Happy Birthday, Superman! + Jyger’s Favourite 5 – 5 Favourite Superman Stories
Hey guys, it’s February 29th! Guess who is celebrating their birthday today? 😀
… … … …Okay, let’s try THAT again…
I swear to God, YouTube!!!
There we go! 😀 And yeah, go figure that, in official DC canon, Superman is a leap year baby. Personally, I would prefer to celebrate his birthday as being the date when Action Comics #1 came out, but since there is an actual birth date given for him in the comics, here we are. And for a man who has had stories told about him for nearly 80 years, who has saved the world more times than I could dare count, and has been rebooted and given multiple continuities devoted to telling various tales about him, naturally, everybody’s gonna have their favourites. As such, here are five of my personal favourite stories, both from the comics, the various animated series he’s been involved in, and the movies he’s been a part of. So, I suppose we should start off with the most obvious one that anyone who reads my blog knows is gonna be on here, simply because I’ve gone on and on about it already, meaning I won’t have as much new to say about it here…
In looking back on this book, it’s all the more clear to me just how much potential the New 52 Superman has as a character that is ultimately squandered. He is probably among the more imperfect versions of Superman to be shown off in the mainstream, and yet is shown to nonetheless be an inspiring and heroic individual primarily due to one thing: He never, ever gives up. He keeps trying, no matter how bleak things get, even when his own life is on the line, and even if the entire world pleaded for his sake not to. And sometimes, that means failing and eating dirt. But what’s always been most important to him is to never stop trying. Like all past versions of Superman have done when they are at their best, he inspires others to be better through his actions and his kindness. In addition to all that, though, there’re also great cameos by Batman and Wonder Woman that actually make sense within the context of the story and aren’t just shoved in to make a buck, there’s plenty of Lois Lane being awesome, Lex Luthor remains the great and evil puppeteer, and even Jimmy Olsen gets some nice moments in here and there. There are some clichés of modern Superman stories involved, like the military being leery and untrusting of him, and the reveal of another alien who has appeared on Earth to contest him, but there’s just something about the context in which it’s presented here that works a lot better. If you want a good Superman read set in the New 52, this is probably the one for you.
Probably my favourite modern reinterpretation of Superman’s origins. Granted, it could’ve been stretched out to a four or five parter so that the stuff involving Clark as Superman could’ve been expanded on more, but hey, he’s technically still getting started in the next few episodes anyway, so it works fine for what it is. It even addresses my biggest gripe involving Superman’s origins, which, if you’ve read my blog for a while now, you already know: HOW THE FUCK DID NOBODY ELSE ON KRYPTON KNOW THE END WAS COMING AND DIDN’T HAVE A MEANS OF GETTING OFF THE PLANET?!?! Here, though, the explanation given actually makes a lot of sense. Making Lois more of a rival to Clark kinda works well, too, and lets us see her really working her ass off and taking some serious risks, to where it’s obvious and forgivable that she needs saving so much. Any of us would under those circumstances, it just happens to be her. Granted, I don’t quite get why her skirt is so short that, when Superman carries her around, everyone beneath her is getting a shot of her underwear, but whatever. Point is, it’s a great first outing for the hero and look at his origins for a new generation.
The more I think about it, the more I realize how this is pretty much the archetype of the classic Superman story: Mad scientist creates a device that’ll severely fuck up the world, Lois gets into trouble trying to do her job, Superman has to get involved, and through his quick thinking and incredible powers, he saves the day. And honestly, even after nearly 75 years, it still holds up really well. Yeah, there’s some stuff involving his origins that are talked about that I don’t agree with, like the idea of him being naturally super without the need for the sun, or the fact that he was raised in an orphanage, but, all things considered, not the worst version of his origins I’ve ever seen, either. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. It’s in public domain right now, so there’s very little in the way of stopping you from doing so.
What DO you get for the man who has everything? Well, if you wanna stay on his good side, probably not what Mongul got him. This story’s actually been retold and reimagined from its original comic form at least a couple of times. The ones I’m thinking of are in the fantastic Justice League Unlimited series, and as an episode of Supergirl, entitled For The Girl Who Has Everything. Admittedly, I lean more towards the JLU version, but that could simply be because it’s the first one I saw. However, all three tend to show that the most painful and heartbreaking thing you can do to a person is to make them live out their perfect scenario and then force them to abandon it for the greater good. Also, the comic has probably one of Jason Todd’s best moments EVER. It’s emotional, it’s action packed, it’s For The Man Who Has Everything.
Oftentimes considered by many to be one of the all-time greatest stories of the Man of Tomorrow. Once again, the animated version is the one I first saw, but having read the comics since then, I can tell you there are things about it that they change from the original that I both like and dislike. In terms of the like category, I think I prefer the ending of the movie, where we see Luthor, in what could be his final days, finally understanding Superman and what he stood for, what he himself could’ve been all along if it’d really mattered to him, and while he doesn’t necessarily redeem himself, he does make a gesture that perhaps will let his life have some positive meaning. In terms of the dislike, though, the pacing is a bit off, but that’s kinda obvious, due to trying to crunch down a 12 issue comic mini-series into a 76 minute movie. However, while there are of course some things that had to be cut, the one thing that I wish to God could’ve been kept in wasn’t. I don’t why, if maybe there was concern about showing this for whatever reason, but it is quite possibly the greatest scene involving Superman that you will ever see in your life. Here’s the context: Superman is dying. No ifs, ands, or buts about it, he is going to die. As such, in his last days, he is spending his time doing as much as he can for the world as possible, saving more lives and accomplishing greater wonders than he ever has before. And right as he’s in the middle of all that, his super hearing intercepts a call made by a single child…and this is what happens.
THAT is Superman. THAT is the Man of Tomorrow. How great is this scene, you might still ask yourself? Mark Waid called it the most moving scene in a Superman book ever, and he has read EVERY SINGLE COMIC ABOUT SUPERMAN. As I once shared on my blog, POW once awarded it as the greatest moment in comic book history. As TV Tropes put it, “If you took all eighty years of the character’s history and distilled it into a single pure moment containing all his best qualities, that one page would be it. He inspires strength, wisdom, kindness, freedom, value and hope in just a few words. And he saves a life.” And in terms of how it impacted the people who read it…well, let’s let this person tell you.
… … …I’d put down my fedora for this, but let’s be honest, I don’t really wear it much anymore. It’s gotten kinda old. Regardless, this is where we get into real talk, so just bear with me. A lot of people ask me from time to time how I can care so much about superheroes, when they’re just fictional characters drawn on paper. And, even I’ve asked myself on occasion why it feels like all I know how to write about are superheroes, or people and characters that are heroic in their own ways. This is the reason why: Through their stories, superheroes inspire people. They inspire us to be better, to be stronger, to be truer to ourselves, and to be kind and noble. I think that’s also why I watch Atop The Fourth Wall and find myself in the same corner as Lewis Lovhaug when he talks about comics. He once said that “Superheroes are basically the equivalent of modern-day knights-errant, they go out and help people and fight injustices. But a lot of the best superhero comics are the ones not actually about superheroes hitting supervillains or each other, anything like that. It’s the ones that show that superheroes are about kindness and decency and something far more noble than the adolescent power fantasies that people often critique them as”. I tend to agree. Sure, it’s always great to see superheroes give evil people their comeuppance, and of course I still love a good superhero brawl as much as anyone, but THIS is what they should always be about. They are kind, they are compassionate, and in their fictional tales, they show us what we can be in real life.
…Oh yeah, and one other problem one can have with the animated version of All-Star Superman is that he apparently kills Solaris. I don’t know enough about Solaris to know if he really qualifies as a living creature, so if he does, then yeah, that’s a strike against the movie. Really, the only reason I’m okay with it in Superman Unbound is because, by then, Brainiac was more…well…Um, Obi-Wan, you wanna help me out here?
Thank you. lol
And those are my favourite Superman stories. Got one that wasn’t on here? Leave it in the comments section, and don’t worry, I’ll likely be sharing more of my favourite stories and moments in a couple of years when The Man of Tomorrow hits 80 years old. And hey, be sure to leave any words you’d like to share with Superman on his birthday on your own, as well. Ja né!
What I Bought Today – Fearless Defenders #12, Batman/Superman #6, The Movement #7 (WARNING – SPOILERS) + Farewell Fearless Defenders
Well, tis Wednesday, meaning it’s time to look at…
And no, I didn’t forget last week, I just didn’t buy anything. The weather was nasty out, so I didn’t go out. Also, I’ve been home sick with a cold, and I got my early Christmas present, the Wii U, a bit earlier than expected, hence why I haven’t writing much. But, I’m back, which means I now have the unfortunate responsibility of sending of one of my favourite books from this past year: The Fearless Defenders.
Suffice to say, Fearless Defenders, despite one or two dipping points, has been a delight to read this past year. I still haven’t had the chance to grab the first few issues before the one that hooked me, the issue with the awesome tournament fighter select screen cover, but I plan to, as soon as I can find them. In the meantime, though, I’ve loved what I’ve read of the series. If I haven’t made it clear, my favourite characters of the book have thus far been Annabelle, Valkyrie, and the newly created Ren Kimura. Still, the other members of this all superheroine team have been awesome in their own ways. It’s a shame to see their comic go, but at least we’ll always have the memories. And with that said, let’s look at Fearless Defenders #12.
So, long story short, Enchantress and the other Doom Maidens that Caroline LeFay let go ratted her out to the Defenders, so they go to where she and the rest of her team are hiding, while picking up a new member for the ride. It seems that Annabelle and Valkyrie are kind of having troubles, since it turns out part of the agreement with the All Mother to allow their little trick and let Annabelle return to the realm of the living was for her to remind Valkyrie of her duty to bring together shieldmaidens, not defenders. Also, Valkyrie’s a bit bothered by the fact that, every day, she’s becoming more and more like Annabelle. However, Annabelle counters that she agrees with Valkyrie, that the world needs Defenders, not shieldmaidens, and that she too is becoming more like Valkyrie. It’s a lot like Yugi and Yami Yugi from Yugioh: The two are balancing each other out. So, after hinting that Valkyrie likes Red too (thanks for suggesting the threesome that can never be, Cullen, lol), Valkyrie and the other Defenders go to work and stop the Doom Maidens, while Caroline decides to sacrifice herself to a pit sending off energy to summon something. The Defenders have their new recruit, Frankie Raye, AKA frigging Galactus‘ former herald, siphon off the energy to stop the pit, but it appears to have nonetheless summoned Morgan LeFay back to Earth. Still, the Doom Maidens are defeated, which is likely a huge hindrance to her plans, so I’m calling it a win for the heroes, which is good to see for the final issue. Still, I totally wanted to see Cullen Bunn’s plans for the book come to be, particularly them going into space and confronting Galactus. Although, I suppose revealing said plans may be a way to entice people into wanting to see the book come back. 🙂
Batman/Superman #6, still going with the gimmick of turning it on its side, apparently gonna be a thing for this arc. But regardless, we open the comic and we find that, following his VERY short fight with Mongul at the end of #5, Batman is dead…No, I’m not kidding. Mongul put a smoking hot hole in Batman’s chest. He’s DEAD. BUT, since it’s Batman, and this isn’t a major storyline that would get tons of attention, naturally he gets a get-out-of-jail-free card. A nanotech cloud formed by the players in what they still believe only to be a game brings him back. Fortunately, this gives him access to whose playing, and as soon as Supes finds out Jimmy Olsen is sitting in, he yells at him to knock it off…I think Olsen may have soiled himself right then and there. lol Anyway, Batman uses new powers granted to him through the tech holding him together to try to destroy the machine holding the game (and now himself) together, but Jimmy and the players stop him by taking over, having figured out now that it’s all real and not wanting Batman to die. Instead, they help him deal with Mongul when he starts attacking people, while Superman battles Mongul head on. However, Mongul has another trick up his sleeve. Remember how in last issue everyone’s heart rate went up, and now people have been a bit more prone to anger and violence? Yep, Mongul spread the pollen of a blossom that increases the urge for violent behaviour in people. And with the game up and running, now open to a ton of people who are affected by the pollen, and with Batman under their control, Mongul has the army he wants with the appropriate weapon for them to use: A super-powered Batman on equal footing with Superman. Unlike Earth 2, however, I like this twist, as we know this won’t be permanent, for obvious reasons, and that either Superman will find a way to free him, or Batman will override the system somehow, or Olsen and the others will free him. And hey, at least they’re doing this with Batman instead of Superman for the who-knows-how-many’th time this year.
The Movement #7…Yeah, I think I’m dropping this book. Make no mistake, though: I still support this book. I still want this book around. I like the characters. I think I proved that when I made Virtue a character in my Birds of Prey fanfic. The reason I’m dropping this book is out of necessity. I don’t wanna get too much into it, but money is going to be an issue for myself and my family for a little while, and there’s some books coming out next year I wanna get, so I have to even it out. As a result, I will most likely be dropping The Movement, as well as one or two others. So, why The Movement? Well, because while I like the characters and the concept for the story, the plot itself seems a bit unfocused and goes back and forth on what it wants to do. Characters will just do complete 180 turns on their plans with little contemplation, like I mentioned before with Tremor, or here where Vengeance Moth tells Burden that the exorcism last issue was bunk. The only one that seems consistent is Virtue, I LOVE Gail Simone’s writing (which is why I’ll be more than happy to start buying Batgirl again once the current arc is done), and these characters are really special to me, but this story needs better focus.
Anyway, lemme know what you thought of this week’s comics, and join me next week as we look at Batman #26 and Nightwing #26. Ja ne!
- In Your Face Jam – Have No Fear, “Fearless Defenders” Fans (comicbookresources.com)
- COMICS: Mongul Strikes In First Look At BATMAN/SUPERMAN #6 (comicbookmovie.com)
- Fearless Defenders #1 (carrieoncomics.wordpress.com)
- Will Sliney Profiles The Fearless Defenders: Ren Kimura (comicsbeat.com)
- Ben Affleck Finally Admits ‘Daredevil’ Is His Biggest Career Mistake (businessinsider.com)
- Peter Parker returns to Spider-Man. ‘Nuff said. (io9.com)
- DC And Marvel Cancel Some More Titles (thelazygeeks.com)
- Big BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN Movie Rumors – Possible Spoilers (geektyrant.com)
- Watch An Epic Fan-Made ‘Superman vs Batman’ Trailer (capesonfilm.com)
- Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman in ‘Batman VS Superman’! (buzzhub.wordpress.com)
What I Bought This Past Week – The DC Books (Batman #25, Batman/Superman #5, Batman and Robin #25, Harley Quinn #0) (WARNING – SPOILERS)
So, I’ve been to Heroes’ Beacon the past couple of Wednesdays, so I guess it’s time to talk about…
…And since I bought a LOT the past couple of weeks, I thought I’d split it up between DC and Marvel/Dynamite. So, let’s start the DC books with Batman #25.
Well first off, the Zero Year Batmobile is a frakking hot rod. AWESOME! 😀 Second, before we get to Riddler, apparently we got a Doctor Death/Poison Ivy arc, which is pretty cool. I like the fact that Zero Year has three phases, the first being the Red Hood Gang, second being Death and Ivy, third being Riddler. Also, apparently there’s something the military digs up in Nigeria that’s supposed to be important to all of this. Got a little bit of a problem with Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon being antagonistic towards each other because of something that happened over the murder of Bruce’s parents. Just feels unnecessary. Also, Lucius Fox does a heel turn at the end, I’m going to assume he’s being brainwashed or it isn’t really him, considering how trusted an ally he is to Batman later on. And finally, nice little back-up involving Harper Row and her brother, talking about everyone that’s helping in the blackout (Batman, Superman, Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Barbara Gordon, John Stewart, Barry Allen, and the rest). Overall, a great issue, albeit one that kinda feels a bit disconnected from all these tie-ins, considering we only hear about the storm coming in the main story, while the tie-ins and the Harper back-up are about the different characters surviving it.
Oh, Snapple…Sorry, guys. Hang on a sec…
…There we go. Yeah, as you can tell, Batman/Superman #5 was a little weird to read, because it was utilizing a different style where you have to turn the comic on its side for the entire book. In other words, Linkara‘s nightmare taken form. XD There was a moment where Superman is able to tell that, and I quote, “In Metropolis, New York City, all up and down the eastern seaboard, the average human heart rate just increased by about three percent”. And I was like “…He can hear that???” and then I had to slap myself and go “Of course he can, you idiot, he’s Superman”. I was a tiny bit offended (not a lot, just a little) by the gamers playing Toymaster’s game not being able to tell that something wasn’t normal, and how when it’s revealed to them that they’ve been actually interacting with the real world, they think it’s just some meta story-within-a-story. C’mon, I know Jimmy Olsen is one of the players, but even HE isn’t THAT stupid. But I will give it a pass for the freaking horrifying reveal at the end: Mongul hacked the game so he can turn online gamers into his own personal army, since they spend billions of hours playing first person shooters and war simulators. THAT is actually kinda scary, and the fact that Mongul is doing it makes it all the more horrifying.
Batman and Robin #25…Okay, before I get to the review, I gotta address something. Remember how it was becoming ever-so-clear that Carrie Kelley would become Robin? Well, guess what? No sign of her for a few issues now. The apparent connection that was suggested in the solicit for this issue to what’s going on with Two-Face and Erin McKillen? Not here. And now there seems to be a lot of hints and suggestions that Damian might actually be coming back. So…what the crap is going on? Was Carrie Kelley just dropped in favour of bringing Damian back? Is this maybe just misdirection to just throw us off? And when is this book gonna go back to being titled Batman and Robin instead of Batman and Whoever-The-Frig-Else-Is-In-This-Book?
But yeah, getting back to Batman and Two-Face, it’s fine. The new revised origins for Two-Face are given a bit more development, and I do like the symbolism involved, that Harvey took away Erin’s better half, so she did the same to him. I also really like the return of Matches Malone. There is one panel in the book I have to just shake my head and laugh at, though. Not for being bad, because it isn’t, but because…well, you’ll see.
Wow. Subtle, guys. Really. lol
Harley Quinn #0…Y’know what, I don’t know if I’ll be picking up the series to follow it or not, but I will say this: This one issue is worth every penny you pay for it. In fact, for what I paid for it, I almost feel like I was ripping THEM off. This is the funniest comic I have ever read. And before you ask, no, I haven’t read Deadpool. Considered it a couple of times, may end up doing it in the future, but not as of this moment in time. If you don’t know, and I don’t know why you wouldn’t if you’re into comics, this issue is all about Harley Quinn wanting her own comic, and she’s breaking the fourth wall and talking to Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti as they write the book, talking about the different artists and basically judging which ones she likes best. They even make jabs at themselves and the different artists, so you know they were fully embracing the silliness and not taking themselves too seriously. Favourite moment was probably seeing Harley in her classic costume and drawn by Bruce Timm. The point where I had to put the book down for a second because I was laughing too hard was when they made the remark about Jim Lee’s quarterly royalty payments. XD Seriously, if you like Harley Quinn, or you just like comics that are funny and random as all hell, PICK THIS BOOK UP. I cannot recommend it any further, you guys.
Anyway, that’s it for the DC books I bought lately. Check back in later to learn all about the Marvel and Dynamite books I got in the past couple of Wednesdays. Ja né!
- 23 Absurdly Lame Things That Happened To Superman, Batman, And Robin (buzzfeed.com)
- Here’s a Preview of Harley Quinn #0 (slyparadox.org)
- Review: Batman Black and White #3 (readrant.wordpress.com)
- LOST’s Terry O’Quinn up for Lex Luthor in BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN? (geektyrant.com)
- Are You Ready For Batman to Come to Fox? (cabletv.com)
- DC Comic fans watch out, Harley Quinn is getting here own comic book (fandemonium365.wordpress.com)
- Exclusive Q&A with Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner (kindlepost.com)
- Geek Out (jmelby74.wordpress.com)
- Comic Book Question of the Week Results: Favorite Batman Story (comicvine.com)
- Adam Driver may play Robin in Batman vs. Superman (dnaindia.com)
What I Bought This Past Week – Nightwing Annual #1, Superman Unchained #4, The Movement #6 (WARNING – SPOILERS)
So, been to Heroes’ Beacon a couple of times in the past week or so, and got some comics, so I’m taking a break out of writing Infinite DC – Wonder Woman for National Novel Writing Month so we can take a look at…
First off all, before anyone asks, NO, I did NOT buy the Zero Year tie-in issues of Green Arrow and the like. Why? Well, because there’s only maybe one or two of the non-Bat Family titles involved that interest me with their stories, and the Bat-Family titles involved…I thought we’d already established their back-stories, how they connect to Batman, and so on during their #0 issues. And frankly, at this point, I’m more than a little sick of massive crossover events involving books unnecessarily. I get that it’s done to get more readers on certain books, but for those that already are, it’s interrupting the stories they had going at the time, and for the ones that don’t, you’re not giving enough reason for them to start reading. Hate to break it to ya, DC, but I do not care what Jason Todd was doing during the blackout that The Riddler caused, AT ALL. The only ones I’m SLIGHTLY tempted to buy are the Action Comics tie-in (it’s Superman vs. a giant storm, leave me alone), Detective Comics (James Gordon taking on a gang working for the Black Mask), and Green Lantern Corps (John Stewart is one of those characters I like, but don’t know TOO much about their back-story before becoming a superhero). Either way though, someone has to tell the major comic book industries that the massive crossover events have to be used sparingly, and that tie-ins to other stories have to do more to entice readers, and there just has to be more of an effort placed into them. Want an example of a good tie-in book to another story? Let’s look at Nightwing Annual #1.
This is actually a tie-in to Batgirl Wanted, a storyline that I’m actually skipping. However, since Kyle Higgins doesn’t delve TOO much into the part of the story that makes my brain hurt the worst (namely Commissioner Gordon being written like a dumbass), instead focusing on telling a good Nightwing/Batgirl story that just happens to take place during this tough time in Babs’ life, it works. We also get a villain that I feel isn’t highlighted very much as the main antagonist: Firefly, complete with a new person behind the mask with a new back-story that…well, isn’t as good, and comes at the direct expense of the old one, but is still decent, and comes complete with a new, badass-looking costume. We also get a touching, at times tragic look at Dick and Barbara’s history and how it always seems to be wrong place, wrong time with them, but how they always will care deeply for each other and have the other’s back when they need it most. It’s a good read, especially for Dick/Babs shippers who want a dose of ‘the feels’.
The Movement #6 was pretty good, and I feel makes up for a problem we had last time with Tremor. It turns out that she told Katharsis that she wanted to quit because it was becoming clear that the group wasn’t doing enough to help people, particularly poor Burden, and after Vengeance Moth and Virtue break up the fight between the two, Virtue actually orders the two to go have, as Tremor calls it later, ‘Dessert Diplomacy’, while she deals with Burden, doing what she can with her powers to alleviate him of his inner fears. But he’s not the only one afraid, as it turns out that Tremor is scared, too. She’s scared for Katharsis’ soul and how stained it’s gotten, and it turns out that so is Katharsis sometimes, so they call a truce and make up. A good issue to develop the characters a bit, which is something I feel this series needs more of. After all, if DC and Gail Simone want people to buy this book, then obviously, step one HAS to be to get them to care deeply for these characters…Oh yeah, and Mouse got the shit kicked outta him, which’ll lead into the next major story arc as the team tries to take on The Graveyard Faction.
Superman Unchained #4, THANK GOD IT MIGHT NOT ONLY BE A 9-PART SERIES! I’m sorry, I know I keep harping on this, but Goddamn it, this is the best frigging Superman story going right now, if for no other reason than it actually FEELS like a Superman story. The characters are as they should be: Superman does what he can to stop the bad guys, but will alter plans to keep as many people safe as possible, even at risk to himself. Lois Lane is smart and quick on her feet, able to survive the worst scenarios thrown at her using her own natural abilities and without the need of any powers, abilities, or a mask (yes, I will be ranting about THAT soon). Jimmy Olsen is Superman’s pal who, despite being a little annoying, I actually feel some connection to in this series. And Lex Luthor is…well, Lex Luthor. He’s the evil genius that’s at least a step or two ahead of everyone else, and is just that perfect blend of insane and brilliant. Add in Wraith, who is the government fail-safe against Superman that still wishes to help him, and Ascension, the high-tech criminals out to bring the world to its knees (and for the most part seems to be succeeding), and this is a hell of a story. But like I said, it MIGHT not be a 9-part series. I’ve been hearing conflicting reports, but from what I can piece together, Jim Lee is only in for 9 issues, and Scott Snyder is currently playing it by ear how long he wants to stick around for. If he decides 9 is enough, then they’ll probably either assign someone else to it, or cancel it. So, what does the future hold for this book? I don’t know, but for now, I’m hoping Snyder sticks with it, because this is the Superman book we’ve needed since the New 52 started. Still, if it doesn’t, at least something AWESOME came out for Supes for his 75th Anniversary.
Anyway, that’s it for what I bought this and last Wednesday. Check in next time in a couple of weeks for more comics. In the meantime, I gotta get back to writing Infinite DC – Wonder Woman, as well as blogging on a couple of other issues that have come up for me recently. Ja né!
- DC Comics’ Forever Evil Part 3 of 7 Out Today *SPOILERS FROM #1-2* (sleeplessthought.wordpress.com)
- EXCL. PREVIEW: “Batgirl: Wanted” Continues in “Nightwing Annual” #1 (comicbookresources.com)
- New Comics Day: Our October 30 Pull List (theimprobablechuck.wordpress.com)
- New Release This Week!: Superman Unchained Issue #4 (thecomicbookstop.wordpress.com)
- Week 44 2013 | Part 2 | Comic Reviews (cynsworkshop.wordpress.com)
- EXCLUSIVE: Brett Booth Joins “Batman/Superman” in November (comicbookresources.com)
- Snyder and Lee’s First “Superman Unchained” Arc to Run for Nine Issues (comicbookresources.com)
- Injustice – Gods Among Us may be an insight into Superman vs Batman (dnaindia.com)
- Villain Month Guide: Part 2 – Superman and Earth-2 (retcon-punch.com)
- Superman: Zack Snyder video explores 75 years of the Man of Steel (herocomplex.latimes.com)
Follow-Up/Analysis On Injustice: Gods Among Us #1 (WARNING – SPOILERS)
Okay, so a little over a week has passed since I wrote about Injustice: Gods Among Us #1. I’m a little calmer now, and some more information has been released since then, plus the full comic is out, so I can better discuss what in the hell happened. Let me first run through the events of the comic that I originally posted, as well as some stuff that happened before and after, and then I can go into more detail about what I personally don’t like about it. I said before that if anyone else wanted to buy the comic that they could, and I stand by that. Likewise, there might be people who dislike this comic for other reasons, and if so, feel free to post it in the comments. I am simply stating what I don’t like about it. And for those who haven’t bought this comic yet and plan to do so, this is your last warning, there will be spoilers here.
Superman wakes up one morning to find that Lois, who has red hair in this comic, not sure why but I’m willing to roll with that, now has two heartbeats coming from her body, meaning that she must be pregnant. Later on, we see that Jimmy Olsen has been murdered, and Lois has been kidnapped by the Joker. At some point during the comic, a fight breaks out between Superman and Doomsday while the Justice League gets ahold of Joker. However, after Batman realises that Superman’s been exposed to a Kryptonite enhanced version of the Scarecrow’s fear toxin, it becomes clear that Superman is not fighting Doomsday. Unfortunately, this comes too late as Superman has flown ‘Doomsday’ out of the planet’s atmosphere, just as he realises it to actually be Lois herself. Worse yet, it seems that Joker planted a bomb that’s set to detonate when Lois’ heart stops beating, and within moments, Metropolis is utterly destroyed. This leads Superman to put his fist through the Joker’s chest in revenge, seemingly murdering him, as Batman looks on in horror.
If you didn’t pick out what’s wrong with all that, don’t worry, I’m about to explain it. Let’s start off with something minor and work our way up…
Yeah, I know that the reader is meant to believe that the Joker’s dead, but considering that 1) He’s in the game, and 2) It’s the Joker, I’m willing to go out on a limb and suggest he isn’t really dead. Maybe he used a clone, or a stand-in, or some other trickery like that. I suppose an alternative possibility is that he IS dead but comes back somehow. Black Lantern Ring, Lazarus Pit, or hell, he could pull a Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker on us and come back that way. Either way, this ain’t the last we’ve seen of him.
I guarantee this death was probably in here to try and dissuade people from thinking Lois is getting fridged. She totally is, mind you, but I guarantee that was the thought process. Either that, or because Jimmy Olsen is an annoying twit that people like to see bad things happen to…and don’t get me wrong, I DID get a tiny bit of joy out of seeing that, but that’s just me. I’m sure Jimmy has fans out there, and they probably didn’t care much for seeing him get killed off like this.
Yeah, I don’t really get this choice. I mean yes, Joker is a high profile villain, but he’s more a Batman villain. Why is HE the one to royally screw with Superman in such a manner? Why isn’t it one of Superman’s villains? Like, I dunno, LEX LUTHOR?! In fact, I’m almost positive, even though it looks like Lex might be siding with the good guys in the game, he had SOMETHING to do with all this, because otherwise this doesn’t make a lick of sense.
Okay, this one is admittedly more me being a snarky smartass, but how does Superman know for sure that Lois is pregnant? Just because she has two heartbeats? Now, if he used his x-ray vision, I suppose that would prove it, but I didn’t see that. If he did, please let me know, because otherwise there are other explanations. She could have a parasite, she could have a chest-burster alien, these things DO happen in fiction.
Okay, I gotta level with people on something. I am a bigger fan of Batman than Superman. Maybe I just identify better with Batman. But if there’s one thing that annoys the hell out of me, it’s when DC insists on making Batman better than Superman. That should really be a personal preference type of thing with these two. And how do they do it in this comic? When Batman learns of what Joker did, he gives him a right hook that would probably fracture his jaw, but still refuses to kill him because that’s not what they do. When Superman finds out, he straight up murders the Joker, and Batman just stands there looking terrified. Basically, they’re playing up the Superman vs Batman angle with Batman adhering to the principles they’ve been following and Superman deciding to abandon them, even though we as readers know Superman killing people is bunk. And that leads me to a major issue…
I’m sure an excuse used in this and a lot of other Elseworlds titles when characters act out of…well, character, is that it’s an alternate reality and therefore, anything goes. While it is true that this comic does not exist in the mainstream DC universe, I feel as though that excuse is…well, it’s just that. It’s an excuse. While Elseworlds titles can and should be used to create new scenarios for characters that could never happen in the mainstream universe, since they are ‘What If’ stories, I feel that the characters should still behave in manners you would expect them to. And frankly, I don’t believe that Superman would kill Joker, no matter what he did. It’s such bunk, it’s actually embarrassing. If nothing else, we should see Superman feeling repentant for these actions, and based on what I’ve seen of trailers for the game since, I don’t really think he does. At all.
But ultimately, all of these pale in comparison to one major issue, and that is the following…
This right here is the hot button. This is what has gotten people pissed off most about this comic. It’s like when Lian Harper died in Cry For Justice: The comic had been stupid leading up to that point, but when that happened, that was what got people enraged. But it’s not enough to simply say that we hate this. To quote someone far smarter than I when it comes to comic books, “A major change like killing off a character should not happen unless there are more potential stories that can be told with the change in place than without it”. So to that end, we have to ask the question of WHY Lois was murdered. And if you will allow me to play Devil’s Advocate for just a moment, I would like to explain why I think Lois was killed off.
Lois Lane was murdered because it was the only way to justify Superman’s heel turn. For those who don’t know, in Injustice: Gods Among Us, a major part of the story will centre around two factions of heroes and villains, one led by Batman, the other by Superman. As far as I can tell, Superman is basically out to eliminate crime by eliminating the criminals. Now obviously, something TERRIBLE must have happened to Superman to get him to act in such a manner. This is the most likely reason for the deaths of Lois, Jimmy Olsen, and what appears to be the majority of Metropolis’ population. Suddenly, Superman is justified in doing all this…at least in theory, and that’s where we have a problem.
Superman has lost people close to him before. Superman has witnessed deaths on a grand scale. And with the possible exception of Darkseid, I don’t believe that Superman has ever been put in a position where he would willingly kill and feel justified for it with no remorse for his actions. And it’s not because it would be impossible for him to do such an act as killing the Joker. Much like with what Batman told Jason Todd once, it would be too damned easy to put him out of the entire world’s misery, but if either of them were to cross that line, there would be no way to come back from that.
This is one of the major reasons I get pissed when I see Superman and Batman fighting it out over a matter of principles, be it in comic books or otherwise: When you get down to the core of the characters, what they stand for, and what they will and will not do in the line of duty, there’s not as much difference between the two as you might think. Oh sure, there’s the occasional time Batman pulled some stunt that pissed Superman off, but the one thing that makes them the same is that they would never cross THAT line as heroes, and when I see that image of Superman punching Joker through the chest with Batman looking on in terror, it tells me that the writers don’t believe that.
But let’s move to a FAR more controversial issue raised by this comic. You heard me mention that Lois Lane was getting ‘fridged’ earlier. What I mean by that is that Lois is now one of those women who have suffered Women In The Refrigerators Syndrome. If I may, I’d like to explain what that means for those that aren’t familiar with it…
“Women in Refrigerators Syndrome describes the use of the death or injury of a female comic book character as a plot device in a story starring a male comic book character. It is also used to note the depowerment or elimination of a female comic book character within a comic book universe. Cases of ‘Women in Refrigerators Syndrome’ deal with a gruesome injury or murder of a female character at the hands of a supervillain, usually as a motivating personal tragedy for a male superhero to whom the victim is connected. The death or injury of the female character then helps cement the hatred between the hero and the villain responsible. Kyle Rayner is a particularly cited example of this case, due to the common tragedies that befall women in his life.”
Now, here’s the thing: This is not the first time that Lois has been murdered in an Elseworlds comic to serve as a plot device. In fact, it’s actually become a disturbing trend. Moreso, Lois has kinda had a rough time in the DCnU, to the point where it honestly almost feels like the only reason they haven’t killed her off is because most of the writers would up and quit. This honestly offends me, if for no other reason but because I am a comic book fan and Lois Lane has been around since Action Comics #1, which is credited as the very start of the superhero genre. In a lot of ways, she’s every bit as important to the genre as Superman, and I just don’t feel like she’s treated as such.
But yeah, that pretty much covers my thoughts on it. So, does this mean that I won’t be getting the game? Honestly, I don’t know yet. The game still has a chance with me at this point, albeit a slim one. Plus, I should note that I actually don’t have the systems it plays on, so until I get one of them (likely the Wii U, since I am planning to eventually get it anyway), I won’t be buying it anyway. And that probably works out for the best, as there may yet be some way that the game can turn this around, like maybe Superman’s not actually in control of his actions somehow or the like, or it turns out the Lois that was murdered was a duplicate to mess with him. Ultimately though, I am standing firm on my decision to not buy the comic book Injustice: Gods Among Us. And again, if you want to, that’s fine. If you want to comment below telling me why you think I’m wrong on something, that’s fine. All I ask is that you don’t get into arguments in the comments. Discuss opinions in a positive manner, but please don’t argue. Ja né!
Oh, and just to get more people’s opinions on this, here are some links to other people discussing this comic.
- Review: Injustice – Gods Among Us #1 (comicbooked.com)
- Moulded By Pain: ‘Injustice: Gods Among Us #4′ Review (forbes.com)
- The Cliffs of Insanity: Omigod, They Killed Lois! Those Bastards! (wired.com)
- Injustice Comic Prequel Explains Why Superman And Batman Are Fighting Again (kotaku.com.au)