So, it begins this week...JMS is taking Kal on a hard-travelin' hero journey across the country to reconnect after losing...again!...his people. Will it be awesome or cringe-y...or both? Let's take the trip together!
It's funny -- the retailer's initial problem was DC's puzzling reluctance to promote this storyline locally. Now, with the delays (which DC was certainly aware were a possibility) their lack of localized promotion is more explicable. I just wish they'd communicated things to the retailer earlier, rather than leaving him holding the bag. (I suppose they'd need JMS's permission to do so, since the delays are caused by his health issues. But seriously, a little timely open communication could have made everything better. As is almost always the case, with everything.)
Wow...just finished #703...JMS should never write Clark or Dick ever again. That was very much not good. I get the feeling that something happened early in JMS' life, from remarks he's made in interviews, that brings out a weird, unfun weird, melodrama in his writing.
I haven't read #703 yet, but I have flipped through it and I'll bet there hasn't been a comic book like this in decades! Namely, a comic guest-starring Batman which didn't tout the fact in any way on the cover!
I read this issue -- not being a reader of the regular Batman titles -- initially confused that Superman told Batman "given how out of touch you and Bruce became over the years." Wha -- ? Then I remembered that Bruce Wayne is so totally written out of the Batman titles (which is why I stopped reading them) that he isn't even in the costume any more!
And then I was confused because I always understood that, where Bruce-as-Batman is a dick (the other reason I stopped reading the Batman titles), Dick Grayson was a kindler, gentler Batman. Not here he wasn't!
SUPERMAN #702: The one little thing that jerked ne out of the story through? Are we supposed to believe The Batman drove from Gotham City to Detroit in the Batmobile? PUH-leez!
Not to worry, Jeff. Superman had the same question, to which Batman replied, "There are spares in storage all around the country." I hadn't at first realized that this Batman is Dick Grayson rather than Bruce Wayne and was confused by superman referring to to Batman and Bruce Wayne as if they were two different characters. I'll have to read it again with that in mind.
That reminds me of the episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 where they MSTed the Peter Graves epic Beginning of the End, which ostensibly involved giant locusts attacking the Chicago area. Mike Nelson looked at the scenery and said, "Guys, this is so not Illinois."
Boy, I wish I'd opened #704 instead of taking it home, sight unseen. Because one look at the Oliveira & Wong's interior art (such dead eyes everyone has! And the same faces and bodies, everywhere!) would have warned me away.
I liked Wilson's work on Air -- though I still haven't picked up the final two trades -- and I'm fine with the notion that Lois -- momentarily, at least -- might consider herself a "bad feminist" for attaching so much of her career to a man. People doubt themselves, even accomplished people like Lois.
a) It's not enough to hang the story on. There needs to be something else happening, and nothing -- nothing! -- ever does.
b) Lois's conflict is resolved in a conversation -- one that she's had a hundred times before.
c) We know Lois's conflict is B.S. from the start. She's an excellent reporter, with or without Superman, as we've seen a hundred times. (She mentions a series she did independent of Superman that was nominated for a Pulitzer -- but when her ex-boyfriend's wife says she hadn't heard about it, Lois takes as her own personal failure. She's not thinking rationally.)
I get that people think JMS's Superman stories are preachy and sentimental, but this is all of that -- and mopey and miserable as well -- without any alien encounters or sprawling fistfights that JMS sugars his stories up with.
I'm sure this isn't the worst comic of the year, but its the worst one I was suckered into buying.
I went by my friendly neighborhood comics shop yesterday and quickly hit my budget limit -- and broke it for one more title. The choice was between Superman #704 and Jack of Fables #48 -- I had dropped Jack of Fables but they're doing something interesting with the Page sisters, so I got it. I figured if I came back next week, it would be likely that Jack of Fables would have sold out, but Superman, I can get anywhere.
And then I find a copy of Superman #704 on the train on the ride home.
I'm glad I got to read it for free, because I didn't like it any better than Rob did.
The main thought I came away with was: Who is this woman in the story? Because she ain't Lois Lane. Not any Lois Lane I've ever read. The characterization is so completely off the mark that this simply isn't the character we're told she is. This is someone else with the same name.
I mean, really -- Lois Lane, jealous that Superman doesn't get crow's feet or wrinkles or pimples? Lois Lane, a small-town girl who went to a small-town college? Lois Lane, whining that she wants to be known for her own accomplishments? Lois Lane, babbling to her college crush's wife that she's the real Superwoman because she juggles motherhood and career? Lois Lane, moping that somebody who lives in a small town in Indiana hasn't read a Pullet Surprise-nominated series that ran in her big-city newspaper back East? Lois Lane, telling Superman she feels like a third wheel? Who is this?