Manchester Black Is Wrong

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Superman (Volume 4) #24
Written by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Art by Gleason and Doug Mahnke

Once more we see the old DC Continuity leaking in as this is not Superman and Manchester Black’s first meeting…thank God we have the real DCU back. I can’t say I was blown away by this issue…I don’t particularly care about Jon Kent yet except to say that I like that Superman cares about him and it focuses on Manchester Black turning Jon Kent against his father through mind control or something. Mahnke’s pencils seemed rush at the end here. I do like that Machester Black represents how some foolish people see the character of Superman as old fashioned. We will see where this does.

 

Superman 20-23

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Superman (Volume 4) #20
Written by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Art by Gleason

This issue features Superman and Lois back in Hamilton recovering after the revelations of the last arc. Apparently Lois has now officially Lois Lane Kent which is cool. Strangely, Batman and Robin show up to say that something is weird about their son Jon and it has to do with the dairy farmer next door. I have no idea where this is going.

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Superman (Volume 4) #21
Written by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Art by Gleason

Superman, Jon Kent (Not ready to call him Superboy yet – that is Connor Kent to me) and Robin search for the missing Batman in Hamilton and fight a monster. Most of the fight was forgettable except the end where we reveal Kathy Cobb has powers. I suspected she was innocent in all this but I was wrong.

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Disappearing Act

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Superman (Volume 4) #18
Written by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Art by Gleason

This was probably the most powerful issue of a Superman comic I have read in a long time. I was literally screaming at the pages! The creepy Clark Kent arrives with a photo book of Superman – the Superman I grew up with’s – life. He leaves it at the house and it spread an eraser fire literally deleting the house and then sadly Jon Kent from reality – although I know he isn’t gone for good it was generally sad to see the kid dissappear as he cried for his parents. Looks like a job for Superman! And I can’t wait to see what this has to do with Rebirth with Mr. Oz making an appearance and we even get to see Tim Drake!

Superman Rebirth 1 – 17

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Superman (Volume 4) #1
Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Patrick Gleason

Ok in this issue – the first of Post-Rebirth Superman comic – we are introduced to Clark and Lois and their son Jon’s new farm where Jon accidentally kills his cat when he is trying to save it. I am sorry but that is the kind of dark shit I thought was not going to happen in Rebirth. I mean we had a cat killed in the Batman series already why do I need to be reading two series in a row where cats die. Come on DC! Anyways, this was a good start I guess but I can’t say much happens other than Jon being upset they have to hide who they are and Wonder Woman and Batman showing up to talk to Superman. Also, something weird is going on with Superman’s hands and it relates to Rebirth.

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Superman (Volume 4) #2
Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Patrick Gleason

Ya right she would not be proud the kid accidentally killed the cat, she would be pissed and upset but only pretending to be okay cause she knew it was an accident. This is a pet’s death. People get more upset about it than Tomasi is writing here. Ugh. I like how Tomasi writes Jon over in Super Sons but I find him a bit annoying so far in this series. Also, why do they expect him to be able to fly at all one day? He is half-human. Are they thinking of Connor Kent and that is why? Because Connor was human and krpytonian but he was a clone maybe it is different.

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Superboy 6-11

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Superboy (Volume 4) #6
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Marco Rudy

This issue opens with a quiet moment between Superboy and Red Robin that was really touching and showed their great friendship. I loved the mention of Superboy’s old costume and time in Hawaii. Love the continuity and that time period in DC history. Meanwhile, Simon Valentine begins working in Ray Palmer’s lab. The rest of this issue is part of the “Reign of Doomsday” crossover and it is okay although fights with Doomsday are never that exciting. The art is good but maybe doesn’t fit the tone of this book. It is a little dark for Superboy.

superboy_vol_5_7Superboy (Volume 4) #7
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Marco Rudy

In this issue, Superboy discovers an alien ship with a black mercy plant on it causing him to hallucinate that he has destroyed the planet and his Luthor side has taken over. It was an okay issue but hasn’t the Connor fears his Luther side been done to death. I never though it was that great back when Geoff Johns was writing it let alone now. I will see how this goes. It wasn’t bad writing or art, just had a been there done that feel.

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Superboy (Volume 4) #8
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Pier Gallo

Now this was a fantastic issue. It almost reminded me a little bit of PAD’s Supergirl only replacing Leesburg with Smallville. We learn about the dark occult past of the town and how it all connects to this well. Phantom Stranger shows up! It was a lot of fun and I am looking forward to where this is going. Gallo works so much better for this title than Marco Rudy.

 

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Superboy (Volume 4) #9
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Pier Gallo

I wonder if this Hollowville was inspried by Grant Morrison’s work with Klarion the Witchboy? Sure seems like it. As it turns out – Psionic Lad’s mission is not to kill Superboy but only to kill Simon Valentine. It turns out the real Phantom Stranger is under attack and the one with Superboy is an imposter and the evil plan is to move all the souls of Smallville into Superboy clones. What?! This was a crazy issue. I can’t wait to see what happens next. Gallo is a great artist. He almost reminds me of Jerry Ordway.

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Superboy (Volume 4) #10
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Pier Gallo, Pete Woods, and Paulo Siqueira

Most of this issue focused on the history of this evil sorcerer Tannarak. Who knew this story arc would tie into Atalantis and the Viking Prince?! Jeff Lemire makes great use of the DC Universe, even its obscure parts. This continuity nut loves it!

 

 

 

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Superboy (Volume 4) #11
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Pier Gallo

This is the final issue of this book before the New 52. It shows how incompetent DC’s management was at the time they would launch a book 11 months before rebooting the entire universe and ruining DC for five years. But anyways, this was a great finales to the series. All of the characters get their moment to save the day including Lori, Simon, Psion, Krypto, and Superboy. Jeff Lemire is a fantastic writer that needs to stay around DC. I wonder if he writes any of the Rebirth books? I love how he has a panel where a teacher is teaching about the JSA during World War 2. This was an ending to a series that should have kept going. Damn you Didio.

Action Comics 900-904

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Action Comics #900
Written by Paul Cornell, David Lindeloff, Paul Dini, Geoff Johns, David S. Goyer, Richard Donner, Derek  Hoffman
Art by Pete Woods, Jesus Marino, Ryan Sook, RB Silva, Gary Frank, Miguel Sepulveda, Matt Camp, and Brian Stelfreeze

This is the 900th issues of Action Comics and we get a special 96-page issue to celebrate. Some great things here. I loved that they actually mention Superboy’s tactile telekenisis power which has been ignored since the days of Young Justice it seems sometimes. Anyways, Lex Luthor is now a God and shows Superman some of the most emotional moments in the Man of Steel’s history, and then Lex finds out that Clark Kent is Superman finally! I love that Cornell has Superman confirming that the Kents made him who he is today. That is something that has been lost since Johns took over the Superman franchise and overemphasized Superman’s kryptonian heritage. The issue also shows how fundamentally wrong Lex is about Superman’s nature believing that he isn’t capable of human emotion which is the exact opposite because in many ways Superman is more “human” than Lex is. With all this look back at the death of Superman, would it have killed them to have the Matrix Supergirl/Linda Danvers involved instead of or in additon to Kara? That angers me but whatever. Anyways, Lex Luthor projects universal happiness well literally universally and we see even Death of the endless feel it. That was a genius moment from Cornell. Lex then learns that he can keep his new Godlike power and never kill Superman or do anything negative or he must give it up. Lex being the villain that he is chooses the second option and loses his memory of Clark Kent being Superman and the ending leads to what I don’t think looks that great called Reign of the Doomsdays. The rest of the book are smaller stories celebrating the 900th issue. Paul Dini, Geoff Johns, and David Goyer’s stories stood out. I loved Brian Stelfreeze’s final page art too.

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Action Comics #901
Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Kenneth Rocafort and Jesus Merino

This continues the Reign of the Doomdays arc which is stupid but Cornell shows he is a good writer even when given a stupid story. The Doomslayer is a clever creation too.  I wish there was just Jesus Merino on this issue though. It looks like The Eradicator may be dead.

 

 

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Action Comics #902
Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Kenneth Rocafort and Alex Gimenez

Wow! I was pleasantly surprised by this issue. Superman, Supergirl, Superboy, and Steel all work together and act like a real heroes. This is something that should happen on a regular basis and DC Comics but Paul Cornell really knocked it out of the park and had Superman not even want to have Doomsday die. I love that these are real heroes and I’m glad that they’re written that way.

 

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Action Comics #903
Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Alex Gimenez

This was a great issue with plenty of guest stars including the Justice League and the Teen Titans plus more I really enjoyed it and I was surprised by that. Paul Cornell is a good writer he knows how to create good suspense.

 

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Action Comics #904
Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Alex Gimenez and Ronan Cliquet

I’m very glad that DC is returning this book to its original numbering. This is the final issue before it relaunched under the new 52 Banner. It was a fantastic finale that it really showed Paul Cornell understands the character . I literally cheered out loud when Lois said Jonathan and Martha made Superman not Krypton. That was fantastic and it is the truth.

Superman 710-714

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Superman #710
Written by Chris Roberson and J. Michael Straczynski
Art by Eddy Barrows and Travel Foreman

There is something about the coloring in this issue that seemed a bit off to me, like everyone was super tan. All I can say about this issue is oh come on! How many first meetings between Bruce and Clark can there be. DC shouldn’t let every writer write a new beginning for their relationship. To make it worse they even say that Bruce Wayne’s family car broke down in Smallville when he was a kid. First of all that is so dumb and second of all why in the fuck would the Wayne family be traveling cross country in a car as if they were dirt poor. And why would Batman refer to Superman’s Dad as “Pa Kent”. It wasn’t his Pa and that is so not Batman-like, that is the author speaking, and out of his ass. In fact everything Batman says here is out of character. Horrible issue.

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Superman #711
Written by Chris Roberson and J. Michael Straczynski
Art by Eddy Barrows and Travel Foreman

Superman is drawn to Las Vegas by Jimmy Olsen and finds Livewire attacking him. Eddy Barrows draws Jimm Olsen as a pre-teen in this comic. That being said Roberson really does a good job of mining DC’s continuity by having Iron Munro appear and he even has the electric blue superman suit show up! After last issue’s awfulness this was a return to form and the comic even made a great point about the American dream. And it wasn’t heavy handed. Good issue.

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Superman #712
Written by Kurt Busiek
Art by Rick Leonardi

We take from the regular arc for this what would be filler but was actually a quite beautiful story about Krpto watching Infinite Crisis happen and witnessing the death of Superboy during that event. Any animal lover has got to love this issue. I wonder why DC took so long to publish this story.

 

 

Superman_Vol_1_713_TextlessSuperman #713
Written by Chris Roberson and J. Michael Straczynski
Art by Eddy Barrows, Diogenes Neves, Oclaire Albert, JP Mayer, Jamal Igle, and Jon Sibal

Dear God why are THERE SO MANY ARTISTS IN THIS ISSUE. I was expecting to hate this issue especially when Superman randomly and without warning tells Superboy and Supergirl he no longer wants to be Superman but his talking to people on the street about what their opinion of Superman was actually heartwarming and not in a fake heavy handed way. And the art was actually pretty consistent for having so many different pencillers.

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Superman #714
Written by Chris Roberson and J. Michael Straczynski
Art by Jamal Igle

This was a beautiful ending to what started off as a terrible arc as Superman embraces his role and we flash forward to the future where the “Superman Squad” reflects back on this. As it turns out the shard got plummeted back in time and the essence of Superman is transferred to other heroes including Super-Chief and I believe the first superhero from Final Crisis. That is brilliant! This was a wonderful finale to the first volume of Superman. I look forward to seeing the real Superman – this Superman – returning after DC Rebirth.