And if your favorite run is the John Harkness one…hey, let your freak flag fly, man.

§ March 27th, 2019 § Filed under this week's comics § 6 Comments

(SPOILERS ahead for the very few comics I’ve managed to read this week)

So while overall I’m liking the Bendis run on the Superman comics, there are always some little details, some minor quirks, in most issues that have me wondering. We haven’t had an explanation for the whole “cousinsister” reference to Supergirl yet (aside from “editing error,” though I’m still leaning toward “representation of a translation quirk from an alien language, even though it’s the only example in this character’s dialogue.”

But overall it’s nice to have a mostly consistent look, feel, and voice to the Superman books again…it may not be a voice you like, or are still getting used to, but I think there’s enough of interest here to keep me reading. Let’s get into this issue’s quirk, though, where Lois Lane just full-on says to Superman “hi, honey” right in front of Jimmy Olsen. I thought for a second “wait, does Jimmy know Superman is Clark? Did that carry over from the New 52 version?” but no, not long after it seems to be made very explicitly that Jimmy does not know the secret.

Sure, there are explanations…Jimmy wasn’t paying attention, or (as was suggested to me on the Twitters) he ain’t the brightest bulb and didn’t put two-and-two together, or maybe Lois just calls everyone “honey,” even though we’ve never seen her do that, but maybe she does it a lot off-panel. Who knows…or maybe Bendis is putting down the groundwork for some future plot twist. YOU NEVER KNOW

A surprising callback to the John Byrne-era FF in this issue…I think more ties to the Byrne issues would probably be to the benefit of the book, which, don’t get me wrong, is already pretty good. I mean, okay, the Byrne run was itself callbacks to the Kirby era, but having these ties to some of the pieces of FF lore introduced by Byrne (such as the return of his version of Ben’s Aunt Petunia) adds a little sense of history to the proceedings for those of us who have been reading comics for too long.

Also, so far, the new run of the FF avoids the usually Fantastic Four plots (as most recently discussed on this War Rocket Ajax episode), like “Johnny has to grow up,” that sort of thing. It seems sort of inherent in the FF comic that there’ll be recycling of elements (it’s not an FF comic ’til Doctor Doom and Galactus show up, as they have) but there feels like enough forward progression that we’re not just going over the same old ground again. Or, at least, there are new and different things being done with the characters, which is not easy after 1) what, six decades, and 2) following Lee & Kirby (and Byrne, and Simonson, and whoever your favorite FF team is).

In conclusion: it’s nice to have the Fantastic Four back on the stands. And even nicer…it’s still maintaining its sales levels for me at the shop!

Not 100% certain what’s going on here…I get the general gist of it, but I’m not sure we needed nine issues (expanded from eight) to get through it all, especially with some parts of the series “running in place” much like chunks of Doomsday Clock. Speaking of which, it feels like having this series and the Watchmen event is about one event too many, covering tonally similar ground. That said, I do like having a a Booster Gold-centric event series, here in the Year of Our Lord 2019, and this issue does have a good character bit for him (shared with Harley Quinn), And some time travel shenanigans begin to creep in, which is only natural, because, hey, Booster Gold. Just kinda wish getting to this point covered a fewer number of pages.

Haven’t read it yet, but amongst the cornucopia of variant covers for this special 800th issue, I finally, after much deliberation and the hemming and the hawing, decided upon the above. Oh Frank Miller, you’ve done it again!

Of course, with all this hoohar about issue #1000, what will they do for Detective #1027, the one thousandth appearance of Batman in this series (more or less, aside from issues #0 and #1,000,000, of course). I vote “embedded sound chip in the cover” which says “I’M BATMAN” or “na na na na na na Batman!” or “hey kid, this ain’t a library.”

6 Responses to “And if your favorite run is the John Harkness one…hey, let your freak flag fly, man.”

  • Andrew-TLA says:

    I’m just stoked to see Aunt Petunia is officially still alive, after that business with the Marquis of Death. Who was either playing mind games, or it was undone after Secret Wars, or we’ve all just decided to ignore the Millar run.

  • Dave says:

    That Miller cover is either the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen or the greatest job of trolling in the history of the medium.

  • Rob Staeger says:

    Regarding #1027, there’s also the year that Batwoman headlined the title instead of Batman. That’s 10 more issues to get pedantic about.*

    *as I demonstrate here.

  • BobH says:

    And even more penantry, 1026 for the 1000th Bat issue of Detective, ignoring the weird numbers and year of Batwoman. Following the #526 precedent

  • rubber cat says:

    Maybe Jimmy thinks Lois, Superman, and Clark are in a poly relationship and is trying to be open-minded about it

  • Brian says:

    The “honey” bit strikes me as nothing. Bendis is a New Yorker, and Metropolis is usually cast — despite the talk sometimes of Cleveland or Kansas — as being somewhere between Connecticut and Delaware. In Midatlantic parlance, “honey” and “hon” is less of a romantic pet name and more of a general affectionate term, developed from decades of that being how generations of diner waitresses have referred to customers along the Metroplex. Here in New Jersey, I get called honey by friends’ wives quite often to no one’s scandal — given Lois’s roots in Metropolis (and Jimmy’s), and her known friendship (and reliance on) Superman, using Midatlantic casual terms like that with him doesn’t betray anything romantic, just a level of equal ground between them (and Bendis for once using language well, instead of making everyone spout Yiddish).

    I don’t know how it works in SoCal, but I always felt that diners in NorCal were impersonal to me when I was in college there simply because no one called me honey when filling my coffee (the idea struck me when talking to a Southern friend about him missing his own local restaurant customs).