Thursday, May 6, 2010

Chronic Review: War of the Supermen # 1


War of the Supermen # 1
DC Comics

Script: James Robinson & Sterling Gates
Pencils: Jamal Igle
24 pages for $2.99

Spoilers ahead ye swabs, and now ye be warned.

Before we get to the Superman stuff, lets talk about something far more important: the Colgate "MaxFresh" ads attached to the DC comics this week. The Where Monsters Dwell guys were not pleased with this phenomenon. Not pleased at all. In fact, they had a little rip fest live on Air for Episode # 99. They tore those things to shreds with all the glee of a 1960s bra burner all hopped up on Gloria Steinem.

I'm not in love with those Colgate ads either. They detract from the reading experience, it's irritating, and it's redundant since there's a regular ad page for the damn product already in play.

I think the larger concern here is that these people don't have any noses. To me, if I were those people, fresh breath would not be my biggest priority. It would be the fact that I'm missing a nose. It is adorable that these two genetic freaks found each other, though. It gives me warm fuzzies to know that a couple of mutant degenerates can carve out a romance in a world that hates them for their deformity.

I'm so disgusting at this point that my real concern is whether this week's DC books can be considered CGC 9.8 if you take the offending Colgate ads out. Sad, really. But I digest.

Now, on to the War of the Supermen. Kudos to DC for their treatment with the zero issue on FCBD, by the way. It gives you most everything you need to know to dive in. Most everything, any way.

General Zod is riding a very favorable approval rating on New Krypton, and has decided that everybody needs to go to Earth and kick the ever loving crap out of it. I like the "100 minute war" tagline. I like the fact that James Robinson and Sterling Gates have correctly surmised that thousands of powered Kryptonians could take over our planet before you could watch Avatar front to back. Because they could. That, my friends, is a losing battle with or without a JLA.

But wait just a minute, folks. We're not completely helpless. Lois's father is a giant dick, and he plays rough as well. Matter of fact, he gets the first shot in. While Zod is busy amassing an army, General Lane blows up the entire planet of New Krypton with one Trojan Horse named Reactron.

Reactron is down in Zor-El's tomb with Supergirl and her mother. I'm not sure that I'm in love with the fact that Kara gets bushwhacked by her mother, thrown in a closet and "sealed" away from the blast. I don't care how emotional the situation is, it just seems weird to get your ass kicked that quickly by your mom. I also get that it sets up a story moment where Alura sort of redeems herself, but it feels a little contrived to me.

Also contrived is the fact that Supergirl is at ground zero of planet exploding event and survives completely unscathed. I don't care what kind of panic room she got locked into. The goddamn planet blew up. She's dead, dig?

My broadcast partner is not in love with Jamal Igle's art in this book, and I think I get it. Here's a shot of Superman when his little brouhaha gets interrupted by the end of New Krypton:


I don't know if that's concern, or horror, or disbelief. What it resembles most is a man who just ate 10-12 White Castles and is now preparing to take a massive grumper. Igle isn't getting an Eisner for that panel, is what I'm saying.

This series is delivering some pretty big moments, and we're just getting started, because Zod still hasn't landed his first salvo. After inexplicably surviving that blast, Kara grabs a flag and looks like she's going to Earth to exact vengeance on us for blowing up New Krypton. That's pretty cool.

I'm a bit ashamed to admit it, but this thing basically works at the same level that Siege does, except it's delivering all of that epicness for 25% less.

The stakes are appropriately high here, things are moving along at a brisk pace, and I can recommend this to most folks interested in comics provided they're either abreast of the Superman mythos or read the FCBD issue first.

- Ryan

1 comment:

Chronic Insomnia said...

I really liked the FCBD issue, soI read the second issue and was honestly a little bit confused at first. I liked it, but it seemed to jump around a lot, which is nothing like the first issue did. Also I noticed the artwork was WORSE on issue #1. I like the FCBD artwork better. It was so noticeable to me that after like a page of issue #1, I grabbed issue #0 and looked to see if the guy was different or if he just had a stroke or something.

This book is good, it's just not as brilliant as it felt out of the gates. I will say that I'm picking up the next issue, but it may lose me if it doesn't come back around to the simplicity of issue #0.

Michael