So, as announced earlier this week, I’m doing a Justice League fanfic entitled ‘Justice League Infinite’. As such, I’m going through all seven members of this world’s League, what makes them different from their counterparts, etc. We’ve already looked at Batman, The Flash, and Poison Ivy, so let’s go ahead and take a look at this world’s version of arguably the greatest superhero of all time: The Man of Steel, Superman.
So yeah, you’ve probably noticed one or two things different about this Superman. He’s based off of and borrows elements from a few different characters in addition to the mainstream Superman. In this universe, he’s Calvin Henry Kent, born Cal-El on Krypton. His home world was destroyed due to damage done to the planet’s core by Brainiac, who had miscalculated when he tore the capital city of Kandor free (because in every other continuity, the people of Krypton come off as very stupid for not seeing the end coming). Calvin works for the Daily Planet, as the lead columnist for the company’s online blog, though he actually lives in Smallville with his adoptive parents, and his childhood sweetheart and colleague at the Daily Planet, Loana Lane (basically, an African-American hybrid of Lois Lane and Lana Lang), who learned of his secret growing up. As Superman, he’s looked up to and admired by the people of Metropolis, though his efforts are oftentimes marginalized and hampered by President Lex Luthor. Like Calvin Ellis of Earth 23, he fights for truth, justice, and equality, and while he isn’t strictly a pacifist like Val-Zod of Earth 2, he will try to avoid a direct, physical conflict whenever possible. And of course, as anyone who bears the name Superman should be, Cal is kind, noble, and courageous. He inspires others through his actions to be better than they are, and while he’s not immune to making mistakes, he will always strive to do what he believes is right.
Let’s talk for a second about the costume. It’s pretty much the costume Earth 2 Superman of The New 52 wore, only the House of El emblem more resembles the one on Calvin Ellis’ costume. The cape also has a yellow Superman logo on the back as well, and the blue of the costume has a bit of a silver tinge to it (in reference to Steel). And, as is traditional for Superman, it’s almost always worn under his usual clothes so that he can quick-change into the Man of Tomorrow whenever necessary.
Now for his powers, which is always an interesting topic when it comes to new takes on Superman. Cal possesses a pretty good portion of the typical Superman’s physical strength, durability, stamina, and speed, but he has yet to tap into the full extent of what he can do while powered by Earth’s sun. He also has his x-ray vision, but he hasn’t figured out heat vision yet, and while he has his super breath, he can’t use it to freeze whatever it touches at the moment. Otherwise, he is perfectly capable of flight, has his other super senses, can process information at speeds impossible for an ordinary human, has mastered voice mimicry and ventriloquism, can breathe in space, is highly adept at using pressure points in combat, and is currently studying two Kryptonian martial arts: Torquasm-Rao, which allows him to enter the real-life Theta state, and Torquasm-Vo, which grants him the ability to protect himself from illusions and mind control. His weaknesses include the well-known Kryptonite, which severely weakens his body and cancels out the solar energy stored in him, and most magic-based attacks and enchanted weapons. Otherwise, the only way to beat him is to outlast his supply of yellow sun energy, something that only the most powerful of opponents can do.
And that’s about it for Superman. Next time, we take a look at Diana of Themyscira, as well as a certain character related to her in the fanfic who, while not a member of the Justice League, will nonetheless make an appearance. Ja né!
Yep, ’tis Wednesday, and it’s time to talk about…
Unfortunately, they kinda under-sent issues of Batman: The Dark Knight #23.1, so I couldn’t see the book detailing the origins of the new Ventriloquist. I’ve heard it’s apparently not all THAT great, but that fans of the character and Gail Simone‘s creepy ass writing will still like it, so I’m picking it up next week. In the meantime, let’s talk Cyborg Superman with Action Comics #23.1!
So I kinda left something important out about Supergirl last month, mainly because I thought it was a red herring. At the very end, Cyborg Superman has the genetic material he got from Supergirl imprinted onto himself, and we see that he’s Zor-El, Kara’s father. Now, I naturally assumed that between her genetic material, the fact that they were messing with her memories, and the tech that could create anything in her mind simply meant that Cyborg Superman had been turned into a duplicate of Zor-El. NOT SO. In fact, as it turns out, Brainiac transformed Zor-El into Cyborg Superman, replacing much of his organic components with cybernetics, then making him look like Jor-El, the superior sibling in the eyes of Brainiac…So, Zor-El has been made a villain who has murdered his own daughter (albeit it’s not entirely his fault, and I expect him to find a way to bring her back), and in this issue, we see that he’s a jerk that refused to listen to his brother, and an idiot who decided to experiment with Brainiac tech, the result of which got a bunch of survivors of Krypton killed…Michael Alan Nelson, I like you. I like you a lot. You made Power Girl AWESOME again. But between this and Supergirl getting brutally vaporised last issue, I REALLY hope you’ve got something amazing planned. Then again, next up is supposed to be Cyborg Superman and Brainiac beating the crap outta each other, and I guess that’s kinda awesome. The only other thing I can really point out is that, like Ventriloquist’s story being in Batman: The Dark Knight #23.1, I’m a little confused why Cyborg Superman’s story is in Action Comics #23.1.
Batman and Robin #23.1 was pretty good. Anyone that didn’t like it…well, it was Two-Face being Two-Face. If you didn’t want that, you shouldn’t have bought it. And it made sense that it was in this book, since Two-Face is gonna be the villain for the next arc. Now, it’s Two-Face taking a bunch of criminals, cops, and civilians whatnot into a court and administering his own brand of ‘justice’, which I KNOW I’ve seen him do at least a couple of times before, but it works alright. We also see that the Secret Society wanted him to join, which he did, but on the condition that the results of his coin flips are final. They decide to screw with that, so the deal’s off in a rather violent manner. Again, for Two-Face, this worked just fine, and I actually really liked Guillem March’s work in this issue. Kudos.
So that’s it for this week. Next week’s gonna be an expensive one, although the good news is that I won’t have much to buy this month after that. It’s like they know or something. lol Ja né!
- Action Comics #23.1 (comicvine.com)
- Greg Pak has Super-Plans for Superman (comicbookresources.com)
- Batman #23.1 by Andy Kubert (Comics Review) (sonsofcorax.wordpress.com)
- Villain Month Guide: Part 2 – Superman and Earth-2 (retcon-punch.com)
- Speculator Pick: Batman Family #6, 1st JOKER’S DAUGHTER! (comicsheatingup.net)
- Comic Releases for September 4, 2013 (comicbooked.com)
- Stripped: Grant Morrison – Dope, Chips, and Skewed Moralities (comicsbeat.com)
- Batman and Robin #23.1 (comicvine.com)
- The New 52 and me, then and now (comicdomwrecks.wordpress.com)
- Fisch Guides Bizarro and Metallo Into DC’s Villains Month (comicbookresources.com)
So it’s been a long time since I reviewed something, and recently I found a certain movie on the Movie Network and got my Mom to record it for me. And now that I’ve watched it a couple of times (once alone, and once with N. Harmonik), I feel confident that I can give a fair review of Superman: Unbound. If you have not seen the movie, I’m sorry, but there will be spoilers here. If you don’t want to know what happens, turn back now.
After saving Lois Lane for the trillionth time (although this time with an unexpected assist from the badass Supergirl), Superman returns to the Daily Planet as Clark Kent and, after a small issue with Steve Lombard, gets chewed out by Lois because they’ve apparently been dating for some time, but in secret. However, this is interrupted as Superman has to leave to battle a robot that actually manages to hurt him. Superman ultimately beats it down, though, and takes it back to the Fortress of Solitude, where Supergirl recognizes it: Many of them attacked the Krypton capital city of Kandor just a short time before Krypton’s destruction. Under the rule of their master, Brainiac, they killed many Kryptonians before the city was miniaturized and taken aboard Brainiac’s ship.
With this knowledge, and knowing Brainiac could someday come to Earth, Superman decides to track the foe down, eventually finding him in the middle of an attack on another planet. While he starts to kick ass, a Solar Aggressor missile to the planet’s sun causes a shockwave that destroys the planet and knocks Superman unconscious. Though Superman regains consciousness and starts to fight his way through robots, along the way discovering that Brainiac has shrunken down cities from worlds all over the galaxy and then bottled them, Brainiac ultimately levels him and learns of his and Kara’s presence on Earth, setting course for there as he shrinks Superman down into the bottled city of Kandor. Despite his power fading due to a red sun placed over Kandor, Superman meets with Kara’s parents and formulates a plan to escape, disconnecting Brainiac from his ship before heading back to Earth with Kandor in hand.
Unfortunately, even disconnected from it, the ship is an extension of Brainiac himself, and is still able to send enough small orders to it to reconnect himself and set course for Earth. Superman and Supergirl aid the military in defending Metropolis, but it is ultimately bottled and the two heroes are captured and tortured. However, Superman is able to summon all his strength and break himself and Supergirl free, leading to one last brawl between himself and Brainiac down on Earth as he exploits Brainiac’s biggest flaw: He doesn’t really understand the worlds he attacks outside of the controlled cities he keeps bottled up. His mind can’t handle the strain of the constant cars honking, birds chirping, planes taking off, bugs buzzing all around, mud soaking his body, and all the sounds, sights, and sensations that make up life on Earth. Superman pummels his weakened foe until finally the strain of it all burns Brainiac down to slag. And so the movie ends with Superman returning Metropolis to normal, releasing Kandor on a planet with a red sun, and deciding not only to be open about his relationship with Lois, but even proposing marriage…all the while, the remains of Brainiac turn out to still be active in the Fortress of Solitude.
So let’s talk about some of the things I liked. First off, Supergirl is a BADASS. Sure, when Brainiac and his forces actually show up, she wants to run for it, but I tend to chalk it up to post-traumatic stress. Remember, in this movie, she had only recently awoken from stasis, so the attack on Kandor was only a few weeks ago for her. And speaking of badass women, I LOVE Lois Lane in this movie. They nailed her personality completely right. Naturally, Superman is awesome too, and we get to see him fighting smart and using an opponent’s weaknesses against them, which is always more fun than just seeing him plough through his foes…not that I don’t enjoy that at times as well.
Now for some stuff I didn’t like. The first thing to note: Some of the designs are kind of odd to me. While I love Lois’ personality, I’m not sure what the motivation was for her appearance. Likewise, some of the colours don’t seem quite right to me. For example, it always bugs me to see Superman and Supergirl in the same room and not have the same colour-scheme, particularly that the blue on Superman has an olive tinge, and Supergirl’s blue has a violet tinge. And finally, while I haven’t read Superman: Brainiac, I do know a lot of what happens in it, and there’s one thing I know for a fact they changed: By this point in the comics, Lois and Clark had been married for YEARS. Not sure why they changed that, but since the ending seems to allude to a sequel, it’s possible that they want to do a movie about them getting married later, so I’ll try not to complain.
One change I wanna bring up that I actually approve of: Superman releasing Kandor on a planet with a red sun, which I can assume we can refer to as New Krypton. In the comics, he released it in the Arctic, not that far from the Fortress of Solitude…I should note that before I looked up the full details of the New Krypton stories in the comics, I told N. Harmonik that the idea of a whole city full of Supermen showing up out of no where would be a nightmare in the making. AND IT WAS, for the exact reasons I said it would be: Not every last Kryptonian can be expected to have the same value system that Superman demonstrates. Also, with certain governments being untrustful and paranoid, it would only take one small incident with the Kryptonians to cause war to break out. And again, IT DID.
Anyway, my overall thoughts? I like this movie a lot. I apologise for having not read the comic it’s based off of, and who knows, I may yet someday. If yer a fan of Superman, I think you’ll really like this…Speaking of which, one of these days, I need to get back to writing up my review of Justice League: Hereafter. But yeah, leave your own thoughts on the movie below, and I’ll see y’all later. Ja né!
- Stana Katic Discusses Her Role As Lois Lane In SUPERMAN: UNBOUND (comicbookmovie.com)
- ‘Superman: Unbound’ (variety.com)
- Superman: Unbound (2013) Blu-ray review (metalgrinch.wordpress.com)
- SUPERMAN UNBOUND Interview Clips Featuring Molly Quinn (Supergirl) (comicbookmovie.com)
- Gear up for Man of Steel with Superman Unbound! (horrorhavenreviews.wordpress.com)
- REVIEW: Superman Unbound (comicmix.com)
- Exclusive: ‘Superman Unbound’ Star Matt Bomer On Playing The Man Of Steel (geek-news.mtv.com)
- Exclusive: ‘Superman Unbound’ Gets Fiery In The Latest Clip (geek-news.mtv.com)
- All-New DC Universe Animated Original Movie ‘Superman: Unbound’ Out June 26th (analogaddiction.org)