Past, Present, and Future

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Superman #700
Written by James Robinson, Dan Jurgens, and J. Michael Straczynski
Art by Bernard Chang, Jurgens, and Eddy Barrows

 

In this anniversary issue we get three stories in one. The first by Robinson closes off his run on this book by focusing on the reunion of Lois and Clark after the whole New Krypton thing. The dialogue is a lot of awkward but I think the message that these two really love one another came across well. Jurgen’s story takes place in the past and has Superman teaming up with Dick Grayson Robin and in the end doing his homework for him so he doesn’t get in trouble with Batman. It was really good and I loved the surprise ending where Clark gets a note from Batman at the daily planet. The final story begins JMS’s run on this book as a woman comes to Superman angry that he was off planet and because of this was unable to save her husband’s life. Honestly, I think she was a out of line here but I can see why this would effect Clark emotionally. We will see where JMS goes with it. All-in-all it was a good issue, I don’t think it was as epic as Batman’s anniversary issue but it was still good and focused on the character’s past, present, and future.

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.

I Miss Ryan Choi

Superman/Batman #58
Written by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Mike Johnson
Art by Wilce Portacio

I enjoyed this story a lot. Microscopic civilizations are always fun. It makes me miss the All-New Atom. It also reminds me of that one issue of JLA where they go into the kid’s brain and find a civilization living on it. The idea of Superman exploding from absorbing too much solar energy has never been explored to my knowledge. It’s such an obvious thing I am surprised that any other writers have never thought of exploring that. Even I have never thought about it. Am I wrong to say this is a new concept? Portacio’s art takes some getting used to and there were a few times where I felt that this story would have been better served with a different artist. But I think all-in-all this was a decent fun read.

Honey I Shrunk The Man of Steel

Superman/Batman #57
Written by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Mike Johnson
Art by Whilce Portacio

I like how all of these Superman/Batman arcs are just about crazy shit happening to Superman and Batman. This one looks like it takes place before Infinite Crisis (Robin is wearing his old costume) but Superman talks like Pa is dead. Although he doesn’t actually say it so he could just be talking about fond memories of his very alive Dad. The Prankster zaps Superman “Honey I shrunk the kids”-style and now the Man of Steel is running around the floorboards. It is always cool to see the microscopic world. I wonder why they didn’t think of calling in the Atom? In the end, Batman decides to shrink himself down to find him. This was an enjoyable issue. Not the best but enjoyable.

Success

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Action Comics #873
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Pete Woods

This is the final part of the ten part New Krypton storyline that began in the New Krypton Special, then continued here, then in the Guardian Special, then here, here, here, here, here, and here. I read a lot of reviews saying that this wasn’t a true ending or satisfying ending. I think it was. I mean Kandor has left earth and established a New Krypton. It is the end of this arc. This is serial storytelling people, there are never going to be true endings as if this is a complete work! I just don’t get the complaining about the ending. Anyways, I absolutely adored this issue. Every moment inspired awe and wonder in a way that any big story like this should. While I like Final Crisis, this is more of an event book then that. The ending with Superwoman was completely unexpected and I look forward to all the story possibilities that have come out of this arc. I may have been hard on some parts of this storyline, but overall, and especially this issue, it was a tremendous success.

A Villainous Trip To The Phantom Zone

s682Superman #682
Written by James Robinson
Art by Renato Guedes

Okay….this has to be the most eventful issue of this storyline yet. This is Part 6 of the New Krypton Storyline that began in the New Krypton Special, continued here, then in the Guardian Special, and then here, and here. The New Krypton event has been really awesome so far but this is the cream of the crop. The Kryptonians begin to gather Superman’s villains and toss them in the Phantom Zone, along the way killing some cops who try to stop them. When Clark finds this out, his reaction is priceless. You really get the sense of anger and disappointment as he flies out of the Daily Planet and I think that is a credit to Guedes’s artwork. He really did a good job this issue. I am not sure what is going on with the Guardian or Atlas though. I guess we will find out soon enough. At first I thought Supergirl was in on it but apparently she was unaware anyone got killed. I am glad. Allura is kind of a bitch compared to her husband, who seems genuinely upset about the deaths of the cops. I look forward to finding out what happens next.

Action Comics 860 – 871

a860Action Comics #860
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank

While I am more familiar with the threeboot legion, it is still cool to see all of the original Legionnaires come back and I can’t even comprehend the excitement of the fans of those characters while reading this. This was a fantastic issue for fans and newbies alike. Check it out. Frank’s art is amazing.

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Action Comics #861
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank

Another fine issue of Action Comics. There were a lot of fantastic moments, I liked the foreshadowing of the Crisis of the 31st century and all that stuff. Frank’s art is beautiful and perfect for the Legion. I am really getting into all these characters, many of whom I am meeting for the first time. Eye-Full Ethel is hilarious. Is that a new character? I will have to find out.

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Action Comics #862
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank

I am now in love with the Legion of Subsitute Heroes. What a fascinating bunch…from Chlorphyll Kid’s belief in talking to plants to Rainbow Girl’s mood swings they are a lot of fun to read about. As for the main plot, I really hope Superman gives Earth-Man a good ass whooping.

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Action Comics #863
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank

While this arc was a little long, it was a lot of fun. This was a great conclusion. Superman kicks Earth-Man’s ass and tells the xenophobic humans he is for everyone. And the ending flashback was so heartwarming. Great stuff Johns!

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Action Comics #864
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Joe Prado

This story really set everything up for Legion of Three World and for fans of the DC Universe, it is very exciting. Batman and Lightning Lad play off each other well. I like the tie-in to Countdown with Karate Kid and Una whom I had forgotten even died. This was a great issue with great use of continuity.

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Action Comics #865
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Jesus Merino

This issue focuses on Superman’s famous villian, the Toyman and in perfect Johns fashion, explains away basically all the changes and continuity glitches about the character. Apparently all the different Toymen, even the Hiro one, were just robots created by Winslow Schott. As usual, it’s perfect and I can’t believe no one has thought about this before. Johns is a genius! Toyman may come off as someone who was taken advantage of and someone who does care for children in this issue, but Johns shows with the ending that he is still a deeply disturbed individual. I loved how Toyman doesn’t want to go to Arkham because he doesn’t want to be associated with Batman’s villains. Great issue.

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Action Comics #866
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank

Johns is really doing a lot to revitalize everything about Superman’s world. Everything from his villains to the Daily Planet staff is being fleshed out and made better. This arc is going to revitalize Brainiac and it looks like it is working. He is certainly creepier then ever here. But my favorite parts of this issue were at the Daily Planet and the interaction with the staff. The Superman books are the best they have been since I started reading comics thanks to Johns.

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Action Comics #867
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank

Frank’s art really makes this issue. There were some fantastic moments because of his art. I especially like his design for Branianc’s Robots. Supergirl’s revelation about Brainiac is similar to Toyman and how most Braniac’s that Superman has met are just probes and not the real Brainiac. In fact, Superman has never met the real Brainiac. One thing I am confused about is how Supergirl’s parents remember Kandor disappearing but over in Superman and the New Krypton storyline they are in Kandor. Hmmm…I bet this will be explained though. Oh and what about the Kandor that Supergirl visited with Ultraman, is that not the real Kandor?

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Action Comics #868
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank
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Superman comes face to face with the real Brainiac in this issue and he is one scary mother fucker. So he basically takes a sample of a culture and destorys the rest, so I wonder if he is responsible for Krypton’s destruction. I wish Johns’s run wasn’t so focused on Krypton as I always preferred the Post-Crisis Superman who considers himself to be a human thing but this is good writing and good story-telling so I can’t complain. The whole thing with the Kents seems a little forced though, what is it that made them think this thing with Brainiac was any different? Nothing really.

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Action Comics #869
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank

So the stuff with Supergirl’s parents is explained in this issue and in a way that harkens back to the pre-crisis idea that Argo City survived the initial destruction of Krypton. As for Metropolis, it looks like it has become a bottled city. Oh and I was right, Brainiac is responsible for Krypton’s destruction! Good guess on my part. Kudos to me haha.

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Action Comics #870
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank

While the conclusion to this arc was action-packed and awesome, I am not too saddened by the death of Jonathan Kent. The fact of the matter is he died the same way in Superman: The Movie and in Smallville so I have seen it before and I really don’t care. I don’t really get why things have to be like the Donner movie, a movie that my generation doesn’t even remember. Although, it doesn’t matter to me if he is alive or not, at least it fit in this story. As for the New Krypton stuff to come, we will see how that goes, I don’t know how I feel about it yet.

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Action Comics #871
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Pete Woods

This is part 4 of the New Krypton Storyline that began in the New Krypton special, then continued here, and in the Guardian Special. I wasn’t really looking forward to this storyline but so far it has been a blast! The scene of all the Kryptonians taking out Doomsday on the moon was fantastic and I think that it really shows the strength of artist Pete Woods. Sam Lane doesn’t look like a total bad guy here as it makes sense that there should be some defense in case the Kryptonians go rogue. I love how he shot Luthor is the shoulder when he mentioned Lois. Wasn’t expecting that. As for the Kryptonian Nightwing and Flamebird, I really hope they show them interacting with our Nightwing and Flamebird. That would be interesting. Oh and Doomsday deserved to die just for fucking with Connor’s statue alone.

Superman 664 – 680

Superman #664
Written by Kurt Busiek
Art by Carlos Pacheco

This was a good issue but I am glad this whole Arion storyline is over. It was getting really boring….Squad K was a great concept and I am glad Busiek did not write Superman as resenting them.

Superman #665
Written by Kurt Busiek
Art by Rick Leonardi

Eh this was an okay issue spotlighting how Jimmy Olsen met Superman. I don’t care much about the character so this was only okay for me. Not much to say otherwise.

Superman #666
Written by Kurt Busiek
Art by Walter Simonson

This was an awesome issue. Krypton’s Hell’s demons coming after Superman is a clever idea and a nice little one-shot story. I especially liked the whole Superman being annoyed with people in his ‘dream’ so he just kills them. Made me laugh…although I am glad that it wasn’t really him.

Superman #667
Written by Kurt Busiek
Art by Carlos Pacheco

Damn…I thought all of this Arion crap was over!! I guess not…as this continues that storyline. The art is good, but I still don’t dig this story that much.

Superman #668
Written by Kurt Busiek
Art by Rick Leonardi

Now this was the best issue of this series in a while. It was great to se Robin and Chris Kent meet and how Superman is aware that Batman is always spying on him. I also can’t wait to finally meet the third Kryptonian.

Superman #669
Written by Kurt Busiek
Art by Rick Leonardi

At first I Was a little dissapointed to see that the Third Kryptonian was an old woman but I ended up really liking the idea that this space-faring adventurer just wants to settle down and rest in her old age and that is why she has avoided contact with Superman. She doesn’t want to be a hero and I like that. Kristin Wells wasn’t an actual Kryptonian pre-crisis and she had an awesome costume that I think her current suit is based on. They should bring back the original costume if she ever does decide to become Superwoman.

Superman #670
Written by Kurt Busiek
Art by Rick Leonardi

Now this was a great issue of Superman! Action, Character moments, and all around a good time! I wish Busiek wasn’t leaving this title so soon at the same time more of his issues should have been like this! It was great to see the entire “Superman Family” working together and I liked all the set up for the stuff coming up this year with “New Krypton”. Busiek must have originally supposed to be part of that storyline but left due to Trinity. Unless he set it up just for the editor and on Geoff Johns’s behalf.

Superman #671
Written by Kurt Busiek
Art by Peter Vale

This was an okay start to this arc dealing with an “insect queen”. Not much to say…it was really just set up.

Superman #672
Written by Kurt Busiek
Art by Peter Vale

Insect Queens always make good villains lol and I don’t know why Chris Kent’s watch blew up but I look forward to next issue.

Superman #673
Written by Kurt Busiek
Art by Peter Vale

Eh this was okay….nothing really great, I thought the stuff about Superman understanding Chris’s loneliness was stupid. Clark was a baby when Krypton exploded! Why do so many writers write as if he has some strong emotional attachment to the planet. Earth is home…it’s plain and simple. Despite Donner’s obsession with Krypton, it is not THAT important.

Superman #674
Written by Kurt Busiek
Art by Renato Guedes

This was another decent issue from Busiek that brings an old Justice League villain back. The stuff I am more interested in is the stuff with Mon-El. Nice art as well.

Superman #675
Written by Kurt Busiek
Art by Renato Guedes

Busiek’s final issue on the title wraps up the whole what if civilization collapses plot-thread by introducing the idea of Superman creating a library full of human knowledge. I like the idea and it is a great concept. Busiek still writes the character in Trinity and that is a really good series. More people should be reading it.

Superman #676
Written by Vito Delsante
Art by Julian Lopez

Okay was that supposed to be Connor Kent at the end….apparently cloned and in stasis long before his debut? I think so….nice touch. This was obviously supposed to be in Superman Confidential but it makes for a nice fill-in. It was kinda bland though and I am kind of sick of Solomon Grundy right now.

Superman #677
Written by James Robinson
Art by Renato Guedes

James Robinson begins his run on Superman with this issue and I have to say it’s decent. I mean I am not jumping for joy about it but it is pretty good. Atlas seems like a worthy opponent for Superman and I like how Superman says that he beat the traditon of Superhero relationships by staying with Lois. **Cough Cough I am looking at you Spider-Man and Marvel Comics**

Superman #678
Written by James Robinson
Art by Renato Guedes

This issue was just confusing. I am not sure if I really get Atlas’s origin. Where is he from? Why is he so strong? And why does Jimmy keep talking about Superman’s breakfast? Weird…..

Superman #679
Written by James Robinson
Art by Renato Guedes

Not enough happened in this issue to make it an issue. Superman fights Atlas and then Supergirl does and Krypto appeared. Albeit this is the most excited I have ever gotten about Krypto appearing anyways. Maybe because we get to see his thoughts. I think it is a little out of character for Lois to be jealous of Zatanna. So far Robinson’s run has not been as good as I expected.

Superman #680
Written by James Robinson
Art by Renato Guedes

We still know next to nothing about Atlas at the end of this but I suspect that Robinson will bring this up at some later point. The highlight of this issue was Superman’s talk with Zachary Zatara and Krypto thinking “happy” at the very end which made me smile. Robinson actually made me like the idea of Krypto….which is a rare thing. This arc could have been much shorter though.

Superman 660 – 662

Superman #660
Written by Kurt Busiek
Art by Mike Manley
and Bret Blevins

This was a very charming issue and I highly reccomend it. It seemed very old school and that was great. The story is told from the perspective of the classic Superman villain, the Prankster. I do not know much about him but Busiek has turned me into a fan. He is a charming villain who really just loves his performances and loves to involve Superman in him. His revenge on Nitro G was just awesome and hilarious. Long live the Prankster.

Superman #661
Written by Kurt Busiek and Richard Howell
Art by Richard Howell and Eduardo Barreto

On one hand, I really liked this issue. It was cool to see Wonder Woman and Lois Lane working together and the idea of the villain, a woman who has to have the affection of men because of a curse by Zeus was really interesting. But this read like an Archie Comic or something, the dialogue was really odd and seemed out of place for a Superman comic book. Especially the end where Lois looks at the reader and winks…what the hell?

Superman #662
Written by Kurt Busiek
Art by Carlos Pacheco

Now this is a return to form by Busiek after last issue’s lameness. I really enjoyed the mystery of this issue. Superman is pretty worried that Arion’s propechy from a few issues back is going to come true. I love how Busiek acknowledges things going on in other books. Little tidbits are seen that makes a great use of continuity. I wonder who the third kryptonian is? I have wondered that since the Auctioneer said it and I am glad Superman is following up on that question. It should be exciting when it is finally revealed. (This is better than Johns and Donner’s run on Action Comics people, why is that a bigger deal? Who knows.)

I Hope Metropolis Has Insurance

Action Comics #839
Written by Geoff Johns and Kurt Busiek
Art by Pete Woods
Cover by Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson

Gosh Metropolis is really going to have to pay for the damage done in this issue. Huge Crystals coming up from underground can not be good for the city. No wonder some people think superheroes cause more harm than good. This is a pretty good issue, Luthor is acting like the mad scientist though and I have always liked him more as the bussinessman/ white collar crime type of guy. That is the Luthor I am used to I guess. At least he is wearing the bussiness suit on the cover. I am sad to see the Toyman leaving this stoyline, he was a cool guy. I hope he comes back soon. Not much else to say about this. Pretty good issue and I can’t way to see how this storyline ends.

Superman Actually Has A Rogue’s Gallery

Superman #651
Written by Geoff Johns and Kurt Busiek
Art by Pete Woods
Cover by Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson

The previous issues of this storyline were reviewed here and here. I am starting to get the impression that the point of this storyline is to revitalize Superman’s roster of villains. We have Toyman, Metallo, Lex Luthor, and the Prankster all in one issue here. And this is a good thing! I know very little about Superman’s villains because well, I never thought they were very interesting. They have always seemed to be a pretty weak bunch of bad guys but if anybody can make the bad guys great, its Geoff Johns. After reading this issue, I really feel like Supes has a great rogues gallery, not on the level of Batman’s rogues but still no better than the Flash. It’s about freakin time somebody made these guys cool again. So yes, I liked this issue. Althought the part with the walking AIM logo devastating Metropolis was a tad strange.