DC Universe: Legacies 10 (April 2011)

The story ends before Infinite Crisis, with an OMAC showing up and attacking the narrator. The narrator’s nurse at the assisted living place ends the issue suggesting he’s full of crap, which ends Legacies on a decidedly negative note. Not because the reader would believe he’s a loon, but because it’s such a mundane thing, being elderly and dismissed. It’s a defeat. What’s the point of getting all excited about the superheroes if the elderly are being dismissed in the DC Universe? What, is Superman going to deal with nuclear proliferation next? Saiz only handles a handful of pages then … Continue reading DC Universe: Legacies 10 (April 2011)

Tom Strong 7 (April 2000)

Moore finishes the story with an unexpected conclusion, one he hadn’t hinted at earlier and should have. Tom Strong’s birthday was coming up. It ends at his birthday party (and the Millennium City Y2K party). It’s a great scene, but it’s sort of tacked on. This issue is significant for one major reason. Moore talks a lot about race. Sure, it’s in the extremes of Tom Strong having a bastard son with a Nazi superwoman, but Moore doesn’t flinch when putting those two up against Tom’s black wife and his mixed daughter. Most mainstream comic books completely avoid the discussion … Continue reading Tom Strong 7 (April 2000)

Superman: New Krypton Special 1 (December 2008)

Someone has pointed out Johns casting Lois Lane’s dad as a jingoistic, sadistic supervillain really just is… you know, the Hulk, right? I mean, someone besides me. It’s so startlingly uncreative, one has to wonder. This New Krypton Special does raise a couple interesting ideas—one is the People of Kandor being, well, basically stupid jerks. It doesn’t make me want to read the series, however. Oh, another moronic move—a bad guy named “Agent Assassin?” I mean, that one’s worse than the Image stuff. There’s some great art. I love the way reading Frank’s pages feels like one’s reading a sequel … Continue reading Superman: New Krypton Special 1 (December 2008)

Superman: Secret Origin 6 (October 2010)

So after making everyone wait for months, DC put out this piece of crap? I mean, it’s not terrible, but it’s garbage. Frank’s artwork is visibly hurried, with Superman looking different in every other panel and the Christopher Reeve likeness looking traced when he uses it here. Lois looks funny, more of the hurrying. As for Johns, it’s like he was trying to see how many endings he could do in one issue to give Frank the chance to do full page panels. It’s completely moronic conclusion to the last three issues too, but particularly to the last one, as … Continue reading Superman: Secret Origin 6 (October 2010)

Superman: Secret Origin 5 (May 2010)

Ok, so Johns finally did something completely unexpected. He made Superman the Hulk. General Sam Lane–I think that’s Lois’s father’s name anyway–is a psycho warmonger who tries to kill Superman. Funny how John Byrne is known for Superman and the Hulk and Johns is playing with both here. There’s some decent character scenes, not as much Christopher Reeve in the Frank art but some… A lot of the scenes play well. Superman posing for Jimmy seems really stupid. But Johns doesn’t have a good narrative structure here or in the series overall. This issue, like the last, is sequential, while … Continue reading Superman: Secret Origin 5 (May 2010)

Superman: Secret Origin 4 (March 2010)

Maybe I’ve surrendered. Johns doesn’t introduce anything new to the canon this issue, instead he just does a sequel to the previous issue. The Gary Frank Parasite is hideously wonderful too. But back to Johns. He does a decent job this issue. Sure, he’s set up a disastrously bad idea, but once he’s writing in that idea, instead of about it, he does fine. A limited series about Superman’s first week in Metropolis (this issue would be the second in that wish) would be good. I’m sure Johns will screw it up next issue, but as a brief reprieve, this … Continue reading Superman: Secret Origin 4 (March 2010)

Superman: Secret Origin 3 (January 2010)

DC never did a formal adaptation of the first Superman movie, so Johns gives it a shot here, with some modernizing and some adjustments for comic book continuity. The result, I suppose, depends on if you like the first Superman movie. Even with the silly Lex Luthor is a power mad bad guy (from Byrne)–it makes Smallville real famous too, which misses the point I think, it works. But then I love Superman: The Movie. Frank draws Clark to look like Christopher Reeve here, Johns has him bumble well like Reeve does in the movies… There’s really nothing new here. … Continue reading Superman: Secret Origin 3 (January 2010)

Superman: Secret Origin 2 (December 2009)

The second issue, featuring the return of the Superboy and the Legion (at least in an origin retelling) to continuity, works a lot better. There’s still some stupid stuff. Instead of coming up with something interesting to do with Lana, Johns just has her get mad at Clark and storm off. And then the Lex Luthor stuff. Johns seems determined to keep Luthor in the story, even though he doesn’t fit. But he shoves him into the story–the scene this issue between Lex and Clark makes almost no sense… though it does further alienate Clark so he’s overjoyed when the … Continue reading Superman: Secret Origin 2 (December 2009)

Superman: Secret Origin 1 (November 2009)

Geoff Johns’s point seems to be to do another Superman origin retelling, this time integrating parts of Superman (Johns used to work for director Richard Donner), the “Smallville” TV show (Johns occasionally writes episodes for the show) and some of the stuff John Byrne left out of his Man of Steel origin retelling back in the eighties. The result is about as jumbled as it sounds from that grocery list of intentions. Seeing Gary Frank essentially draw a young Christopher Reeve in a few panels is pretty neat and having Clark and Lana Lang have a budding romance is cute. … Continue reading Superman: Secret Origin 1 (November 2009)