silkcuts's DC Comics Presents: Superman #3 - 100 Page Spectacular #3 review

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Thinking about a Superman stocking Stuffer?

This is a comic I would really consider a stocking stuff for someone who wants to read Superman, but doesn't know where to start.  At $8 it is like $2 an issue, that is pretty fair.  The Set back is there is ads and no cover gallery.  You can go in a few directions after this read.  If the reader liked this, then he liked Jepb Loeb's take on Superman, so books like The Emperor Joker may acutally be enjoyable for him or her.  If this comic was okay, then you can always try something darker like Brian Azzarello and Jim Lee's Superman: For Tomorrow.  This "stocking stuff" does give a good intro into a lot of Superman Villains, such as Metallo, Lex Luthor and Toyman over the four issues. Each issue is a self contained story: 

Metropolis E-Mailbag

What I enjoyed about Jeph Loeb's run on Superman was the playful approach he tool with the character.  There are the stand "Inspiration" idea that floats around is still there and that sets up this issue as a holiday season of Inspiration. The Premise is that Superman is given E-Mails requesting something from him on Christmas.
 
As Superman "Inspires", both Metallo and the knew Toyman fight.  While the fight Superman goes back and forth between the fight and his chores.  This is where we will loose some readers.  I understand some comic readers hate Superman because he is too powerful.  I believe that that is the shallow reading in a lot of people who still see comics as "funny books". Comics can be as effective as a read book and they sure teach kids to read better then a novel ever will.  This is why I enjoyed Jeph Loeb's run, being a father I think he wanted his run to be accessible to everyone, not just the target teen to adult market comics have developed into.  So why not better then to have Two Robotic villains fight it out like rock'em sock'em robots?  That is a win for me.
 
Note the cover, every Anime. Love it!  Ed McGuinness nailed the Made in Japan feel.  The Toy Supermen were a great touch in this comic, I felt it was a symbolic return to our childhood.  This is what makes Superman great, Superman is that magic we believed in when we were kids: Man who could fly and save the day. I really enjoyed this issue.

The American Way

This issue I am still mixed on today.  The Premise is Superman is redefining himself, the yellow in his "S" has gone black.  This is a symbolic statement that Superman lost something.  Joeb and co take advantage with this and this issues is about redefining Superman.  Lex Luthor is president and used Superman's own slogan "Truth, Justice and the American way".  This slogan is a double-edged blade with Superman, he is Alien so he is not Human, but America is the land of the free.  Lex Luthor is human and naturally serves as the evils in Humans, while Superman is suppose to "Inspire" us to be better.
 
What makes me mixed about this issue is I am Canadian and the American Spirit is a lot for me in this comic.  I can appreciate a well written comics, I have reviewed comics from the most obscure indie cartoonist to some of the most celebrated graphic novels.  The American Spirit floods this comic, there are even times when the panels would only show colors of red, white and blue.  That color choice works differently for Canadians, but I do like the attempt Loeb and co tried. Most noted is the fight with Uncle Sam and Superman, while I didn't get why they fought, the use of red, white and blue was nice because I saw the conflict visually. The colors ran horizontal since both men are American heroes.  The colors failed for me when I noticed them in the Lex Luthor pages, they were mostly BLUE.. I guess representing his political standing?  The Blue did work a bit because the color choices were colder, but I know I was missing something in translation, being a cousin across the boarder and all.
 
I did enjoy this issue, but I could not love it, since it doesn't apply to me.  I loved the family connection Clark Kent still has and my favorite scenes are the ones in Smallville. I would recommend that collection if you want playful stories that try to redefine the most ICONIC Superhero of them all.  
 

THE MIRROR CRACK'D

 The Premise of this issue was Superman and Bizarro switch places for a day.  The good in that is the duality of the situation. Both men represent opposites, Bizarro is almost like the Photo's negative for Superman.  There are panels in which Jeph Loeb and co really play with this duality, which was a nice sense of graphic communication. The weakness in this premise is that now Clark Kent is mixed in.  This involvement with Clark makes a case for one of two things: (1) Perry White already knows Clark is Superman, so Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow really could be Superman's last story or (2) Perry White is a horrible detective and it is good he is editor-in-chief of the Newspaper Clark Kent works for.
 Page layout with inks no color: See if you can tell them apart.
Overall this comic was a fun read, it is set in the Emperor Joker universe so that may be something to note.  Not everyone likes that universe because it feels very childish.  I think it makes the Superman books "accessible" to any age, so that is why I don't mind it.  Superman is a character I really respect, so I like comics anyone could read that have Superman is in.    
 

The Secret - Part One: Dead Men

The Covers at time can be miss leading, Solomon Grundy does not have much to do with this comic.  The whole Suicide Squad does. This may be one of the few times where I think the omission of the cover was okay in this reprint.
 
The Premise of this story is Lois is trying to bring down Luthor with an article she is working on, but she can't work on it because of an agreement with Luthor.  The Suicide Squad show up to "Scare" her.  This issue does set up interesting ideas and makes me want to know more about the political tension between Clark Kent and Lex Luthor. The conflict boils over by the end of the issue with Lois and Clark finding a loop hole to Lois' agreement.
 
Because this story is at  the end of the reprint issue, it is awkward because it is the beginning to a multi-part story, I think it was silly to leave that collection so open ended.  The issue is not bad for the collection, it just seems weird to leave the collection on a cliff-hanger.  This story should of been in a different collection in my opinion.
 

Verdict:

Overall I enjoyed this collection.  All three of the DC Comics Presents: Superman have their own merits and this one I think makes a nice stocking stuff right before the holidays.  Old Superman fans can take these stories as they may, but it does open up a nice snap shot to Superman comics for those who don't read Superman and may be want to. This is not an must have comic by any means, it is just a fun comic. A good spirited comic.  A comic that shows us why Superman is an "Inspiration".
 
Happy Holidays! Cheers!
- Silkcuts
2 Comments
Posted by Mourgos

I like the inserts you have here.  Bizarro has been fun for the last 40 years at least.  Me hate him!
Posted by Silkcuts
@Mourgos:  Thanks :D
Happy Holidays

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