Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Superman is Good Again

First I like to thank Lee and Brainiac6 for doing the occasional post. The more the merrier.

The title of my post says it all Superman is a excellent comic again in all four books.

The creme de la creme of the bunch is All Star Superman (despite the unfortunate abbreviation for the title) I have posted the last issue's cover twice on my page and my friend Shawn in his review column (http://www.cosmiccomix.com/reviews/index.htm) also remarked on it. The picture posted is the cover to issue #7. The thing about All Star Superman is that it's name and the hype before it was released is being met. Very, very rare in any entertainment medium, where hype is king. This book has been an absolute joy and I don't care that it is a quarterly book because each issue is a one and done, with an underlying story which has been in the background since issue #1. This book is really one of the best comics being produced today. After the initial 12 issue run it may go down as one of the best Superman stories ever done. It uses all the corny and laughable things (by today's standards) from the silver age and makes them work. The stories are written in a modern style and stay true to the characters they are portraying. Grant Morrison may be doing his best work ever on this book. Frank Quietly has managed to make each of these characters his own and again still remain true to their essential natures. He has produced images that remain in my mind long after the reading. The Super Lois story was memorable for the kiss and this cover from issue #6 are two that are just fantastic.

Next up is Superman Confidential. I was pretty much pre-sold on this book as I'm a huge Darwyn Cooke fan (even if he is just writing) and I love Tim Sale's art work. So with them as the team, it was easy to like this book. The perfect team have been disappointment's before (reference Frank Miller / Jim Lee on All Star Batman), but this has been another really solid book. Still not sure if the kryptonite itself is talking or what, but the first three issues have done a great job of exploring Superman early in his career. The core concept of the book is Superman is still learning if he has limits regarding his invulnerability. It has been well written and well drawn and is a second Superman book that I enjoy. My concern is that this is an arc book where the teams will rotate and the book will only be as strong as the team on the book, but so far, so good.

Then we come to Superman itself. This book is by Kurt Busiek and Carlos Pacheo. I like both of these creators, but I was unsure if Superman would be a strength for Busiek, but he has done an exactly job with the book. Pacheo style has evolved over the years and he is not as fluid as he once was, but his art has more gravitas. The last two issues have been an Elseworld's type sage laying the ground work for the overall story they are building up to, but while it has been good, it will be interesting to see how it all fits as the story plays out.

Still no question about it, Superman is a superior title and an excellent series month in and month out.

Last we come to Action comics where we have the team of Geoff Johns, Richard Donner (the Richard Donner) and Adam Kubert. This book has been good, but we have only had two issues and the third issue is late and then we have some fill in material while who ever is late gets caught up. My guess is that this is not a high priority on Richard Donner's list and as Geoff Johns used to be Donner's assistant, I don't think he wants to leave him out of the overall plotting and direction of the book. I had suspected that Donner gave his ideas to Johns and then Johns wrote it. I now suspect Donner is taking a much more active role and slowing down the progress. This reduces my desire to follow this book as I like monthly books to be monthly, but the first two issues were very intriguing. Another Superman title that I like.

Kudos to DC for making Superman a book I want to read and a character I care about again. I haven't cared about Superman in at least a decade and to really enjoy all four titles and the level of talent on these books is amazing.

DC has done it right by taking Superman (and Batman to a lessor extent) and really infused it with life and made then the titles what they should be. For DC Batman and Superman should be some of their best work and they are again. Now if Marvel can only make Spider-Man and FF good again - at least their movies should rock this year.


  1. I found out today that James McGuinn (sp?) is not reading ALL STAR SUPERMAN nor NEWUNIVERSAL.

    Should you beat him with the whipping rod or shall I?


  2. As I won;t be there Sunday you will have the honors. But hit a few times for me and force him to read them. Book terrific books.