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  1. #331
    Welcome to Bleeker Street MRP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    Adventures of Superman Annual #1

    "The Union"
    writer: Jim Starlin
    pencils: Dan Jurgens
    inks: Steve Montano
    letters: John Costanza
    colors: Tom Ziuko
    editor: Mike Carlin

    grade: A-


    - Should we know who the gentleman with the bionic hand advising the President is?
    I think that would be Sarge Steel, the old Charlton character who was starting to be developed in that role in several DC books during that time.

    -M
    A lunatic is easily recognized...You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense...and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars.
    -Umberto Eco

  2. #332
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Superman #10

    "The Super Menace of Metropolis"
    writer/pencils: John Byrne
    inks: Karl Kesel
    colors: Tom Ziuko
    letters: John Costanza
    editor: Michael Carlin
    Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster

    grade: C


    So is Andy Helfer gone or not? Perhaps he'd only gotten half the issues done for this month before walking out or being shown the door?

    Anyway, Luthor's Project Overload proves to be a disappointment this issue. Whereas all the mysteries created at the end of the last issue seemed to be tied to this initiative, none of them were. Lana Lang's abduction appears to be tied to the upcoming Millenium crossover (as indicated in the letter column), and though Luthor should have been the last person in possession of Ma Kent's scrapbook, he's apparently not the one who sent it to Clark. Maybe it was Amanda, the assistant who determined that Clark Kent was Superman in Superman #2 and was then dismissed by Luthor for coming up with such a ludicrous idea.

    So instead, this is an issue in which Superman's powers overload, he's perceived as a public enemy (too easy and contrived a concept that isn't handled particularly well), and Luthor never really bothers to plan this thing out that well, getting caught quite easily and being dragged to police headquarters a second time (which he swore in MoS #4 would never happen). Again, Byrne just doesn't use him well.

    I should also point out that part of this plan required Luthor putting a new satellite into space 4 weeks earlier. Further suggestion that Superman keeping a laboratory containing all of his secrets in orbit of the Earth does not place it out of reach for Luthor. But, again, Byrne seems to have forgotten all about this even though it happened in his premiere issue.


    Important details:

    - Though implied in Byrne's pencils on previous issues, it's now stated that Superman's heat ray vision is invisible unless turned to maximum power. Makes sense, though it also makes for less dramatic imagery.

    - Alice, the Daily Planet assistant, makes a return cameo in this issue and is disregarded by Clark once again. I can't decide if Byrne is planning to go somewhere with this or if it's just a silly inside joke, teasing someone at the DC offices.

    - First mention of Captain Sawyer's divorce, her ex-husband, Jim, and her nine year old daughter, Jamie.

    - Ben Friendly, of the FBI, is mentioned by Captain Sawyer in this issue as if that's someone we should know. Is it?

    - First appearance of Klaash, though, like virtually every antagonist introduced by Byrne this far, established or new, he blows through it in one issue and doesn't leave us any reason to believe it will ever come back.


    Minor details:

    - We knew it was coming, but did Byrne REALLY have to remind us that Clark's X-Ray vision gives him the ability to see everyone naked?

    - Cat's son, Adam, briefly appears in this issue, creating a nice tie-in with what Wolfman is doing over at Adventures of Superman. This is the first time Byrne has ever acknowledged that continuity in any way.

    - However, on a somewhat problematic note, he also dates Superman #7 as having happened 9 days earlier. That means 11 subsequent Superman stories occurred over the course of 9 days. I suppose we can discount Adventures #432 and Action #592 since they are both part ones of multi-part story lines that have yet to conclude, so that would mean each other Superman story published over the past two months occurred once per day over the course of nine days. Possible, I suppose. Wolfman, himself, suggested in an earlier issue of Adventures that Superman fights a major menace about once per day. Kind of hard to believe that much goes wrong that often, though. How did Metropolis survive before Clark showed up with that kind of a schedule??

    - What's with the plug for Swamp Thing on page 7?

    - This is now the second time a villain equipped by Luthor has made use of teleportation technology. I'm impressed to see Byrne remaining consistent here.


    Plot synopsis in one long sentence:

    Superman's powers keep overloading without warning (as was previously hinted at in Superman #8), he tries to fly away from Metropolis to protect innocents when Klaash, a new armored nemesis appears and attempts to draw him back to the city, Superman is perceived as a hostile threat to the city and can't figure out why, Luthor is controlling Klaash by remote, Superman figures out that no one can see Klaash but him, he realizes Luthor is controlling Klaash, he drags Luthor to Captain Sawyers, but Luthor's lawyer shows up and makes it impossible to convict him, and Luthor makes plans to crush Captain Sawyer (this will presumably involve her nine year old daughter, first mentioned in this issue).

  3. #333
    Senior Member JKCarrier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by destro View Post
    I suggest some of you go back and read some of the last 5 to 10 years of Superman comics before the reboot. Much of that stuff was as bad as the Byrne era, and often much worse.
    Bah, there was a lot of great Superman material being done just before the reboot:
    Wolfman/Kane on ACTION COMICS
    Maggin/Swan/Williamson on SUPERMAN
    The Newell/Morrow LOIS LANE miniseries mentioned earlier in this thread.
    The Gerber/Colan PHANTOM ZONE miniseries.
    All kinds of cool stuff in DC COMICS PRESENTS.
    Giffen/Fleming's AMBUSH BUG
    Moore/Gibbons SUPERMAN ANNUAL "For the Man Who Has Everything"

    I will agree that Bates' time on FLASH didn't end well, but he had a great run through most of the 1970s.
    -JKC-
    Glorianna - Barbarian adventure! New page every Friday!

  4. #334
    Elder Member dupersuper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    - What's with the plug for Swamp Thing on page 7?
    Several of the lines Superman hears are from DC books out that month.
    Pull List; seems to be too long to fit in my sig...

  5. #335
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKCarrier View Post
    Bah, there was a lot of great Superman material being done just before the reboot:
    Wolfman/Kane on ACTION COMICS
    Wolfman was on a pre-Crisis Superman run as well? Does it have any commonalities with his post-Crisis run?

    The Newell/Morrow LOIS LANE miniseries mentioned earlier in this thread.
    ...though not affectionately.


    The Gerber/Colan PHANTOM ZONE miniseries.
    wh...wh...whaaaaaat?! I want it, I want it, I want it!

    Moore/Gibbons SUPERMAN ANNUAL "For the Man Who Has Everything"
    I still feel this story is severely overrated, but it's not worth dredging that debate up again.

  6. #336
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dupersuper View Post
    Several of the lines Superman hears are from DC books out that month.
    Yes, but that one is visually far more prominent than any other and reads like a solicitations, whereas the others did not.

  7. #337
    Senior Member JKCarrier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    Wolfman was on a pre-Crisis Superman run as well? Does it have any commonalities with his post-Crisis run?
    Just stylistically, I don't think he carried over any plotlines. His take on Vandal Savage sort of resembles post-Crisis Luthor.

    wh...wh...whaaaaaat?! I want it, I want it, I want it!
    You totally do. Phantom Zone is one of my favorite Superman stories of all time.
    You'll also want the semi-sequel in DC Comics Presents #97.
    -JKC-
    Glorianna - Barbarian adventure! New page every Friday!

  8. #338
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKCarrier View Post
    You'll also want the semi-sequel in DC Comics Presents #97.
    Noted!

  9. #339
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    Adventures of Superman #433

    "Gangwar, Part Two"
    writer: Marv Wolfman
    pencils: Jerry Ordway
    inks: Bob Smith (come back, P. Craig Russell!)
    letters: Albert DeGuzman
    colors: Anthony Tollin
    editor: Mike Carlin (Helfer appears to be gone, after all)

    grade: B+

    Much like part one of this storyline, this issue is crafted with strong writing, deep moral idealism while also offering ethical questions, and also rests heavily upon Jerry White, who, fortunately, isn't annoying me quite as much as usual, though I certainly don't have any love for the character at this point.

    It's odd, though, that Wolfman begins this issue by promising "a tragedy in five acts," and yet having the issue (divided into five acts) end with no tragedy of any kind. In the fourth act, I was ready to expect DelGado would die, especially after seeming to take a bullet to the back that later proves to be lodged in a shoulder instead (to be clear, a panel on page 17 right after the shot shows absolutely no injury to the shoulder in question). Seems as though he's destined to become "Gangbuster" next issue instead (as that new hero's first appearance next issue is solicited in this one). Perhaps Wolfman changed his mind partway through?

    Can't say this issue was particularly memorable, but the quality remains consistently high, and I can't get enough of Wolfman writing Luthor.


    Important Details:

    - Elinore Lane (Lois' mother) is out of the hospital, though we were recently reminded she is still seriously ill. Perhaps it happens in bouts?

    - Sam Lane (Lois' father) appears to like Clark, asking him to stay and continue their discussion when Lois runs off.

    - Mayor Walters appears visually to be the same mayor we saw in Man of Steel #4 (two years ago in Superman's time) whose only given name in that issue was "Frank." At that time, he was the one who ordered Superman to arrest Luthor, but now he is clearly and willingly in Luthor's palm. I assume it was a conscious decision to make this the same mayor rather than a new one who had come in by this point. Luthor has made some headway since that time, apparently.

    - Luthor does not appear to have any particular interest in, nor familiarity with, Jerry White beyond his situation within the context of this storyline. This will be important to note once we get to the World of Metropolis mini series, if I know what I'm talking about.

    - Jerry White is 18 years old (thus born in 1969)


    Minor Details:

    - Jimmy Olsen, unsure of what to do, takes on a band of armed muggers by himself and then, only after facing a moral dilemma in regard to whether he should turn in Jerry White, finally uses his SIGNAL WATCH to summon Superman, even though, when Superman arrives, he doesn't even tell him about Jerry. Is Wolfman trying to show how confused Jimmy is here, or is Wolfman the one who is confused?

    - I like how Luthor asks to be reminded which project they're discussing (even though it's the very project Wolfman had him immersed in last issue) because he has so many he's been keeping track of. It's a loving nod to our own struggle as readers to keep up with the fact that he and Byrne are using Luthor for two entirely different purposes in their comics right now.


    plot synopsis in one sentence:

    Jimmy Olsen stops a hold-up and discovers that one of the gunmen is Jerry White, he debates about whether to turn Jerry in but tells Lucy Lane, who tells Lois, who decides to print the info and get Jerry arrested, an organized attempt is made on Jerry's life in prison out of fear that he will talk about Luthor's recruiting of teens, Superman attempts to protect Jerry but doesn't always succeed in preventing the beatings and threats, Jerry finally decides he will talk, DelGado attempts to expose Luthor at a publicity event, Luthor's thugs try to kill him, Superman intervenes and captures the thugs, believing they will talk, and Luthor reviews the results of his secret experiment, which we learn was attempting to give the teens he was recruiting the powers of Superman, though it killed most of the trial participants and only affected Jerry White's antisocial behavior, and Luthor decides not implement it on a full scale unless/until it has a higher success rate.

    With the experimentation aspect of the storyline now ended, I assume the rest of the storyline will focus on Jerry attempting to testify against Luthor. Intriguing...
    Last edited by shaxper; 02-04-2013 at 06:25 PM.

  10. #340
    Senior Member Bad Wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    A Bit More About the Whole Rape Thing


    Here's what really bothers me about writers needlessly having female characters raped in comic books in order to create sensationalism or some warped idea of reality:

    Yes, raping a character can be profoundly dramatic.
    Yes, it can really get a reader's attention.
    Yes, this would happen often when confronting powerful psychopathic villains in real life.

    Therefore, when are we going to see the issue in which the Joker captures and sodomizes Batman?


    They'll never do it because it would be undignified for the character. Fan reaction would be outrage.

    So let's be clear then: raping a female hero = "cool," while raping a male hero is out of the question.


    I rest my case.
    I don't recall whether sodomy was involved, but in The Killing Joke Jim Gordon is stripped and humiliated, possibly more graphically than Barbara was, but people only remember Barbara's ordeal (I realize that Jim wasn't crippled for life as well.) At that point in the DCU, I believe the two characters were on the same "level."

  11. #341
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Wolf View Post
    I don't recall whether sodomy was involved, but in The Killing Joke Jim Gordon is stripped and humiliated, possibly more graphically than Barbara was, but people only remember Barbara's ordeal (I realize that Jim wasn't crippled for life as well.) At that point in the DCU, I believe the two characters were on the same "level."
    I think you can debate this one both ways. On the one hand, Gordon was stripped and humiliated. On the other, his humiliation was in being forced to watch Barbara's sexual humiliation via enlarged photographs. I don't think it's implied that anything sexual was done to Gordon beyond stripping him.

  12. #342

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    I really like the reviews you're giving to Byrne's Superman and laughing at how much you hate the stories themselves, I don't know for me I guess I was reading them via rose tinted glasses that I overlooked some of the changes since I wasn't that invested in Pre-Crisis Superman.

    And I only got into Byrne's Superman after reading some of his reprinted 80's Hulk stuff reprinted in the 90's under Marvel Superhero Megazine that I instantly became a JB fan which led me to his X-Men work but not so much the Fantastic Four since I just hate the FF.

    Keep up the reviews shaxper, it's only just recently that I've been buying tons of back issues of Superman from the late 80's early 90's I'd like to see what you thought of the Superman titles after Byrne left.

  13. #343
    Veteran Member SJNeal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mace Dolex View Post
    Keep up the reviews shaxper, it's only just recently that I've been buying tons of back issues of Superman from the late 80's early 90's I'd like to see what you thought of the Superman titles after Byrne left.
    I'm obviously not shaxper, but to chime in, I too hope this thread continues after Byrne's departure.

    As they say, "the best is yet to come!"

  14. #344
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJNeal View Post
    I'm obviously not shaxper, but to chime in, I too hope this thread continues after Byrne's departure.

    As they say, "the best is yet to come!"
    Oh, I think I've made it clear that I got myself into this mess for Jurgens and Ordway. Byrne is the muddy, crap infested path; not the destination
    Last edited by shaxper; 02-05-2013 at 06:36 PM.

  15. #345
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mace Dolex View Post
    I really like the reviews you're giving to Byrne's Superman and laughing at how much you hate the stories themselves
    Best praise I've yet received Thanks much, Sir!

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