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Saturday, September 12, 2015

ENEMIES AND ALLIES (audiobook) by Kevin J. Anderson

     Just About as Perfect as It Could Be

Published by GraphicAudio in 2013
Multicast Performance
Duration: about 6 hours
Adapted from the original book.

As D.C. Comics gears up for their big Batman vs. Superman release next year it is interesting to look at how these two iconic characters ever ended up meeting, working together and then become trusted allies.

I grew up in the era when Superfriends and the Justice League were Saturday morning mainstays. Unfortunately, these were horrible days for the Batman franchise. Batman was reduced to being a sidekick of Superman with his only saving grace being that he was the only sidekick with a sidekick (Robin). The first Micheal Keaton Batman movie brought a dark side to the character that had probably never been seen on screen. 

Batman has trust issues. He is secretive and he is often the only force for justice in a city that perverts the law to do the work of evil men. He must work in secrecy and hide in the shadows. This audiobook captures that side of Batman perfectly.

The spirit of Superman was captured well in the old TV show and in the Christopher Reeve movies. Those movies had plenty of issues but I have not heard of anyone that does not think the Reeve nailed the character of Superman perfectly. But, for some reason, modern movie makers have had a hard time understanding this iconic character. It's not hard. He is the ultimate Boy Scout and he is internally motivated to be that way. He is the guy that does the right thing all of the time. He is powerful because of his genetics. He is good because of his upbringing by his adopted parents. This audiobook understands Superman and captures his personality perfectly. 

But, what happens when the Gee Whiz! Aw, Shucks farm boy meets the man who wears a scary costume and  works out of the shadows? 

If you like your Superhero tales told in the classic form (I do - I am something of a comics Fundamentalist), you will thoroughly enjoy a story in which nothing new is told but it the story is still very entertaining. There are no out-of-left-field plot twists (like Alfred is really Bruce's dad! or Lex Luthor used to date Lois Lane!) - this is the same old story but told really well. Perry White yells all of the time, Lois Lane is too curious for her own good, Alfred the butler is efficient and mysterious, Gordon is the only honest cop in Gotham City and Lex Luthor has a diabolical plan that could shake up the entire world.

And it's just about as perfect as it could be.

My daughter and I listened to this audiobook as we commuted back and forth to school for a couple of weeks. When it was all done and she pulled the last CD from the CD player she said, "That was awesome! That was amazing! That was amazingly awesome!" 

The story is set in the 1950s and Lex Luthor is stealing Wayne Enterprises military technology so that he can dominate the Cold War military buildup and playboy billionaire Bruce Wayne doesn't seem to notice. Clark Kent has been sent to Nevada to look into a secret military base called Area 51. Rumors of alien visitors have made him quite curious. And, both Batman and Superman are getting curious about each other as their stories are starting to spread - Superman, the hero with a smile and a kind word. Batman, the vigilante in the dark.

If you are not familiar with GraphicAudio you should be. Their tag line is "A Movie In Your Mind" for good reason. They make each production like an old-fashioned radio show with sound effects. This production had 26 different voice actors - some with big parts, some with tiny parts. It keeps the story lively and it is much easier to picture Superman ripping open the roof of an airplane hanger when you hear the metal tearing at the same time.

I rate this audiobook 5 stars out of 5.

 This audiobook can be found on Amazon.com here: Enemies and Allies

1 comment:

  1. Ah, I'm going to see if my library has this. Sounds fun!