Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Comic Book Review: Superman #695

Book Information
Written by James Robinson
Art by Bernard Chang

Mon-El, having escaped the clutches of General Lane, now has an opportunity to strut his stuff.  But can Mon-El over come the lies being spread by General Lane, and the oncoming attack from Bizarro and the Parasite?  And how will the Science Police deal with the fact that Mon-El has been someone they’ve known for the past few months? 

My Thoughts
As Superman continues to progress with Mon-El at the foreground, the more bored I become of this story arc.  James Robinson has really drug the “World against Superman” storyline out to the point of no return.  Once again, we the readers find ourselves in the midst of another narrative that does not involve General Lane, New Krypton, or anything that would help propel the New Krypton storyline into a successful conclusion.

Robinson is attempting to give Mon-El new direction in preparation for his time on the new incarnation of the Justice League.  Mon-El was thought to be dead during his time in captivity, and now as a way of bolstering up the confidence level among the people of Metropolis, Robinson has him fight The Parasite and Bizarro.  This fight doesn’t do anything to help the story, nor does create a new sense of purpose within Mon-El’s persona.  Along with this, we have the science police whom Robinson has also not served very well either.  This new order of law enforcement being created by Robinson is quite flimsy and weak and I wonder how much of this is going to stick once Superman returns to his own title.

Now one thing I do give Robinson credit for is his ability to build up a mystery.  I’m very interested to see how the Legion plays into this whole story and if everything being unveiled only seems to be contrived in Robinson’s writing.  In addition, the mystery surrounding Jimmy Olsen’s return from his seemingly deadly experience is driving me nuts.  Now, maybe I had read the Jimmy Olsen mini series to understand more of what’s going on, but I certainly want to know what that thing was that seemed to save Olsen’s life.  There are some great aspects of this issue that give a lot of potential for future issues.

The art in recent issues is up and down with me.  This one in particular was decent, although not fantastic.  Bernard Chang typically does a good job, but isn’t consistent enough for my tastes.  He has moments of brilliance, and moments that initiate my artistic gag reflex.  His characters at times are so wooden and lacking emotionally, and other times he is an utter genius and outdoes some of the best artists in the business.  With this issue in particular, generally it goes above the normal artwork quality that has been laid on the pages of Superman.

The return of John Henry Irons seems to be a fleeting idea with very little purpose, which lies the major problem with the Superman title since Mon-El took over, one too many plots.  When you attempt to jam pack a title with a lot of side stories, the main story becomes less interesting; almost unnecessary.  And the worse part of it…nothing is resolving fast enough for it to work.  Robinson truly is killing the Superman title.

Rating:  4 out of 10 stars

Next Issue Coming February January 27th, 2010
"Man of Valor" Part 3! Picking up plot threads from ACTION COMICS #885, the Guardian, Nightwing and Flamebird are hot on the trail of General Zod's Metropolis sleeper agent. But just as they're about to uncover who the sleeper is, tragedy strikes, which leads to a completely different revelation. Seeds for this issue's surprising twist were planted all the way back in James Robinson's first issue – so don't miss it!

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