Sunday, May 20, 2012

Superman #8

Please. The Daemonites can't seem to rid themselves of the nuisances of Voodoo and Grifter but Superman is easily controlled! I'm not buying it.

Most readers left Superman in the Himalayas last month although I left him there just last night. So I'd better get back to see how he's doing. But first I think I'll see if Lois's sister made it home okay since that jerk Clark stood her up. And I wonder if Olsen has a key to Clark's apartment or if he'll be sleeping out on the streets tonight?

Oh, she's safe. I thought she might have been kidnapped by Intergang or something.

Why do so many people in Superman's life have the initials L.L.? Maybe the new DCU will have an explanation. This is all I could find on the internet that might explain it (after one exhaustive Google search and 30 long seconds): In The Adventures of Superman #646, Mr. Mxyztplk suggested that the initials had an important significance within the Kryptonian Language.

Yeah, that's pretty lame. Oh! Speaking of Mr. Mxyztplk, I was wondering if he might not possibly be the small man from Action Comics that has been causing so much trouble. I know, this is the wrong comic to be supposing that but I kept forgetting to mention it in the Action Comics commentaries!

So Lucy Lane made it home safely. But Superman is still in trouble. And for the next six pages, it seems like the trouble has already happened. Superman is being chased by STAR Labs soldiers and Green Lantern and Batman and Wonder Woman (although none of the big stars are shown. I guess Superman's subconscious couldn't get the rights to their images). Looks like Superman has gone rogue (AGAIN?! Already! Is Superman the only foe worthy enough to go up against Superman? So they keep making him fly off the handle?)! But he hasn't. He's just having a nightmare induced by Helspont trying to stuff a Daemonite into his face.

The bug in the mouth is the Daemonite equivalent of an educational film.

Helspont's Buggy Chew shows Clark a vision of the future where Superman is no longer trusted by the people he's protected for so long. They have grown to fear his power and what he could do to them if he turned on them. And so they decide to outlaw aliens. But the people of Metropolis, even Billy McCoy, learned last story line that Superman is not to be feared because he is the Boy Scout that can and will protect them from any threat as big as he would be if he weren't so straight edge. Helspont is just bitter because the story he shows Superman is the story that he went through himself.

And the mystery of Helspont is answered! Thanks, Giffen, for making some sense out of the Daemonite nonsense.

Now Helspont wants Superman's help in getting even with the other Daemonites. In return, he'll allow Superman to have control of the Earth. Seems like a pretty good deal!

Oh come on, Superman! Just think! Helspot will help you destroy the Daemonite threat (which, I guess, Superman doesn't know anything about) and he'll give you Earth! It's not like you have to be a dictator! He just recognizes that Earth is yours! You let it go on as normal as its protector. Just think about it before Helspont smooshes you with that rock.

Superman declines the offer and is smooshed by that rock.

Helspont continues to pontificate on the prejudices of the human species. I'm not sure how Superman hears him beneath all of that rock. I know, I know! Superman has super hearing. But how super? Can he hear anything spoken anywhere in the world? What can he hear through tons of solid rock? He's not Batman!

But Superman is like Batman in another way: Superman was raised by a butler! I mean, adoptive parents who loved and cared for him. So kind of like Batman in that they both lost their parents at a very young age. I think I was going somewhere with this. Maybe not. Let's just move on.

Oh yeah! Superman's human non-butler parents loved him! Just like Batman's butler loved him!

The talking and the fighting go on for a few pages. Helspont threatens Earth; Superman threatens Helspont. Helspont zaps Superman through a mountain; Superman explodes a mountain on top of Helspont. Eventually Helspont disappears. Since he demonstrated teleportation tech earlier, Superman supposes he's fled for now. But during the fight, Helspont sums up Superman pretty nicely!

Too bad it's that maudlin sentimentality that makes Superman so dangerous when protecting the Earth!

Helspont's words may have been prophetic. This is the scene outside Clark's apartment when he later returns home:

Haters gonna hate!

Superman #8 Rating: No change. This comic is currently just beneath Justice League in the rankings and I think that's fitting. Both suffered from an initial story that could have been handled much better. But both are headed in the right direction now, in my humble yet correct estimation.

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