Thursday, May 20, 2010

Comic Book Review: Superman #699

Book Information
Written by James Robinson
Art by Bernard Change
Colored by Blond
Lettered by John J. Hill
Cover by Aaron Lopresti

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
With all of the work DC is putting James Robinson through I’m surprised Superman has been steadily coming out on a monthly basis.  I just recently learned that Superman #700 will be released in June, two months after #699 was published and distributed.  Over a year has past and James Robinson has been leading the Kryptonian onslaught of stories in four different titles and allowing it bleed into multiple other “Super” titles as well.  While I understand Robinson’s need to be in control of his story, I’m not sure I fully agree with his complete domination of every title involving Superman and New Krypton.  Geoff Johns allowed other writers to be involved with Blackest Night in their respective title, why can’t Robinson do the same with his big event?

Superman’s ability to defeat Brainiac should never be questioned since he’s done it before.  But with the fate of an entire planet at stake, I’m sure Superman has a lot more too worry about.  Even with the help of the Legion, Supergirl, and many others, there’s still that chance that Brainiac could win in reclaiming his once bottled city of Kandor. 

Nothing particularly eventful occurs in this issue.  Sure, Kandor reverts back to its original size and Brainiac’s skull-like space craft explodes from the inside, but this book is mostly filled with progressive plot devices to prepare us for the upcoming War of the Supermen miniseries.  I’m slightly frustrated by this issue since we see more of Superman in the other titles than we do in his own self-named comic.  #699 has Superman appearing in the first four pages and the next to last one.  Every other page is filled with Zod fighting Brainiac and the Legion trying to figure out how the heck they’re going to get out of the hovering space craft.  Robinson shines when he writes action packed stories, but this one felt very forced, as if he was trying to fill space until War of the Supermen got underway.  If this were my last time writing full time for Superman, I’d try to make the central focus around Superman….at least.

Bernard Chang offers a much more appealing storytelling gesture as he takes on, not only the penciling duties, but the inking as well.  This is typically ill-advised but he pulls it off in fine style.  I’m mostly impressed by the Brainiac drones; the clarity, preciseness, and dark demeanor of the robots is perfect.  I prefer Gary Frank’s artistic approach to the Man of Steel, but Chang should never be short changed in how good he really is.  

My Profoundly Climactic Conclusion
Superman #700 comes next month!  Robinson will no longer be on board, which I’m eternally grateful!

Writing: 2
Themes: 3
Art: 9
Overall: 4.67 out of 10

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