Pardon my French.

§ May 30th, 2018 § Filed under this week's comics § 2 Comments

Of course when I heard the Brian Michael Bendis run on the Superman titles was going to begin with a six issue Man of Steel mini-series, à la the identically-titled mini from the mid-1980s that kicked off John Byrne’s brief tenure on the character, I pictured that this new iteration would be similar in structure. You know, “retell the origin,” “reintroduce the villains and supporting cast,” and so on. I mean, okay, we’re getting a little bit of that, except it’s a brand new villain (seen in that short story from Action #1000), and what appears to be a new supporting character, and we get a look at the Daily Planet and the folks there, and we get introduced to the mystery of Lois and Jon, and and and…yes, it is a reintroduction to everything, but more in the context of “here’s the latest adventure of Superman, whom we all know has been around a while” and not so much “FORGET EVERYTHING YOU KNEW.” Pretty much the definition of a soft reboot, and, you know…it wasn’t bad. Nice dynamic illustration by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado (along with Jay Fabok), plenty of action and quieter moments, the classic costume with the trunks and without the collar (but with the new cuffs, which frankly I barely noticed)…this really did feel like a Superman comic, which is something the Superman comics only sporadically felt like since the New 52 relaunch. I hope this bodes well.

This book is certainly a slow burn…I know it’s all leading up to the eventual Superman Vs. Doctor Manhattan showdown, but in the meantime there’s a lot of characters from either fictional franchises occasionally bumping into each other and goin’ around and doin’ stuff and it’s a whole lot of shuffling pieces around to set up the eventual payoffs. A lot of Doomsday Clock‘s raison d’être is mimicking the style of the original Watchmen (the nine-panel grid, the awkward scene transitions where someone would say, like, “I need to reflect on that” and then there’s a mirror in the next panel, the attempts at world building, the overlay of “serious world politics” over superhero shenanigans), but it seems to me there was a whole lot more…plot progress issue-to-issue in the original than in this new series. I mean, yeah, sure, I get they’re trying to apply some level of mundanity to the usually over-the-top DC Universe, and continuing at this pace is part of that.

To be fair, this issue does seem to move things along a bit more, both with the main characters and with the background world events, and a character we’ve been waiting for to show up in this series finally makes an appearance (no, not Seymour). That payoff is mostly held back ’til next time, though (assuming it’s not all done off-panel).

I have been enjoying the back matter…this time, a “magazine” looking at the state of superheroes around the world. I think I’d almost enjoy more in-universe analysis of superheroes and their political/economic impact in this faux newsmagazine style without the accompanying comic story trying to use it as underpinnings for its plot. Or even the celebrity gossip mag that was in a previous issue…that was fun, too.

Okay, haven’t read this (or any of the other DC/Hanna Barbera crossover comics that came out this week) but the very idea of Jabberjaw being just straight-up drawn as a regular-looking shark, but still a goofball, interacting with Aquaman, is hilarious to me. I mean, he looks adorable. Jabberjaw, that is, not Aquaman…though I guess Aquaman is pretty adorable in his own right, with his certain je ne sais quoi. Wait, perhaps I’ve gotten a bit off track. Anyway, this comic looks pretty great…the “variant” cover (pictured above) is amazing. I mostly liked the previous batch of HB/DC crossovers, and this year’s assortment appears to be fairly quality as well. However, this particular one also has a Captain Caveman back-up by Jeff Parker and Scott Kolins, so I’m reasonably sure I know which of the one-shots this time around will be my favorite.

2 Responses to “Pardon my French.”

  • Thelonious_Nick says:

    “The Weekly Superman Events Starts Here”

    Ugh, promise or threat? Is there something wrong with monthly? Bi-weekly?

  • Rich Handley says:

    I am enjoying Doomsday Clock, but you’re absolutely right. It’s spinning its heels and not really going anywhere.