I've never read the Superman/Batman title, so I can't comment in that regard. However, operating on a concept where the stories "aren't nessecarily in continuity" is a good thing, in my book, and I wish more titles worked that way.
That was the original concept of Legends of the Dark Knight, and it made sense if only because all of those stories couldn't possibly have happened during "Year One" or "Year Two." And that was the unspoken concept of Bob Haney's The Brave and the Bold, which never hesitated to throw continuity out the window (or logic, internal consistency, common sense or anything else) in the name of providing an entertaining tale (like Batman and Sgt. Rock in issue #124). Is it in continuity? Is it not? You figure it out!
I think some of the fun reading comics has been lost with everything having to fit an official continuity or any given story considered not worth reading if it doesn't.
The earliest arcs of S/B were very much in continuity, with the latest Supergirl arriving, and Lex Luthor losing his presidency. Loeb took it off in mad directions from there, culminating in Superman and Batman spending their whole lives as murderous dictators of an alternative world, that they then stepped from into the DCU again! That has to be out of continuity.
The next big storyline was called 'Enemies amongst us' by Mark Verheiden which appeared around One Year Later, and it is a pleasing enough stand alone story, that may very well be out of continuity. It has big events that aren't really mentioned in other books as far as I know. It would work fairly well as a full-blown crowd-pleasing S/B film. The fun thing about it is that it has elements of then-current continuity that anchors it, but it isn't dependent on them.
The big name recognition factor on the covers would make these stories much more attractive to the non-fan casual buyer, so not being in continuity makes them an easier sell and may be a conscious choice by the editors.
Although I love the idea of a Superman/Batman comicbook, I kind of lost touch with the series at that point. Hopefully the later books will be worth my while when I get them from the library.
I always thought of Superman/Batman as being out of continuity, because there were so many little incorrect details that said to me, "the writers of these comic books have not read many Superman or Batman comics, or they are ignoring them." Like the Superman/Batman world was just slightly out of sync with the DCU, like when you see someone you think you know, but when you get up close you see that the nose is wrong and it's a stranger. Also, Superman/Batman has never acknowledged any of the big events that have occurred during its publishing history, like Infinite Crisis or Blackest Night -- so, for example, Bruce Wayne would be "dead" for months in every DC book, *except* Superman/Batman, where his presence was unremarkable. so it seemed to be happening in some parallel universe.
However, it's also true that some big-ticket elements have made their way to "real" continuity from Superman/Batman, including Supergirl (as noted above) and the new Toyman (a genius Japanese kid who built a giant, robot Composite Superman). So you can't simply dismiss everything that happens.
So I read Superman/Batman as if it occurs in its own little world, and that seems to work fine. I'm guessing that's on purpose, for the reasons others cited above. And then when the new Toyman or something shows up in the "regular" books, I just shrug and think "OK, THAT one counts."
To be fair, Cap, something like Bruce being around over the last few years of S/B comics may just mean that the story took place before/after his greatly exagerrated demise.
Fans wanting/expecting all the comics released in one month to take place synchronously leads to some dodgy comics. Countdown and its tie-ins being exhibit A.
Lately, S/B has been either in-continuity, or good. Rarely have the two happened simultaneously.
I'm down to 2 subscribers for the title. The best-selling issue of the past couple of years (for me) was the Annual featuring Batman Beyond. And it was $4.99!
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I hadn't read it for years, but picked up the two recent issues written by Chris Roberson, and really liked them. (Numbers 79 & 80, I think -- the DC One Million two-parter.)
I'm a lot more likely to read it if it's not tied into another currently-running story (regardless of whether it's in continuity or not). I don't want to be suckered into an ongoing commitment to buy another book (or line of titles), so short, finite stories are the only ones I'll be on board for. And even then, only after reading good reviews.
I read it during the Loeb run. I liked the Supergirl arc yet after that, it went strange and different. (Jonah Hex shooting Superman with green K bullets was a nifty idea though)
I think there should always be a Superman/Batman book. But they should open it up for the whole Family though. Wasn't there a Robin/Superboy issue? Or a Batgirl/Supergirl team-up coming up in it?