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Enemies and Allies: 11/02/09

Enemies and Allies is a new Batman, Superman novel by Kevin J. Anderson. I was sent a copy to review it's a book I would have read just as eagerly on my own. I grew up on Batman and Superman and not just the TV reruns and the comics but old radio plays and Fleischer shorts. So coming to book in full fangirl mode, it's hard to write an even handed review.

Enemies and Allies has the feel of the 1990s animated versions of Batman and Superman and some nods to The Batman Superman movie (1998) but firmly planted in the 1950s on an alternate history timeline

The book delves into what it means to be a superhero and the careful tightrope walk between personas. It also explores Clark's alienness more than most of the other Superman stories I've seen, read or listened to. To bring these two themes together Anderson chooses to have Clark call himself Kal-El when he's in his Superman costume. Thus he has three separate personas that he struggles throughout to reconcile being Clark, Kal-El and Superman

Fans of both series will nod along as key characters and scenes play out. We have Bruce Wayne throwing cocktail fundraisers where most of the guests are the villains Batman fights. Interestingly though, they don't reappear as their super villain personas. They only super villain actually acting as an antagonist in the book is Lex Luthor. There's of course Jimmy Olson and Lois Lane and their boss Perry White

Set against the usual world domination schemes of Lex Luthor are some key events from the 1950s: UFO sightings, the HUAC trials, the start of the Cold War and so forth

Enemies and Allies was a fun read for me. I read it slowly, taking about a week to complete it. I stopped to laugh at certain bits of dry humor (much of Lois Lane's internal monologue) and to re-read favorite scenes. I want to go back and read Last Son of Kryton

I received this book for review but I would have bought and reviewed a copy of it anyway.

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