DC Comics’ latest one-shot depicts the return of a 90’s-era villain that brings Batman and Superman together earlier than readers originally thought.
Batman and Superman are DC Comics’ most celebrated crime-fighting tag-team. Often referred to as the “World’s Finest,” this legendary duo has been teaming up to thwart supervillains since 1941. In fact, the Dark Knight’s first encounter with the Man of Steel is considered a watershed moment and has been reimagined almost every decade since their inception. The recently released Generations Shattered #1 is a crossover spun from the pages of Dark Nights: Death Metal. It depicts a motley crew of superheroes assembling to confront a multigenerational crisis. In the midst of this emergency, the one-shot comic also finally reveals the previously unknown first team-up of Batman and Superman.
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Generations Shattered #1 begins in the distant future with Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth, running from an oncoming chronal storm which he refers to as, “The Goneness.” This chronal storm is an anomaly that erases every era in its path. Just as Kamandi is about to fade from time, a hand reaches out and pulls him to safety. The hand belongs to an elderly Booster Gold. Booster reveals that he is assembling a superhero team from across the Time Stream to stop whoever or whatever is causing these chronal storms. Sadly, Booster takes an arrow to the shoulder and succumbs before his quest can be realized. The mission’s success now depends on Kamandi and Booster’s A.I. partner.
As the chronal storm continues to erase the Time Stream, Kamandi and Skeets visit various eras of the DC Universe. Stops are made as early as 1939 and as far in the future as the 31st century. The heroes recruited are mostly second-stringers with power levels ranging from Purple-Gloves Batman to Green Lantern Sinestro, and everything in-between. The completed team is brought together for the first time at Vanishing Point. They discover that the Lord of Chaos, Dominus, is behind the chronal storms destroying the Time Stream. When confronted, Dominus uses his god-like powers to scatter the short-lived superhero team to the remaining eras of the Time Stream. But before they’re separated, Batman and Superman make comic book history.
Generations Shattered #1 was written by Dan Jurgens, Andy Schmidt, and Robert Venditti. Illustrations were provided by various artists including Ivan Reis, Fernando Pasarin, Aaron Lopresti, Emanuela Lupacchino, Bernard Chang, Yanick Paquette, Kevin Nowlan, Dan Jurgens, Paul Pelletier, John Romita, Jr., Doug Braithwaite, Rags Morales, Mike Perkins, Joe Prado, Scott Hanna, Oclair Albert, Matt Ryan, Wade Von Grawbadger, Klaus Janson, Sandra Hope, Danny Miki, and Hi-Fi. Generations Shattered was originally announced as a limited comic book series set to begin on May 2, 2020. In the wake of Dan Didio’s firing and the COVID-19 pandemic, the series was delayed and subsequently condensed to a two-issue arc. Generations Forged #1 will conclude the story next month.
DC Comics’ Batman and Superman first appeared together in All-Star Comics #7 in 1941. The Caped Crusader and the Man of Tomorrow helped the Justice Society of America raise money for orphans. Eleven years later, Superman #76 would see “The Mightiest Team on Earth” join forces in what has long been considered their first true team-up story. With that history established, Generations Shattered #1 depicts the Golden Age Batman from 1939 working alongside the Silver Age Superboy who first appeared in 1945. Thus, this pairing predates the aforementioned stories. DC has finally revealed a never-before-told first team-up of the World’s Finest superheroes.
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