Collects Batman/Superman issues 5-9, Batman/Superman Annual 1, and Worlds’ Finest issues 20-21.

Writers: Greg Pak, Paul Levitz
Artists: Brett Booth, Jae Lee, Kenneth Rocafort, Philip Tan, Scott McDaniel, RB Silva, Norm Rapmund, Joe Weems

This collection has three stories. The first one is about virtual reality game. Toymaker has made a new VR game with three game testers, one of them Jimmy Olsen. The testers gleefully try to kill Batman and get Batman and Superman to fight each other. Except that it’s not a game, at least not the way the game testers think it is.

I’m not a fan of VR games come to life –stories but this one was pretty decent. Except that it changed our heroes pretty significantly. Batman is now dead and only walking around because nanobots reanimated his body – and his mind! But I’m pretty sure the editors will just ignore this very interesting change…

The main bad guy uses the rage and hate of gamers to whip them into frenzy against their heroes. This seemed a bit excessive to me, but there was an outside influence that explained some of it and the ending was pretty rosy.

The art is by Brett Booth and it’s sideways. Pretty neat idea and easily distinguished this story from the rest.

Next up is the annual where Mongul’s son Jochi comes to Earth to challenge Batman and Superman and their clans for all life on Earth. He lives in a savage Warworld so obviously he was to fight the heroes. Batman chooses Red Hood to go with him to Warworld. Batgirl almost forces her way in. Superman chooses Supergirl and Steel. Krypto (the dog) also follows them.

Jochi has been challenged for the leadership of the Warworld. As soon as our heroes hear that the other would-be leaders would like to just incinerate Earth, Batman and Red Hood go to the arena and help Jochi. Jochi then becomes a part of the Batman clan. Superman, Krypto, and Supergirl make up another team while Steel and Batgirl have a more secret mission.

Even though the story was sounds like it was focused on arena fights, it actually has a decent storyline. This was very uneven art wise with three different artists whose styles didn’t work together well.

The last story is actually from World’s Finest. Even though that series stars Huntress, Helena Wayne from Earth-2, and Power Girl, Karen Starr also from Earth-2, Bruce and Clark are the main characters in this story, too.

Karen’s powers are going haywire and Helena contacts Batman for help. Batman doesn’t want Superman anywhere near Karen, because his powers could also start acting up. But Clark turns up anyway and insists on helping Karen. It turns out that Kaizen Gamorra could be behind it and so Bruce and Helena go undercover to New Gamorra. Of course, Kaizen has plots within plots. He has targeted Power Girl especially and used Kryptonian DNA to power his own super soldiers.

This story also had three different artists, whose styles are very different. Jae Lee’s first and third issues were especially jarring compared to the very conventional art of Scott McDaniel and RB Silva on the second and final issues.

Bruce still doesn’t trust Clark. His thoughts belittle Clark’s intellect and he thinks that Clark constantly rushes headlong to trouble. When Karen’s powers act up Bruce is very worried that he can’t stop Clark if Clark’s powers start misfiring, too. Clark is also somewhat cautious of Bruce. They’re definitely not the best friends from previous incarnations. In fact, they have chillier relationship than the one in the Trinity series. But they do sometimes think that they must rely on each other.

This was an ok collection and I enjoyed all three stories. In fact, I ended up buying the first World’s Finest collection. Hopefully, it’ll be decent.