Thursday, September 25, 2008

Buy Pile Report: Superman

I didn't get a chance to post the rest of the Buy Pile Report last night, and frankly there wasn't much more to say past Captain America #42, and you can scroll down for my thoughts on that one. X-Force #7 continues un-earthing past storylines seemingly without writers Kyle and Yost even reading the original storylines, X-Men Legacy #217 continued examining Xavier's motives ad-nauseum, and Trinity #17 was simply one big power-transference scene.

But one horrendous book caught my attention, and for all the wrong reasons. Superman #680 was the worst (non-"Countdown") book I have read since the horrible "X4" crossover a few years ago. And it was so bad not only because it was a singular piece of junk, but it was the finale of a four-part piece of junk story. Honestly, the first four issues of James Robinson's run on the book can be summarized like so: Part 1) Atlas attacks Superman. Part 2) We learn Atlas' historic past. Part 3) Atlas beats Superman.

And now Part 4:

With Superman down, Krypto attacks Atlas for half the issue, before Atlas says the word "Magical" and a light goes off in Supes' head — Deus ex Machina! Of course it must be Magic that's helping Atlas! One of Superman's only two weaknesses! Who would have thunk it?

So, Clark LEAVES his dog fighting Atlas, goes off and finds Zatarra, who enchants Supes with the power of the sun. Superman barrels back to Metropolis, tackles Atlas down into a manhole, and Atlas never comes back up... but Clark does!

So, obviously, something off panel happened to beat Atlas! Not that we need to see the end of a
four-issue fight or anything.

Then, Clark screams at the Metropolis crowd that they're going to love Krypto from now on, in the last of several scenes written horribly out of Superman's voice. The earlier scene with Zatarra made Clark seem more like a 60-year old war veteran talking to a cadet than Superman talking to a character he's met before and worked with before.

I have an enormous amount of respect for James Robinson's writing. But, if any rookie writer wrote these last four issues, he would never get work again.

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