-ignored past, showing details of her childhood that any young woman today will easily recognize: the drive to succeed on one’s own merits, despite the “box” society tries so hard to insist upon. “I want to be in on the action,” she tells her (adopted) father. Fans of Leia will enjoy reading as the warrior princess, accompanied by Evaan Verlaine, an Alderaanian loyalist and expert pilot (you’ll enjoy seeing just HOW expert she is) and the irrepressible droid R2-D2 set out on her mission. Terry Dodson’s crisp pencils show the personal strengths and cultural passion of Leia and Evaan as they contend with racism, elitism, cultural extremism—and, of course, a fight for their very survival.

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