Has Grounded hit Rock Bottom?
Up until Superman #704 I enjoyed the Grounded storyline. It was a fresh, unique take on Superman and put him on a level that made him relatable to us once again. However, the interlude issue was awful filler material. Will this issue restore my faith in Grounded?
Superman visits Chicago where his reception is a lukewarm one. He stays with Lois in a motel, has a bad dream and helps a boy and his mother from an abusive father.
· The ‘gun’ analogy at the start was a great way to start the issue. It shows the tragic aspect of a hero’s path and the problem of property damage in one of their many fights with a supervillain which leads to the question of whether they are doing more bad than good. It’s a nice way of showcasing public opinion of anyone, celebrities or politicians are delicately hanging in the balance and Superman is no exception to this.
· Clois’ ‘bed’ talk despite the tackiness of it which I will come onto later was good. Clark’s desire to go on this walk and relate to the people he is supposed to save is reiterated once again but in a good way. He doesn’t care about the criticism nor does he stoop to the level of saying, “Hey I’ve saved the planet more times than you go grocery shopping so cut the slack”. He finds it refreshing that people come up and talk to him, whether or not the things they say are bad or good. I mean, you wouldn’t normally bad mouth a guy who has moved planets now would you? However, I don’t understand why this talk has to be in bed after the birds and the bees. It’s nice to see Clark and Lois keeping the marriage alive but does every heartfelt talk have to be after... y’know?
· William’s childlike innocence and naivety are a touching part of this issue. His unwavering belief in Superman’s ability to solve everyone’s problems including his own and his parents show how idolised Superman is and how high people’s expectations are for him.
· Superman wearing make up is quite a funny scene. Even the Man of Steel is not above wearing make up lol.
· The abusive father does make for an excellent villain for this comic. Instead of facing alien invasions and mad scientists, Superman deals with the worst of humanity which in this case is a wife beater and child abuser. William standing up to his abusive father trying to emulate Superman and his father’s response make up one of the most emotional scenes of Grounded aside from the suicide scene in Superman #701.
· Continuing from this, Superman’s freeing of William and his reaction to the abusive father is a good one. It showcases Superman’s anger whilst at the same time demonstrating why he is the best of humanity.
· The art was good for most of the issue but this wasn’t always the case.
· That annoying b**** is back from the last issue. I hated her then and I hate her now. She’s pointless, unneeded and a waste of pages if you ask me. It’s just JMS’ excuse to slot a Kryptonian representation into this story.
· The nightmare scene was even worse. Her saying that since he can’t save some people and he can’t save everyone then why should he bother at all is absurd. Superman does what he does to rescue as many people as possible. He knows he can’t save everyone but if he gets bogged down with that, then he’d just be stalling when he could be doing his job. The three headed monster fight, whilst well drawn and a representation of Superman’s doubts lacked the action of issues 702 and 703. There was no pzas about it, just dull and mundane. And finally, the sacrificing bit? Of course Superman would sacrifice himself. He’d lay down his life to save anyone. Hell he did that with Doomsday already so why’s it being brought up again?
· How does make up stay on Superman’s skin? He’s invulnerable! Is this make up from Kandor or something? (Sigh)
· The mother character needed more development. It should be her maternal instinct to do more to defend her child from the abusive father! I’m not saying she’s a bad mother, just that the character needed some work.
· Superman brings up a point that makes this whole issue seem pointless. When the officer congratulates him on doing a good job, Superman mentions that all the problem needed to be solved was “someone, anyone with a pair of eyes, a voice, a phone and ten cents worth of compassion” Neighbours should have run up about the problem and the police should have been more active. This village doesn’t seem to be neighbourly at all
· The pencillers and inkers are mismatched and don’t work at all in this issue.
· The cover, whilst going for emotional appeal fails at that. It’s just bleugh, meh, that’s it really. I realise you’ve probs stopped reading halfway through now so here are the final scores:
Story: 6 out of 10
Art: 7 out of 10
Cover: 3 out of 10
Overall: 5 out of 10