Superman Men of Steel…or Men of Scrap Metal?

 

superman-new-52-issue-1-cover-201x300 He’s lifting the freaking Daily Planet sphere!Sorry that is not an apt description.

He is carrying the F***ing Daily Planet sphere while its on F***ing fire!

 

Now censored profanities aside, I think I should actually critique this piece of work. After all, never judge a comic by its cover.

Now, considering some could easily pick up Superman before Action ComicsAction Comics being the actual start to Superman’s journey, this is the technical start of Superman. Here is where the audience is given the idea of something new. In fact, in the very first issue, Perry White says something akin to ‘out with the old in with the new’. It really tries to give the idea of a new start, seeing as the Daily Planet has been bought out by Morgan Edge, a formerly known criminal. With that buyout, the Daily Planet is upgraded to better conditions, getting a bigger building, more room, and out with the old Daily Planet Planet.

Anyway, with this said, they try to give off a sense of something new. They would keep some things and get rid of others. It works out quite well considering it is, in fact, a new beginning for the Superman comic world.

The story presents the world knowing who Superman is with mixed signals. It seems people like him for what he does, but just like in Justice League, there is something about a god watching over you that people just have a problem with. Ever the rd and blue boy scout, Superman still does his job and in the first issue fights a living inferno. That’s right, the fire is attacking Metropolis and lives and talks.

The first issue plays out well with Superman and Clark separations. Superman and Clark Kent are not the same person. The comic does a wonderful job or illustrating that point. Clark is meek, humble and an honest to God journalist. Superman is a man of action. He needs to save his city, be aware of the damage obviously. In the end, they are separate. It was really well written by George Perez.

However, as they move on, the separation between Clark and Superman seems to be one of the few things done right here. After the fire monster, where did they go? To some human threat that was serious? Nah. We get an invisible monster, a freezing monster, and a bunch of little spiders. Then, all at once.

 

superman-4-cover_1000Really, it seemed like they took small aspects of Superman’s powers such as his heat vision and made it into a monster. Or maybe his frost breath and make it into a living frozen tornado. Take his micro-vision and make small spiders. Let’s go a step further. Since Superman can see through walls, into the void of space, molecular structures, DNA and even sees Superboy’s soul in the old 52 continuity. So they mad a monster that he could not see.

 

 

Superman is a very difficult character because he has so many powers and is so powerful. There is almost nothing he can do. So storytelling is essential to a character that some could view as boring. Having Superman just fight a threat and winning is not enough anymore. The audience needs to see a struggle. Hell, s the audience, we should demand it.

However, this concept is lost when they move forward. George Perez does an excellent job of trying to link Superman comics with Action Comics. That does not help it though. It only convoluted the story that was already there.

And what was the point of all these monsters, challenges and even possible alien threat?

 

Superman Issue 5The whole point of all of this to make an evil Superman. Seriously? We went through all of that so BrainIAC, that’s right the Brain InterActive Construct, could make a fake Superman that could be Superman’s equal.

I can’t…I can’t even describe how much I just lost faith in this comic. The idea of making a fake Superman has been done multiple times. Not even just a fake Superman, but also an evil Superman has been done. With Ultraman from the eighties to Bizarro Superman. It’s been done, repeatedly.

 

So if DC is going to do an evil Superman, it is my opinion that they need to do it right.

That goes down to anything really.

Anyway, they move forward with Superman being trapped in space and being unable to help. But that is where I thought the best writing by far was coming into play. They show the separation between Superman and Clark Kent. And that separation came into play heavily here. And why does it matter? Both Clark and Superman know Lois Lane. She sees both of them.

Throughout this arc, she has become suspiciously aware of similarities between Clark and Superman. For me, I was so hopeful that she would have figured it out. And in a lat act of desperation, she called out for her hero.

And that was when Clark and Superman, who are no in love with Lois but have deep attraction to her, goes into overdrive, defeating the monster. He even defeats his evil duplicate just as the creature was trying to take out Supergirl.

He even stands and tells people that he is the real Superman and they never fear him because “This is a job for Superman.”

The ending was this arc’s saving grace. They brought in how even though Clark and Superman are different, they are the same person, just different identities.

And it shows that the reason why Superman is Superman is not because of his powers. It is his upbringing, his experiences, his friends and most importantly his deceased parent that mad him into the Super man that could stand up for those who could not stand up for themselves. He would go to bat for the little guy and stand up for truth, justice and the American Way.

That was what saved this comic in the end. They took some of the unimportant things and turned it around to mean so much more for the character. While it does not redeem this series as a whole, it did save that issue. it made Superman actually seem like a person rather than the red and blue super dude that saves everyone. It is much more personal and, therefore, more rewarding when he triumphs in the end.

It really works out. Each piece works right in the end. But the beginning and middle was shaky at best. It felt half thought out until the very end where they piece the unimportant parts together. The problem is, though, if someone wastes fifteen out of twenty pages of four comic book issues, they are not really doing their job.

It just hurt the story and really felt heavy handed on everything important. As for my thoughts, this is only really worth the read if you’re a die hard Superman fan. However, if you are just looking for a comic that might change your life, look elsewhere because Superman let its audience down.

 

Review Overview

Content
Creativity
Dialogue

For Die-Hards Only

The comic's main story of Superman is heavy handed at best. It strips the overall story because it wastes so many pages setting up villains and concepts only for them to be worthless in the end. The side plot, however, is done perfect and is completely necessary. It fulfills its portions and more and sets up for both the ending and for growth in the future. Its inconsistency that hurts it the most.

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About scampos

He loves his comics, focusing on DC comics. He is majoring to be an engineer and loves all forms of Science Fiction. Fantasy has a special place in his heart.

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