I found this for four bucks at Half Price Books and thought I'd give it a try.

Bottom line: I LOVED IT.

I remember this was universally panned when it came out. The only thing I can imagine is that, when people read it, they took it to be a normal Superman, straight-laced, Elseworlds comic book. When I read it, I read it as a quirky British comedy with the dry British humor. With main writer Kim "Howard" Johnson with a bit of help from John Cleese, I have to imagine that's how it was meant.

The art was by John Byrne, but it was inked by Mark Farmer, so it looked quite different from any Byrne art I've ever seen. Also, it looked far cartoonier than Byrne's usual fare.

Did anybody else read this? It came out originally in 2004.

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  • I read it,  and may even still have it, somewhere. My problem with was that I expected it to be funny, and did not find it to be so.

  • I'm a pretty big fan of John Byrne (a "Byrne Victim," as they are dubbed), but I didn't buy this one and I don't remember why. Just didn't appeal to me at the time, I guess. I went through a phase when I was down on Elseworlds; that's probably why I didn't buy it. I'd read it now, given the opportunity.

  • I'll have to keep an eye out for that. I think sometimes these quirky projects are better received after their publication, as right in the moment hey compete with continuity and the "real" Superman, whereas all those specific deviations & distractions just fall away with time. 

    I do remember this one getting lousy reviews, though, which is probably why I didn't buy it.

  • I got it a few months ago at a half-off sale at a comics shop ... and felt like I overpaid.

    Beautiful artwork by John Byrne and Mark Farmer, but, to put it kindly, the "humor" -- or alleged attempts at such -- did not appeal. At all. 

  • Ha! It doesn't surprise me that I am in the voice of the minority on this one. I would be interested to see what you think, Rob. Maybe I just listen to Mindless Ones and watch too much BBC. I loved it so much.

    In fact, I thought of starting a companion thread to "Bat-Poop Crazy", only a Superman version. Superman doesn't have quite as many crazy iterations of the character as Batman does, though.

  • I may or may not have it; I may or may not have read it.

    All I remember about Brit is that when I bought my first issue I couldn't tell if I was coming in on the ground floor, or if there had been many other Brit series before it. And I realized it was a satire, but I couldn't figure out what it was a satire of. So I filed Brit in the "awaiting more information" folder, which is probably where the Superman book is.

    I still have a bunch of Brit books somewhere. I never got the additional information I needed.

  • Alexandra Kitty said:

    I loved it as well. It was given to me as a gift years ago, and it was just so bang-on satirically, it was scary, but the book is an acquired taste that hinges on cultural nuances than plot or even technique. I think I *got it* more than Americans did because Canadians have more British influences than Americans. The Fleet Street angle was pure genius and Clark's parents were a riot, but the end message that Superman's ideals were more American than British was spot on.

    Those things, I got -- especially about Colin Clark working for a British tabloid instead of an American-style Newspaper of Record™. I had mixed feelings about the parents. The "what would the neighbors think?" mentality was funny enough, but the business about them moving away from time to time and Colin not finding them wasn't funny to me, just dumb.

    That pretty much is how the whole book struck me, not so much "funny" as just dumb. But that's what makes horse races.

  • Ah, I see. I don't remember anything about the parents, so evidently I did miss some significant issues. I'll re-read them with new eyes someday.

    Carry on!

  • Brit was an Image feature about a British superhero whose 'costume' was a t-shirt and normal trousers. He looked middle aged, with short, white hair, but was physically very robust. The feature started with three B&W one-shots written by Robert Kirkman from 2003-2004. Apparently Kirkman has also used him in Invincible, and there was an ongoing series in 2007-2009 written by Bruce Brown.

  • Thanks for the analysis, Kitty, and for the back-issue info, Luke. Anybody want to do a Re-Read project on Brit?

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