Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Comic Book Review: Superman #698

Book Information
Written by James Robinson
Art by Bernard Chang & Javier Pina
Lettered by John J. Hill
Cover by Julian Lopez

Superman is trapped on Brainiac’s ship with Luthor holding the leash and Brainiac tossing the whip.  Now Mon-El is left to save his mentor and friend amongst the plethora of captive creatures inside the flying metallic skull.  Can Mon-El muster up enough courage and strength to end the bald and destructive duo’s reign of chaos on New Krypton and Save the Man of Steel?

My Thoughts
Based on my review of Superman: Last Stand of New Krypton #2, James Robinson shines when he puts together a griping action story.  Robinson has attempted many forms of writing, but his most glamorous moments are with the tooth and nail, 22-paged comic book battles.  Issue #698 truly is one big fight scene, and Robinson doesn’t disappoint.

One defining feature of Superman is his campy, boy scout, all American demeanor.  And as corny as that is about half of the time, that aspect of Superman can come off quite powerfully.  While he is being held back by a robot with a Kryptonite core strong enough to weaken him, Superman finds strength enough to break free of its grip.  Despite the amount of Kryptonite coursing through the robot holding him, Superman still finds the will do what is necessary.  It’s a corny moment, but powerful none the less.

This issue reeks of little moments like this; they are either subtly powerful or boomingly explosive, but they are definitely moments worthy of praise.  Brainiac’s inability to conceive the concept of ‘feeling,’ Mon-El’s moment of Grandeur as he stands gloriously and triumphantly holding one of the bottled cities of Brainiac’s, those moments and so much more drive this issue in it’s writing.  This issue really takes us through an emotional thrill ride filled with moments of grandeur and suspense.
Rating: 8

Where Robinson’s writing is an amazing leap from his past work, the art lacks in utmost quantities.  As with last month’s issue of Superman, DC decides the best course of action is to spilt up the artistic duties between two artists, one whose talents are limitless, and the other who could take a few art classes. 

Bernard Chang in the last few months has truly become a definitive DC artist who very well might become one of comic’s premier artists, and in this issue he truly brings some fantastic artistic displays to the pages of Superman.  But the incredible art is ruined as the book toggles back and forth from Chang to Javier Pina, hence the distraction.  Even if the art duties were split between two of the best artists comic’s has to offer, I would still be less inclined to enjoy the book.  Having duel artists on the same book becomes a huge distraction for me; the sudden change of visuals can never be a good approach when trying to maintain a consistent flow in one comic.
Rating: 4

Rating: 6 out of 10 stars

Next Issue Coming April 28, 2010
Superman has defeated Brainiac before, but it cost him the life of his father. Now Brainiac has returned, more powerful than ever, and the entire planet of New Krypton is at stake! Things look bleak for the Man of Steel and his people, but for all Brainiac's knowledge, he still has one lesson to learn: Superman. Never. Gives. Up. 

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