Thursday, April 21, 2011
War of The Supermen (Review)
Citizen's Grade: Sigh...
New Krypton has been destroyed, tens of thousands of Kryptonians are dead at the hands of Brainiac, and Earth was behind it all! Zod is angry! All the remaining Kryptonians are angry! Superman & Supergirl are angry! Earth must pay! The remaining remnants of New Krypton have declared WAR on EARTH!!
They will have vengeance....that is the theme of War of the Supermen....and what can humanity do to stop thousands of Supermen? Absolutely nothing. Earth's mightiest heroes try to slow the onslaught,
as General Lane is revealed as the chief conspirator; along with Lex Luthor and Brainiac, in the destruction of New Krypton. Not even Lois Lane; his own daughter, is safe from the anti-kryptonian hysteria that has gripped earth.
Luthor makes a failed attempt to turn Earth's sun red, but Flamebird (a kryptonian deity) re-lights it yellow....there are some great fight scenes between Superman & Zod and his envoy, good build-up, then.....poof! That's right, the story just disappears.....Superboy finds the Phantom Zone Projector and zaps all the Kryptonians to "Zone". Yeah, THAT'S THE HUGE CLIMATIC FINALE THAT'S BEEN BUILDING UP OVER THE PAST YEAR!!!! Nightwing (not Dick Grayson, but the other kryptonian deity) "seals" the phantom zone so that Zod and the others can't return....
This supposedly "great" event ends with Superman sad and feeling hopeless with Lois Lane on the roof mourning her father (who committed suicide). That enters into the next chapter of Superman, "presented" by JMS (more on that below). I don't blame Robinson or Gates (see below), and the artwork is really good...but this is a real disappointment. A 100-minute War? Really?
After 6 volumes of build-up (see: New Krypton & Last Stand of New Krypton Reviews), James Robinson & Sterling Gates were coming to the climax of this promising story arc.....then enters J. Michael Straczynski! The author of Superman: Earth One (a New York Times Bestseller), and former writer of Amazing Spiderman & Thor (for Marvel Comics). A big announcement is made that he will be taking over the month-to-month writing duties of Superman (& Wonder Woman)......so, War of the Supermen has to get wrapped up...in a month!!
JMS is to bring Superman back to the forefront with Batman & Green Lantern! He talks about having a multi-year story arc in the works....War of the Supermen gets the "rush treatment".....and in the event that this is what Robinson & Gates were really planning all along, it is divine providence that they can now forever blame JMS for this horrible ending.....JMS takes over, writes a few issues, THEN DECIDES TO LEAVE TO "CONCENTRATE" HIS EFFORTS ON THE FOLLOW-UP TO SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE!!!! They bring in another writer to pen "J. Michael Straczynski Presents: Superman" issues based on JMS's notes....WHAT THE FRAK?!?!?!?!?!?
I loved JMS's writing on Spiderman & Thor, adored Babylon 5...and when I heard he was coming to DC to write Superman was super-excited and on this blog and forums defended and gloried in JMS's greatness (see: JMS to write Superman....)! Now I feel like a fool....and although I still think JMS is a good writer, and yes...Superman: Earth One is a huge success, and yes....if he writes something else I'll be tempted to buy it....but he's ruined my love for The Man of Steel. War of The Supermen is the last Superman volume I'll be collecting for quite a while.