Grounded continues its good streak (for now)
After the success of the last issue, Superman #709 has another guest star, the Flash. Will it live up to the standards the last issue set?
After helping some South American speedster (I think) Superman reaches Colorado where a ‘mysterious blur’ is reciting Kryptonian history at high speeds and giving the town a makeover. Can Superman solve this mystery (Sorry for the Scooby Doo gag)
· The random speedster guy appearing did allow for some friendly dialogue between a hero inspired by Superman and the Man of Steel himself. It shows Superman once again that he is making a positive impact on the world and its people.
· Then the book gets interesting. After a missed call to Lois, the Kryptonian elements are brought back into the story. In a good way though that doesn’t include the b****. Having the citizens dressed up in Kryptonian garb as well as the city having a makeover was a good move on the writers’ part. It adds a different spin on including Superman’s Kryptonian heritage into the story which was pretty good.
· Having the Flash appear in this issue was another good element of the story. He provides a worthy challenge for Superman speed wise as he is faster than Supes and the dialogue between these 2 later on demonstrates a playful rivalry along with a deep respect for one another. And his guest star status was handled well. Combining the Kryptonian aspect with his appearance through the brain altering headband provided the perfect excuse to have the Flash involved in this issue.
· Following up from that this issue put a twist on the typical mind controlling front. Flash isn’t able to stop reciting Kryptonian history but to get the headband off him he seeks out Superman and leaves several clues that he’s trying to reach him e.g inclusion of his name meaning star child and the headband being the source of the Flash’s rampant streak of doing a Grand Design makeover on Colorado. Another good point from this issue.
· As I said earlier, this is a great look at Clark and Barry’s relationship. The rivalry is shown in Superman’s statement of “I almost didn’t catch you” and the continuity reference to the Superboy vs Kid Flash race going on in Superboy #5. As well as interesting dialogue between the 2 heroes, it supplies Superman with a chance to talk over his problems with someone who would know what going through a hard time means and that leaving his legacy behind will be a good thing in the future.
· Another aspect this comic delivers on is humour. There’s Superman thanking that Barry didn’t strip the citizens of Colorado before putting their clothes back on, Supes referencing the store cupboard incident from Superman #701 and more. This is showcasing Roberson’s strong points in the dialogue area as it’s funny, Superman isn’t as aggressive and the Flash is as quick witted as ever. Couldn’t ask for more.
· But wait there is more good stuff. Eddy Barrows and JP Mayer come clean on the art again. It is fantastic as per usual from these 2. The pencils perfectly encompass Barrows’ vision of high speed antics from 2 of DC’s fastest and the colours are bright and interesting.
· Finally the cover is pretty good. The facial expressions could do with some work but it’s good nonetheless.
· However there are some bad spots. For example why would the Flash try on a mysterious headband in a crater? Doesn’t he know better than to use his common sense?
· The flashback was kind of unnecessary and pointless if I’m honest. It doesn’t serve any purpose.
· The art handled by Allan Goldman and Julio Ferreira looked out of place and wasn’t as good as Barrows and Mayer. Fortunately it was only a couple of pages.
· Finally a continuity error. When the waitress comes over to take orders, Superman declines but on the next page there’s a sandwich in front of him. What the hell?!
But don’t let these gripes drag the issue down. In general this issue has the fewest issues story wise and has enough positive points to make a fantastic read even if the story isn’t progressing much. The art is strong on the Barrows Mayer front so that really makes this a worthwhile issue to read