Sunday, May 20, 2012

Superman #7

I've been seeing this image as the ad for Superman for months now. Hey, DC? You think you could change pictures when advertising your own titles once in a while?

Let's just forget about the last six issues of Superman and start over, okay? Agreed? Okay.

Superman is in the middle of the streets of Metropolis fighting a construct. Superman gets the feeling this thing was meant to call him out and possibly see how well he stands up to it. After Superman defeats it, some of the people standing around declare that Superman just saved them. But this is one of the big issues I have with super hero comics. Without Superman, this threat would never have materialized. The last six issues that I'm not supposed to talk about were also filled with problems caused by Superman's presence. So seven issues into Superman, and he hasn't actually helped Metropolis at all. I will only count his actions as heroic if he's stopping threats that would have happened with or without his being present in Metropolis.

STAR Labs is called in after the fight to pick up the green horned creature that Superman put down. Supes must be fairly confident in his skills because as soon as the STAR Labs pick-up van shows up, he takes off.

I particularly like this soliloquy where he explains what he does to nobody.

Helspont is actually speaking to some computer that controls the Seekers which are an army of creatures like the one that Superman just destroyed. Or knocked offline. It's pretty lucky that Helspont was knocked free of the Eye of the Storm when Harry tried to blow it up. And that the piece of the Stormwatch Headquarters that he was in crashed near this secret hideout where a bunch of Seekers were stashed so that Helspont could quickly get on with his plan to take over Meta-humans and then get revenge on the Daemonites! Being that he was on the Eye of the Storm, this may be his original headquarters before he was captured by Stormwatch who knows how many years ago. Except he was probably captured by Daemonites hundreds of years ago before Stormwatch took over the Daemonite vessel. One of those. Or a different one. Make up your own story about why all of this works!

Meanwhile, at the Daily Planet, we finally get to see Clark Kent at his desk doing some actual work for the paper! Keith Giffen is pretty good at setting up the alternate persona of the super hero. That's a really important piece of the puzzle. I think Marvel tends to do this a lot better than DC but Marvel didn't restart their entire line of comics and who wants to pay $3.99 for every single comic anyway?! Plus I wouldn't be as good at the Marvel history if I was doing this with Marvel. I'd be asking a lot more questions about people's histories and relationships. Who the hell is Mary Jane? Has Peter fucked her yet? Why does the Green Goblin hate him so much? How does the Sandman make a bowel movement?! Is Venom an alien that likes to pretend to be clothing or clothing infused with sentience?! Why did Mr. Fantastic call himself Mr. Fantastic? Isn't that a bit arrogant? And a bit flamboyant?

Now I want to read some Marvel comic books!

Back to Clark Kent trying to write up a story at the Daily Planet. As Clark Kent, he shows himself to be an easily confused pushover and it's hard to tell if that's part of the persona or if he really does have trouble tending to the social aspects of human life. James Jameson Perry White scolds him for writing an article with too little Superman in it while Lois Lane tricks him into going to pick up her sister at the train station while Clark accidentally agrees to let Jimmy Olsen crash at his place while Olsen's apartment is fumigated for bedbugs. It's like a Community Theater Play!

Am I the only one that thinks all Community Theater Plays are like this? A cast of characters come on stage, a bunch of stuff is said, confusion ensues and chaos reigns until the end of the second act when it's all beautifully straightened out with perfect comic timing?

"Superman was spotted pleasing hundreds of young women yet again. Witnesses said, 'He's the most fantastic and giving lover I've ever had the pleasure to witness! It was like Christmas Mass!'"

Oh, that FWASHK sound effect that I cut off is the sound of the Seeker teleporting out of STAR Labs and into Clark Kent's workspace to "put him in thrall" for Helspont. I think it's time for Clark Kent to skeedaddle into the changing room, i.e. Woman's Bathroom.

Hmm. He chooses the conference room this time. Probably a safer decision.

Superman flies out of the building so that he can fly back in through the window to appear as if he doesn't work at the Daily Planet. I'm not sure how he got outside though. I really doubt the windows open way up on whatever floor they're on. Maybe he just ran down the stairs super fast and flew back up. He can do that, right? He has a modicum of super speed? Well, fuck. *I* have a modicum of super speed! I meant in comparison to The Flash!

This encounter with the Seeker ends up with Superman being teleported to the Himalayas. After the mission is complete, the Seeker dissolves away into a fine mist. Or jelly. Or gray goo.

Superman calls himself Clark here while thinking. Is Identity Crisis the only comic where it is discussed that villains that can read minds should know the secret identities of all the heroes they encounter? Why isn't this a bigger problem? Super villains that can read minds wouldn't ever have to put themselves in danger. One could just hang out while the Penguin sets up a bank robbery, read Batman's mind, and then sell the information. What a business!

Helspont and Superman don't actually fight. Well, Superman gets blasted by him at the end for saying Helspont speaks nonsense. But before that happens, Helspont, a major overlord in the Daemonite Empire (so why was he imprisoned by them? Looks like lots of internal strife in the Daemonites. That one in Grifter is starting a rebellion. And it looks like Helspont was a big leader who was overthrown. Maybe the more chaos, the less it needs to make sense) asks most of the questions about the Daemonites that I've been asking! Leave it to Keith Giffen to question what the hell is going on in the DC Universe! Helspont might as well be Ambush Bug at this point!

So it looks like the Daemonites lost interest at some point. Perhaps internal conflict has kept them from taking over the Earth. Or they're just being way too cautious.

That's what I've been wondering?!

Right about now is when Superman calls Helspont's speech nonsense and he gets blasted to near unconsciousness by some magic Daemonite blast of power. We'll have to find out what happens next issue!

Superman #7 Rating: +1 Ranking. I'm already enjoying this comic again. I'm not a big fan of Super Heroes defending against threats directed at them but at least Superman tries to take care of business quickly and away from populated areas. I also like when Giffen explores the non-super hero side of them. I believe Perez did some of this at the beginning before his plot totally got out of control and I liked the comic then as well. It went off the rails for a bit but it looks like it might be back on track. Speaking of trains....


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