Saturday, November 10, 2012

Action Comics #14

Oh! The Multitude are the guys destroying worlds, right? The reason the Collector of Worlds bottles things! Culmination!

Look at Superman! What kind of a guardian of Earth is he? I'm not talking about letting the Multitude zip past him. Look at the look on his face! He's clearly simply thinking, "Oh man. The Earth is fucked."

The action begins on Mars where a group of international (now interplanetary!) space travelers are setting up a Mars Base. It took me a couple of pages to realize that they're on Mars even though the whole thing was done with a red tint. This is why the nerd in my was mixed up (Warning: "Actually" incoming):

Phobos and Deimos are not spherical.

I should quit reading this comic book right now! How dare Rags Morales screw up something so important? I could stand Superman getting enough energy to leap into space by accelerating up the ramp of a tow truck without the truck completely collapsing beneath him. I can accept a man infused with Kryptonite wearing a wife beater with a 70s mustache and a jones for killing Superman. I can accept men from the 5th Dimension and a super intelligent robot from another planet and miniaturized people and phantom dogs tracking their boys across light years through space. But I will not ever accept this picture as being Mars, Phobos, and Deimos! They're just testing my credulity at this point!

Oh, I guess I can also believe a bunch of astronauts from different countries constructing a base on Mars suddenly being attacked by alien construction vehicles and yelling for help and Superman, down on Earth inside the noisy Daily Planet building, hearing their cries! Maybe I should just let the moon thing go since now it just sounds like I'm flaunting my useless knowledge of the shape of Mars's moons instead of actually having been confused about the opening scene's location. Pointing out the moon thing was just a way to make me feel less stupid.

The colony's life support system has been destroyed and the colonizers believe they have just an hour left to live when Superman arrives to begin beating up alien dump trucks and metalek bulldozers. They look on in amazement! Or disbelief. Maybe they're looking at Mars's moons?

See? International! Japanese. Canadian. Indian. Mexican. American. Just think of the delicious food these guys are eating!

Amid their dinner of sushi, ketchup-flavoured potato chips, vindaloo, tamales and french fries, the colonizers are saved!

Oh come on! Now they're just rubbing it in my face! Why is that saying never as sexy as it sounds?

I forgot to mention that Mxyztylplk's Mxyzptlk's nemesis was also on planet watching from the safety of his own space suit. Hasn't that little Mxyzprick caused enough damage already?

One of the astronauts is also a small boy. At first, I wondered what the purpose of that would be. And then it dawned on me: this is a fucking one way mission! These people are giving up their lives to build the base and spend the rest of their lives on Mars. If they're successful, another mission with more people and supplies can come to Mars and they'll need someone to guide them through the set up if the next mission takes too long: the boy. Eventually there will be two-way travel between the planets but that definitely isn't the first priority. The boy, by the way, helps Superman by giving him innocent little boy advice: tell the Metalek that humans are on Mars for the same reason they are. Both groups want to rebuild it into a place they can live so why can't they work together?

After Superman pummels a steamroller and a wrecking ball (yeah, this fight is a five year old boy's wet dream (Did I just type that? What the fuck is wrong with me? I should have said, "This fight would give any five year old boy a hard on.")), he gives Metalek the boy's message and Metalek seems to agree. The aggression stops and Superman rescues the last two colonists trapped in another building. Turns out Metalek are simply trying to survive by outrunning the Multitude. It also turns out that they aren't doing a very good job of it because the Multitude is right on their bumpers.

See? Culmination!

Superman leaves the colonists to defend themselves inside their colony bubble while he goes outside to investigate the coming choir of alien angels. It's at this point in the story the reader learns the young boy's name is Noah. Now this is significant in a lot of ways. Perhaps it's because the boy will survive a flood. No, if that were simply the case, Morrison would have named him Utnapishtim. Perhaps his name is Noah because he'll survive the Multitude's judgment against Earth and create some kind of covenant with them so that a rainbow is put into space? No, I don't believe that either. What I think it actually means is that by the end of this issue, the boy will be naked and drunk lying in his space bubble.

Oh stop it!

Superman then faces off against a bunch of angels. The script is written to make it seem surprising that the Multitude look like angels but since I have a copy of the comic book with the front cover intact, I wasn't surprised at all! Even Metalek joins in the fight. But there are too many! It's a multitude, after all! Superman retreats back into the Space Bubble to get some advice from Noah. The only information Superman currently has is that his father, Jor-el, defeated the Multitude years ago. Krypton is the only planet to ever survive their coming. Sure, they didn't have long to celebrate but they still survived. Now Superman has to figure out how his father did it. And that's why I said he needs to get some advice from Noah. The kid has already shown that his out-of-the-box innocent way of seeing the world solar system worked one time. Now Superman's going to have to go back to Noah's well.

Interestingly enough, Noah is the only character in Genesis to never deal with wells.

I would like to say I was right but Superman comes up with a plan that's every bit as technosilly as something Mister Terrific might have done. It has to do with creating a 10 gigawatt electrical field that extends into the 5th Dimension and affects every single angel at once since they're actually all part of one extra-dimensional weapon.

So he blasted them with 10 Gigawatts of power. That means they went forward in time and then back in time and then back in time and then forward in time and then forward in time and then back in time and then back in time and then forward in time and then were struck by 0.32 Gigawatts of electricity. So they should still be here except a bit crispier and exhausted from all of the time travel.

After the Multitude disappear, Superman searches for the mystery man that everybody has been talking about. He finds him with a crispy fried hand just like I said he would! And he's disoriented from all the sudden time travel, I bet! That's why Superman is finally able to catch him!

Stupid Superman keeps ignoring the panel's boundaries!

It's not just Noah that gets his face melted off. Vindictive X melts the faces of all the other colonists as well! Superman impotently tells Vyndktvx to stop it. Knock it off. Don't murder everyone. But since Vyndktvx is an evil little bastard, he doesn't stop it at all! Instead, he transforms into a little 5th dimensional devil man throws some truth Superman's way!

Someone eventually had to say what we've all been thinking.

I don't know. He's some kind of 5th dimensional super genius and that's the best line he can come up with? Why not just say he fucked his mom? Or call him a little girl? Maybe point out how tiny his little 3rd dimensional penis is? Sorry, Vyndktvx, I'm just not impressed.

The back-up story stars Neils deGrasse Tyson and simply has Superman visiting an observatory to use his super abilities and the abilities of all the telescopes in the world to watch Krypton explode. Because Superman is 27 and he arrived through a wormhole and Krypton is 27 light years away and that's all the explanation anybody needs.

Action Comics #14 Rating: +0.25 Ranking! The angels of the Multitude were a bunch of 5th Dimensional finger puppets! Come on! That's awesome. Okay, you're right. If Lobdell did it, I would call it stupid. But that's because Lobdell would over-explain it all instead of just telling the fucking story. Morrison doesn't say they're finger puppets. But it's all there to be put together! I'm glad I can enjoy Superman in Action Comics. Maybe I'll relax a bit and stop being so bitchy about the other bad writers. I'm in a really good mood right now! Maybe it'll last all month!

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