Saturday, December 01, 2012

Supergirl #14 and Superman #14 (H’EL on Earth) plus a couple of quick thoughts on recent Marvel NOW issues

Supergirl is the only original title from The New 52 that I have continued to get without interruption since the relaunch.  Although I’ve started getting both Batman and Swamp Thing again recently with the beginning of year two (along with too many other titles to mention…And I do mean TOO MANY!).  I’ve been endeavoring to get all of her guest appearances in other books, but when Superman #13 only showed her on the last page, I decided to skip it. 

I read Supergirl #14 early this week even though it came out over a week ago and we’re right near the beginning of the H’EL on Earth cross-over.  It looks like the only thing I missed in the previous chapter was Superman fighting some Kryptonian dragon.  After page four, Superman departs and it’s strictly a regular Supergirl-centric story.  We find out that Siobhan is starting to revert back to her Silver Banshee form and Kara spends more time inside her underwater sanctuary where she finally gets confirmation that Superman really is her cousin.  H’EL whisks her away like the ghost of Christmas present, trying to lure her to his side.  Apparently he can pop in and out like the Spot (or Coyote) in Daredevil.  His best offer to convince her is to threaten to kill Superboy.  Nobody likes clones, you know.  In one scene H’EL sports a reverse S-shield on his pasty white flesh, so I guess he’s the new version of Bizzaro (with a face like the Crusader’s Scarface).  He also somehow gives Kara the ability to speak English, which is a major turning point for her character.  The issue ends with a cliff-hanger of her going to see Kal in Metropolis, but inadvertently stumbling upon him as Clark talking to Lois.  Both creators have been on the book since the start (with only a few guest artists) and this was another enjoyable issue.  There’s a lot I don’t like about The New 52, but I really think this version of Supergirl is the best since the pre-Crisis days.

After that lead in, I ended up picking up Superman #14 this week, since Supergirl played a major role this time.  The direct-scan from pencil (I think) art by Kenneth Rocafort is really good with very inventive panel layouts.  However, it’s extra impressive with Sunny Gho’s awesome watercolor-ish…colors.  It’s a bright looking book.   The overall script by Scott Lobdell was fine, except that I really can’t get behind this new trendy/modern version of Superman/Clark, especially his dialogue (“going to kick your butt back to space”).  I’m used to Superman acting with authority and this guy still seems like he’s trying too hard.  That’s not Scott’s fault, but the DC editorial staff that defined this faux-hero. 

The issue begins a few minutes prior to the end of the last chapter where we see the start of Clark and Lois’ conversation.  She’s trying to convince him to return to the Daily Planet, but they’re more focused on relationship issues.  He’s mad that she’s moving in with someone (he spied on her and lied about using his reporter skills to uncover the fact) and she’s been noticing how happy he’s been since he had sex with Wonder Woman. “You don’t think I’ve noticed the country mouse smile you had plastered on your face all last week?”  It’s at this awkward moment where Kara shows up, which leads Lois to assume that she’s Clark’s mysterious girl.  The cosplayer comments were pretty funny.

When Lois leaves Clark quickly changes and takes Kara far from his apartment and secret identity.  He’s royally ticked (another not-so super characteristic – understandable, but not “Super-manish” to me).  H’EL shows up and a battle ensues.  He reveals that he wants to resurrect Krypton, which is why Kara is leaning his way.  He pulls his Superboy rabbit trick again and shows that he can disable Superman with one blow.  All in all, it was a pretty good story and I’ll at least be following the Supergirl parts.  I looked to see if it was worth getting Superman #13, but there were no more copies.

Now a couple of quick thoughts on some books:

Captain America #1: Wasn’t bad.  I like the whole Krazy-Kirby approach.  It was during Jack’s classic 70’s run that I bought my first Cap issue (#209).  What I didn’t like was the brutal wife beating at the beginning of the issue.  Has this ever been revealed before?  I was really sad for Steve and upset that once again Marvel portrays a father in a negative light.  That’s just a teaser to another post that’s been brewing in the back of my mind.  At least the scene was certainly distasteful, but I also felt it was totally unnecessary.

All-New X-Men #2: Man, I totally love this book. I can hardly wait for the next issue, but I’m not quite ready for another one next week!  My budget is seriously getting busted by Marvel Now.  We got an explanation for the time travel (Reed/Doom’s time machine tweaked by Hank).  I really loved the comment about the geniuses in the Marvel Universe.  I am so sick of everyone talking about how smart they are.  Just show that you’re smart by your actions already.  This is definitely my favorite Marvel Now series with Thor a close second.

FF #1: I thought this was much better than the Fantastic Four issue, even though the Future Foundation is still going to be a major component of the series.  It was nice to see Reed confide in Scott (I still don’t like that they killed off his daughter).  I thought the Medusa/Sue scene was the best “invite” one.  Although, it was really funny the way Johnny invited Darla to be the Thing replacement.  What do they need another strong-hero with She-Hulk around?  I guess that’s going to be the fun thing to discover.  The whole interview framework, which has been used numerous times before, really worked well here.  This book is going to be quirky for sure, but I think it’s going to be like nothing we’ve ever seen before in the Marvel Universe.

That’s it for this week.  I could write more, but the house is about ready to fall apart and we need to watch the second episode of the Logan’s Run TV series.  I really enjoyed my weekend off last Saturday.  Thanks for filling-in with something Jim. 

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