Title: Superman/Top Cat Special (2018) #1
Words: Dan Didio
Art: Shane Davis
Published: October 31, 2018
Publisher’s Summary: It’s Superman versus super food with Top Cat caught in the middle. While searching for his missing friend Bennie, TC uncovers a dietary danger that threatens the healthier portions of mankind, and it’s up to the Man of Steel to stop the probiotic menace of Kalien! In the salad bar, no one can hear you scream. Plus, part four of a Secret Squirrel backup story written by J.M. DeMatteis.
In what might be the most rewarding comic book I’ve ever reviewed, Superman hangs out with a Hannah Barbera character and fights against kale, the worst vegetable to ever exist.
Except it’s not really about that. Part of DC’s latest line of crossovers, this is one of a series of one-shots that pair an iconic DC Superhero with an equally iconic cartoon character for a whimsical and sometimes hilarious issue that’s meant to be taken about as seriously as it looks. It’s Superman and Top Cat fighting a “Kalien”, revealed to be the sentient consciousness behind all Kale eaten on earth and sold as a superfood by corporations, thus dooming their race. Amazing.
Let this be a reminder to anyone that says DC is too dark and takes itself too seriously. I mean, it does, but this shows that the comics side of the universe is much more malleable and diverse than the singular vision the movies seem to be taking. These things can happen, and if they seem like they’re your cup of tea, pick one up and just admire the insanity and hilarity of it all.
From a technical level, the writing is snappy, the art is bright and colorful, and the characterization is fun and cheesy, perfect for this exact kind of title. Superman himself acts as the straight man to Top Cat’s own antics (And really, how else is he supposed to act in this scenario), which is enjoyable but never really creates that interesting a dynamic. It kind of seems like DC was unsure of what the funniest combinations would be, so they simply threw two of the leftover characters who hadn’t been paired with together for the issue. It works, but not as much as I think it could have with a more fitting/funny dynamic than the one we had.
The Bottom Line:
This crossover is funny and sharp, but the fact that it just seems like two unfitting characters mushed together makes it not as funny as it perhaps could have been. Regardless, it’s a Hanna-Barbera Crossover so it’s not going to be judged too harshly, and is a fine entry into this series of one shot issues.