The Lost Battle of the Superman Family

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Action Comics #983
Written by Dan Jurgens
Art by Viktor Bogdanovic

It’s the Superman family (sadly still missing Connor Kent and Linda Danvers) versus the Superman Revenge Squad and wow did they get their asses handed to them by the bad guys. In the end, they are all sent to the Phantom Zone and it looks like Zod may have killed Lois and Jon, although I suspect they were not in that ship he blew up despite what Superman thinks I am sure Lois came up with a plan and saved them both. I enjoyed this issue and I look forward to seeing them all try to escape the Phantom Zone and what Zod is up to exactly.

Incomplete Superman Family

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Action Comics #982
Written by Dan Jurgens
Art by Jack Herbert and Jose Luis

This was an okay issue. The Superman Revenge Squad comes after Superman at the fortress of solitude and nearly beats him to a pulp because he is blind from the last issue. Luckily it looks like the rest of the Superman family shows up on the final page to save him. Seeing that spread of these characters – I can’t help but miss Connor Kent and especially Linda Danvers. Sad.

Superwoman vs. Skyhook

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Superwoman #11
Written by K. Perkins
Art by Jose Luis

Despite the cover, Superwoman never fights Steel in this comic. Lana tracks down Skyhook after investigating the case of Steel’s nephew, Zeke Iron’s kidnapping. I sure hope that Zeke is still alive. That would be very sad if he is not. He is just a little boy. I am not sure I agree with Lana choosing to not involve Steel or Natasha in the investigation. It seems somewhat like a betrayal and Lana needs to be a better hero as Superwoman than she has been in my opinion. That being said, she was much more likable and less filled with self-doubt than in previous issues. This was decent. The art was certainly good.

Superwoman 9 and 10

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Superwoman #9
Written by K. Perkins
Art by Stephen Segovia

Phil Jimenez is mysteriously gone from this book but Perkins steps in nicely in this issue that focuses on Lana being upset that she has lost her Superwoman powers but also naive. I can’t say I really like her character. She sure is whiney. But I have liked this series so far. I am just completely confused as to where it can go from here. Will she regain her powers or create some kind of super-suit? I don’t know. Can we just make this book be about Linda Danvers? That would be the best idea.

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Superwoman #10
Written by K. Perkins
Art by Stephen Segovia

Ok so Lana has retained her Superwoman powers because the Insect Queen suit has some of it in there stored? I don’t know it was confusing and frankly not the way I would have done this but it was a decent issue. She is just too annoyingly unconfident sometimes.

 

Superwoman 1 – 8

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Superwoman #1
Written by Phil Jimenez
Art by Jimenez

I can’t believe it took 80 years for DC to put out a Superwoman comic! I mean they have barely used the name except for some minor characters (Earth 3, Lucy Lane for a bit) but now here they are with not one but two characters called Superwoman and in the first issue, one of them disintegrates. Yes Lois Lane of New 52 is apparently dead here. I did not know much about her having never read the New 52 but I am interested to see where this series will go with Lana as the star. She seems to have her own powers and is not just a copy of Superman which makes her all the more interesting. But I wish they would bring Linda Danvers back and make her Superwoman…wouldn’t that be cool! This was a good start. Intersting before Lois dies she sees Clark and says everything makes sense now. DC Rebirth clue?

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Superwoman #2
Written by Phil Jimenez
Art by Jimenez

So Lana and Steel are now a couple? I did not know that but I think I like it. I haven’t read the Green Arrow series yet but I thought Star City did not exist yet in the New 52 right…but Superwoman says Maggie Sawyer used to work in Star City. Mistake on DC’s part or am I wrong about Star City? Anyways, this was a great issue and even better than the first! So much happens in one issue it’s incredible. This is the opposite of decompressed. Steel is worried about Lana ending up like Lois…Atomic Skull attacks the Metropolis Parade and tell Steel people are being tortured in the prison…Lena Luthor is revealed to be the big bad…Lana has a dream about the dead Lois…Lana makes friends with Maggie Sawyer. Phil Jimenez is amazing.

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Action Comics Rebirth 957 – 975

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Action Comics #957
Written by Dan Jurgens
Art by Patrick Zircher

Ok here we go this is Action Comics Rebirth…the real Superman that I grew up with returning to Action Comics in his own series again! Written by the great Dan Jurgens no less. In this issue, the Pre-Flashpoint Superman comes out of hiding after Lex Luthor tries to replace the New 52 Superman as Metropolis’s protector after the New 52 Superman’s death. And if that itself isn’t mystery enough…someone who looks just like Clark Kent is now working at the Daily Plaent! This was a good start. I do wish Jurgens was the artist though. And I don’t really care about seeing Doomsday again.

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Action Comics #958
Written by Dan Jurgens
Art by Patrick Zircher

This issue has Doomsday brawling with Superman most of the issue while Lex Luthor helped. It was not exciting…and Doomsday is almost never exciting. But the mystery of Mr. Oz and the strange Clark Kent are enough to keep me interested.

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Secret Six 32 – 36

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Secret Six (Volume 3) #32
Written by Gail Simone
Art by J. Calafiore

The Secret Six travel to hell in a fantastic issue. I forgot how much I missed reading this book with it’s hilarious but dark characters and it’s beautiful artwork. I loved how Bane seemed shock that he might be damned to hell because he considers himself to be good. I loved that Ragdoll doesn’t want to return to earth because he is going “sane.” I loved it all.

 

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Written by Gail Simone
Art by J. Calafiore

In this issue, Catman goes to make sure that his father is in hell where he deserves to be only to find that his mother is in hell too – she eats his father every day as a lioness to torture him. Etrigan tells Catman this is heaven for his mother. I guess his Dad got what he deserved! That is some dark humor there and I love it. We even get to see the personal hells of all of the Secret Six. Some were sad like Bane’s but then Gail Simone – the master 0f writing comedic relief – shows King Shark’s hell as a vegetarian restaurant. Anyways, Lady Blaze tells Scandal her other girlfriend’s soul will soon belong to her in hell. I can’t remember who Scandal’s other girlfriend was.

secretsix34Secret Six (Volume 3) #34
Written by Gail Simone
Art by J. Calafiore

Did Jeanette quote Julian of Norwhich in this issue? Scandal sure did lie to her girlfriend in this issue didn’t she? Anyways, this was a heartwarming issue in a dark heartwarming disturbing way only the Secret Six can bring. Bane goes on a date and gets in a fight. Jeanette seems to have decided to turn good? And it was just a lot of fun.

 

 

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Written by Gail Simone
Art by J. Calafiore

In this issue, Bane decides to lead the team in another assault Batman after realizing that he never got to really break the Batman like he wanted to back in the day. They start by drafting the Penguin to join the team. I enjoy the way Simone writes Penguin…it reminds me of Batman Returns a bit. And that is my favorite Batman movie. This was a fantastic issue.

 

Secret Six (Volume 3) #36 secretsix36
Written by Gail Simone
Art by J. Calafiore

This is the final issue of a great series that I will miss. Gail Simone is a creative genius. You writes complex characters who are so well-rounded it is like they are real people. She is truly a gem in the comic book world. Also, she has a scene in this where they feed a man to King Shark on a fishing hook. So she is hilarious too. The part where Scandal decides she wants to marry both Knockout and Liana was a tad strange though but hey these are crazy people this book is about. The only problem I had was it is really hard to believe all of those supeheroes would show up to fight the Secret Six like they are Darkseid or something. But they sure got their asses handed to them and this villain team went out in a blaze of glory. What a fitting finale to an amazing series!

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

The Rebirth of Dark Supergirl

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Justice League of America #51
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagley

Robinson once again shows how much he understands and loves the DC Universe with the beginning of this issue. Instead of a random assortment of heroes trying to save Washington DC, we actually get an explanation for why each of the persons’ powers can help the situation. That is a rare feat in comics and I like the attention to detail! Meanwhile, the League is dealing with the threat of Omega Man – who is a bastard yet we don’t even know who he is yet and he has brought back Dark Supergirl. I miss Starman but this this is getting just as epic as the last arc! Great stuff!

Action 889 and 890

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Action Comics #889
Written by Greg Rucka and Eric Trauttman
Art by Jose Perez
Co-Feature by James Robinson
Art by Cafu

 

The main story ends Rucka and Trautmann’s run on the book by having Chris and Thara defeat the false Rao. It was a kind of a wimper of an ending. I have to say that I have grown to like these two characters as they have starred in this book – but not enough to really miss them. I like the mythology of it all but I think it is just time to move on. The finale to the Captain Atom back-up was more exciting as Mirabai is defeated and Captain Atom’s reputation restored. I really thought this back-up was a neat idea all-around and I’d say it was successful.

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Action Comics #890
Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Pete Woods

Wow that was unexpected. I wasn’t sure what to think when I heard Lex Luthor would be the new star of Action Comics but damn this was awesome. Lex is an evil bastard and Cornell writes him that way. He has an employee killed just for embarrassing him, he builds a robot Lois to be his companion haha, and he is obsessed with finding the secrets to the Power Rings. Great start!

Odd Arrangement

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Superman #697
Written by James Robinson
Art by Bernard Chang

 

The Legion makes its presence known to Mon-El and Superboy in this issue. I love the idea that the Legion has been in the past for so long, I mean at least since Countdown and the Lightning Saga. This was a good issue I enjoyed it a lot but I was confused by the whole scene at the Kent Farm. Was that supposed to be a flashback? If so, what was the purpose? It seemed kind of odd the way those scenes were arranged not sure how to explain it.

Revelations

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Superman #695
Written by James Robinson
Art by Bernard Chang

I love the Superman books right now! I really can’t get enough of them. Robinson’s threads are coming together slowly but surely and it is so fun to see how tightly plotted everything is here. Steel wakes up from his coma, Jimmy is alive, the Legion has been behind a lot more then we thought…there are so many revelations in every issue of this book and I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all. This book is much better then Robinson’s awkward Justice League writing, if only it got a regular artist. I miss Guedes’s Metropolis.

Cohesion

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Superman #690
Written by James Robinson
Art by Pere Perez

There has been a lot said at how Robinson isn’t telling one cohesive story in this series and it jumping too much all over the place. I think the people who already thought that will be utterly convinced by this issue, which seemed to to have a to be continued in a different comic on every page. I am a fan of the DC Universe so it doesn’t bother me but I imagine others wouldn’t be so pleased. The guest artist is decent but I miss Guedes already. There didn’t seem to be much cohesion in this story and it was jarring, even for me. But I still Robinson makes great use of the DCU by referring to obscure characters like Mark Merlin – who even I have never heard of.

Robinson Understands His Playground

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Superman #689
Written by James Robinson
Art by Renato Guedes

Mon-El spends this issue traveling the globe and meeting up with heroes and villains from all different countries. Each of these tales could have had their own issue or two but something about him summarizing it made everything a lot more exciting and less decompressed in the way most comics are. Robinson really takes advantage of writing in the DC Universe in a way that most writers don’t. That is what makes him one of the best writers that DC has right now. He utilizes his playground to the max. It was a lot of fun to see the different heroes internationally (some old and some new) and to cap it off, it looks like Steel is in trouble. Sam Lane is such a douchebag for wanting to kill Steel.

Finest of the Nanoverse


Superman/Batman #59
Written by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Mike Johnson
Art by Whilce Portacio

While this arc and its conclusion here was not groundbreaking or anything, it was an enjoyable read. I liked the end when the Nanomads refer to Batman and Superman as the finest heroes of their world. They inspire people no matter what world they are on or a part of. I like that. The art was okay for this arc but Portacio only works on certain kinds of stories like these, I wouldn’t want him to be the regular artist of this book. Other then that, I don’t have much to say about this issue.


Connected


Superman #687

Written by James Robinson
Art by Renato Guedes

I read a review of this issue somewhere that said it was just a bunch of disconnected scenes. I don’t agree with that assessment at all. Robinson is building all of these seemingly disconnected scenes to something huge. You can tell he has had long-rang plans for this book for a while as he even follows up on threads all the way from his first arc. Black Lightning is in Metropolis apparently (which seems to be breaking the rules of the Outsiders about total dedication to the team but I digress) and on the cover he is flying? What the hell? I love how Robinson is really using the character of Metropolis, we even get to see their sewers and Steel and Atlas talk about street nicknames and neighborhoods. It’s really great stuff and any fan of the DC Universe knows the best thing about it is is its fictional cities. I still have yet to understand why Mon-El joined the science police, still seems as uninteresting as when Wonder Woman joined the Department of Metahuman Affairs.