It's a pretty good week for comics. We, of course, start off with...
SUPERMAN #700: Superman's coming off somewhat of a losing streak, as the end of New Krypton and the War of the Supermen mini enraged a fair number of fans. First and foremost, James Robinson puts THAT miserable chapter of the Superman mythos to bed once and for all. May we never speak of New Krypton and its crappy ending ever again. We then get a nice Dan Jurgens piece that looks at Superman from the eyes of Dick Grayson in his Robin days, which is a good continuity nod for those that remember that it was Superman who inspired him to take the Nightwing identity. Finally, we get the highly anticipated start of the J. Michael Stracyzinski era. JMS' big plan for Superman? Have him...take a walk...across the country. Um...o...k? So he's Forrest Gump now? This is all supposedly an effort for Superman to "reconnect" with his homeland and it gets off to a bit of a slow start here. All in all, as an anniversary issue, it felt ok, but nothing completely blow-away special. Thumbs down.
BATMAN: THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE #3: This month, it's Pirate Batman! But you know, for the potential that a Pirate Batman vs. Blackbeard battle had, this issue felt like it just meandered on and on. We don't get much more plot progression with the Justice League in the present, as the idea there is still "Bruce is coming and we need to stop him because Darkseid turned him into a bomb" or some such nonsense. I still find it REALLY hard to swallow that Darkseid had THIS much confidence in a mortal like Batman that he planned this far ahead, but there's not much point in quibbling about that plot point now. As far as this issue standing on its own merits, it's another one that just felt like it was there. HOWEVER, the ending teasing next month's confrontation between Jonah Hex and Cowboy Batman has me intrigued. Thumbs down.
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #635: The Kravinoffs have now moved along to hunting Arana, but Spider-Man and Arachne save her hide. Now if you read last week's issue, you'll remember that Ezekial made his improbably comeback. Turns out it's a little TOO improbable, because it's the Chameleon in disguise and he leads Spidey into a trap set up by the Kravinoffs and Mysterio. Sasha Kravinoff blows Spidey away with the same rifle Kraven committed suicide with. That's followed by a whole lot of stabbing and impaling. Issue ends with Kraven rising from the grave. Wait, so...Spidey's looking awfully DEAD there. Oh, I REALLY hope we're not revisiting JMS territory here. The issue was action-packed, if nothing else. Thumbs in the middle.
AVENGERS #2: So we get our last Avenger to join the team. It's Noh-Varr, now calling himself The Protector. After the former Marvel Boy is recruited, we get a nice look into five future realities, including the AGE OF APOCALYPSE~!, until they see the Next Avengers reality. Before the image fades, they that reality's Old Hulk. The Avengers get ready to move, but they're suddenly attacked by Wonder Man...for some reason. Why is Wonder Man suddenly evil? We get no answers on this front. After Wonder Man's attack, the Avengers leap into the time stream, but it looks like they took a wrong turn at Albuquerque, because the issue ends with them suddenly facing Apocalypse. Are there tie-ins I need to read here or something? I'm VERY lost on the Wonder Man angle, but I guess they'll explain that later. Issue was decent enough. Thumbs in the middle, leaning up.
GREEN LANTERN CORPS #49: We've sadly reached the end of the Peter Tomasi era. This issue begins Tony Bedard's run and the difference is fairly noticeable. We get less character moments and more action, as John Stewart finds himself in the middle of an Alpha Lantern insurrection, as they're trying to turn all of the GL's into robotic Alpha Lanterns. Kyle, Natu, and Ganthet find John, but hold off on calling more backup, lest they give the Alpha Lanterns more targets. The Alpha Lanterns become wise to their presence and seek them out, looking to bring Ganthet in alive for their master. Issue ends with said master's revelation: The Cyborg Superman. The reveal's enough to keep me coming back, but I already miss Peter Tomasi. Thumbs in the middle, leaning up.
JUSTICE LEAGUE GENERATION LOST #4: This issue takes the series in a VERY interesting twist, as Max Lord tries to mind control some scientists. The problem? His powers have gone completely haywire and instead of mind-controlling them, he can only turn them into dead Black Lanterns. Huh??? Meanwhile, the former JLI find themselves in the middle of a battle between a rogue Rocket Red and his fellow Rocket Reds. They decide to leave them to fight until it turns out they're endangering civilians. Tony Stark would be ashamed. The JLI take them away from the civilian area and fight off the regulation Rocket Reds. The rebel Rocket Red is grateful for their help and wants a formal JLI reformation. Booster Gold takes that to mean that Max Lord set up the JLI reformation from the beginning. Issue ends with Max Lord communicating with the JLI, with both sides feeling fairly miffed. The twist, so far, makes ZERO sense. But I'm still a sucker for anything JLI. Thumbs up. And imagine my SHOCK when I found out Judd Winick wrote this!
Next week: The Grim Hunt carries on and the Brightest Day continues.
Perhaps it was the Noid who should have avoided me.
I liked Superman #700 mainly due to him reconnecting with Lois although that seemed a little too convenient, but it was good to see them together. The Robin story was funny and seemed to take up a good chunk of the book which is ok. I liked the JMS part due to the interactions with Batman and Flash. JMS always sets up these "Ok, where do we go from here in his first issue?" I trust JMS enough that he knows what he is doing. Considering what is going on in Amazing right now, I'll take Goblin clone kids, Totems and even the Other instead of bringing Kraven back. Its one of the best deaths in comics and probably the best Spiderman story written, no need to fuck it up, because you have a bunch of unoriginal writers on the project spewing out garbage. At least, JMS kept Gwen dead. I am so glad you review these things Its False, because then I don't have to pick-up this title and get more pissed off.
Green Arrow #1 was also very good. They set-up a number of different storylines that should be interesting going forward. The mysterious woman who took over Queen Enterprises with the tease of Canary was a nice touch. I am thinking its the lady he had Conner with, but they kinda hint it maybe a Green Lantern enemy as well. Green Arrow may end becoming the dark horse as usual in the DCU. I liked Corps, but even my wife asked if we missed an issue when she first started reading it. Cyborg Superman is great villain for them and while I enjoy the character moments like Kyle's dream, Corp needs to have a little more action to it. Wife got Zatanna #2 and it was good read. Dini is writing it, so it has some nice twists and turns. I am not sure if its his best work, but it has a nice foundation. I also picked Brightest Day #4 from last week and it was good, I do think they are stretching this out a bit then though. All in all, DC came through again.
Originally posted by It's FalseJMS' big plan for Superman? Have him...take a walk...across the country. Um...o...k? So he's Forrest Gump now?
Forrest Gump ran across America to escape because Jenny broke his heart. Superman is walking across America to reconnect with the people he was sworn to protect.
I didn't read New Krypton, War of the Supermen, or Superman #700 and I only heard about Superman's Walk Across America yesterday but my initial reaction upon hearing the idea of Superman walking across America to reconnect with ordinary people is that it's a great idea. A pretty unique one for Superman.
My first and strongest image of Superman is still Christopher Reeve. One of the things that makes Superman special to me, which is something that is hardly ever tapped into in the comics, is that Superman is approachable and genuinely likes people.
You can never approach Batman, ever, even if he saves your life. Most other superheroes wear a mask. Wonder Woman, well, she can be a little intimidating, be it her regal bearing, her general hotness, or her half-nakedness, what have you. An ordinary person striking up a conversation with Wonder Woman doesn't seem like a natural thing that could happen (it was when she was younger when George Perez revamped her in the 80's, but not now.)
I always thought Superman was different. The dialogue by Lois Lane in the first Superman movie is still one of the pillars of why I think Superman is special, the most special of superheroes: "Superman cares about everybody."
Superman's spent however long in space on New Krypton hanging with Kryptonians and being Kryptonian. This attempt to reconnect with human people makes perfect sense to me. It seems like a much better idea than what Bryan Singer had Superman do after Returning from five years in space: hang above the world in Christ savior positions, mope around the Daily Planet and stalk Lois Lane's family at her house. Hopefully, JMS executes Walk Across America much better than that.
Who knew these red boots were made for walking?
(edited by John Orquiola on 24.6.10 0900) @BackoftheHead
Didn't Superman just have a big Ol' sit down with Supergirl about how "We aren't gods and things like this will always happen no matter what they do, so focus on the major stuff or you'll go crazy" in her title* a few months ago?
*yes, I've read Supergirl since the soft-reboot a couple of years ago when she got slightly less slutty looking.
"Tattoos are the mullets of the aughts." - Mike Naimark
Originally posted by odessasteps the only thing, in theory since I've not read it yet, I don't like about the premise is that I prefer to see Superman as champion of the planet, not the United States.
Superman walking around the world > Superman walking across the US.
But what about his never ending battle for 'Truth, Justice and the AMERICAN way'?
YOU CAN'T SAY THAT! It has to be "Truth, Justice, and all that stuff." or nothing at all.
Superman #700 - I haven't read a Superman title since New Krypton started. I like my Superman as the LAST son of Krypton. I'd be just fine if they got rid of Supergirl, Superboy, and the two dozen other clones out there. I've always hated Kandor as well. So, New Krypton was the last thing I would be interested in. I got 700, because I'm a sucker for the big anniversary issues. It was a good enough read. Seems like this could be moving towards a back to basics Superman, which is what the book needs.
What a great loss. I met Mr. Berenstain many years ago at a children's library fundraiser, and he inked a drawing of Papa and younger (now Brother) Bear for my son and I, and put our names under them, with his note "Best wishes, Stan.