I was expecting better...
As you may have gleamed from the title, I’m not totally impressed with this comic. My rambling thoughts below explain why:
Superman battles a mysterious robot wreaking havoc in Metropolis. Meanwhile, the Daemonite Helspont looks to enthral Superman under his control.
· Well there’s plenty of action this issue. Superman fighting the ‘Seeker’ as Helspont called it made for a lively start to the book. Seeing Superman cutting loose and taking the robot down easily is always fun.
· The scene with the clean up crew does bring up an interesting point in the issue of construction damage from metahuman battles. Obviously it’s prudent to have a clean up crew that takes care of the damage from the superpowered clash but perhaps the superheroes are equally culpable so should help in cleaning up after themselves.
· Helspont makes for a cool opponent for Superman to face. And it’s nice to see a Wildstorm character in the DC Universe. Given that Helspont regularly went up against Mr Majestic in the Wildstorm universe, it’s nice to see Helspont pitted against Superman here. This issue serves as a nice introduction to Helspont’s character. Portraying him as a dictatorial tyrant looking to enslave the Earth is a neat way of establishing him as a worthwhile enemy for Superman. Plus it makes sense what with the Daemonites popping up over the New 52 DC universe in titles like Stormwatch, Voodoo and Grifter. Seeing one of the big bad Daemonites in a major DC title feels right.
· Jurgens’ and Merino’s art is pretty good as well. There are some dynamic action shots during the fight and although faces tend to show a bit of rough pencilling at times, the vibrant colour of laser blasts along with a badass rendition of Helspont and an excellent few panels of Superman’s new Kryptonian biotech suit in action show that Jurgens and Merino are a capable art team.
· The cover is top notch. Ivan Reis is a fantastic artist and the pose of Superman and Helspont clashing makes for an awesome image. The deep colours of the cover add to its beauty and the background snow is a nice touch. Shamefully though this is the best thing about this issue.
· Where to start? The whole premise of this story is dull. Superman fighting a robot, Clark Kent struggling to balance his work/superhero career and then being enslaved by a villain. Overall, there’s not much substance to this story. I didn’t get much enjoyment reading it, not the same enjoyment I got from the two comics I had read prior to this one, Justice League and Action Comics. Hardly anything about this comic is original which is quite sad.
· Another cliché in the issue is the crowd milling around Superman voicing their various thoughts on him. I mean is there nothing else to talk about in this story than the people’s views on Superman? There doesn’t seem to be any depth to the story and the pacing of it is way too fast. Not surprising given that it’s a two part story but still it’s off in this issue.
· Furthermore, the two pages with Lois and Jimmy were amongst the worst of the issue. Obviously Giffen was attempting to go for a humorous scenario where Clark haplessly agrees into doing two things that he doesn’t actually know about. Very confusing I know but this scene is even more so. It’s not even vaguely witty, it’s just bland and in real life, two people don’t constantly talk across one another. They would take it in turns to talk to someone. So that really bugged me.
· Again we’re seeing a ‘take control of Superman’ scenario. Now admittedly Helspont actually has a reason for doing this unlike in the last arc. Nonetheless, Giffen is still repeating a theme in the previous story and I’d have hoped that the new creative team would have taken their story in a completely new direction. Unfortunately this is not the case.
· Aside from Helspont, the dialogue in this issue feels very lackluster. No shining personalities are displayed in this issue. Instead it seems like someone is reading off lines in the dullest manner possible
So in conclusion, this comic is nothing special. It’s barely average in fact despite the 2 stars I gave it. All in all my parting words are if you’re looking for a Superman comic, pick up Action Comics. Yes Morrison’s work is like marmite but the story is solid and enjoyable. I’m only reviewing the next issue because I want to finish what I’ve started here and after Superman #9, I’m dropping it. This book is not amongst the best of DC’s New 52.