Sunday, February 17, 2013

Superboy #17

Hey Superboy. I think the genie is already out of that alien herald. The horn is blown and Oracle is on the way.

I believe the last issue of H'el on Earth was Superman #16. And in that one, the Justice League had failed to stop H'el from activating his machine. The end of the world was nigh.

But before we get to the end of the world, can someone remind me who this "Superboy" character is and where he came from?"

To be fair, it did take an extra page to get to this standard introduction.

This issue is called "Lost Cause." Let me guess! Since Superman #0 already shows Superman has traveled back to Krypton, I suppose H'el and his contraption work. The solar system is destroyed. But Superman and Supergirl go back in time and arrive on Krypton anyway. But they get there before H'el is sent into space by Jor-el. That way, Superman stops H'el from ever going into space which will stop any of this from happening. Time is restored to normal and Superman and Supergirl on Krypton fade out of existence while Earth is saved. It's just the kind of crappy bullshit time travel paradox nonsense that Tom DeFalco and Scott Lobdell would write. You know, Back to the Future was hugely entertaining but it didn't exactly portray any type of time travel that could actually work. If Marty fucked up his parents getting together which causes him to wink out of existence then he never could have gone back in time to fuck up their relationship and thus they'd still get together and he'd be born so that he could fuck up their existence and wink out of existence so that...well, you get the idea. That's nonsense. But it was still a great trilogy!

I have a feeling that if Tom DeFalco and Scott Lobdell uses that same kind of time travel logic here, it won't be anywhere near as fun and exciting.

The first few pages repeat a bunch of shit from all the other issues of H'el on Earth. Just get on with the fucking story! Stop wasting pages simply to have everyone repeat everything EVERY FUCKING ISSUE. Or in the same issue as well! As you can see from the panel above, Superboy informs everyone of H'el's plan. So now that we're all caught up on that, it probably doesn't need to be mentioned again, does it?

Oh! Good thing H'el fucking reminded me about his plans just a few pages later. I'd forgotten!

But if Supergirl is helping H'el, why didn't Kal-el help? I know you've mentioned it before six or seven times, H'el. But could you remind me what the problem was?

Fuck you, Tom DeFalco. How do you still have a job? Regurgitating the same fucking dialogue and stories again and again?

Just a sample of the same conversation from Superboy #15.

H'el ditches Supergirl to go spout Earth aphorisms at the Justice League before destroying Superboy with his Amazing Powers That Defy Explanation* (*or, at the very least, nobody is fucking willing to explain them).

The Aphorism.

The Inexplicable Powers.

Well, I guess that's it for Superboy eight pages into his comic book. Unless he somehow pulls himself together with his tactile telekinesis. Perhaps even Superboy will hitch a ride to Krypton Past.

Superman battles H'el and instead of asking Wonder Woman for help since H'el has previously kicked his ass without so much as a single bead of sweat dripping down his perfectly sculpted abs and cleanly shaved upper pubic area, he sends her to find Superboy and help him. Since H'el used his magic powers to remove Superman's suit from Superboy, Superboy's DNA is falling apart again. But guess what?! He uses his tactile telekinesis to pull himself back together so he can get back into the fight! Wonder Woman just wanders off somewhere. Wander Woman!

While Superboy is recovering, he has an encounter with The Oracle's Herald who tells him a great big stupid lie that's supposed to be exciting foreshadowing about the character of Superboy!

Oh shut up! It's like I've lost all power to rationally deconstruct all of the shittery that leaks out of DeFalco's ass. All that I'm left with is the impotent protestation that he shut up, shut up, SHUT THE HELL UP!

Since Superboy is a clone, he's obviously against nature. Therefore no omnipotent being could have predicted his creation. Therefore he has no fate or destiny and is the only creature in all of existence (besides all of the other clones!) that has free will. The basis for this "idea" is so mired in horrible philosophy and theological belief that I find it childish and laughable as a plot point. But the best part? This was simply Tom DeFalco farting in the wind! Since he doesn't plan anything, nothing will fucking come of this anyway! After the crossover, Superboy will go back to his existential crises and his dates that end in violence.

The Herald leaves Superboy and heads off to have a conversation with the mute Oracle. He discusses how Earth contains five anomalies and "any one of them could disrupt the delicate balance cosmic." Really? I've had it up to my fucking cowlick with "cosmic plans" and "saving future time lines" and "chosen ones" (who are apparently thought of as anomalies by the great cosmic monsters!) and all that other bullshit. What it all comes down to is simply lazy writing. Can't think of an intriguing and interesting story grounded in characterization and reality like the one in Batman and Robin Annual #1? Just say vague things about the end of the world or the end of all time or the end of the universe. Allow people to see the future or time travel so they know exactly what must be done. Mix in some technobabble, pseudo-religious bullshit, and a few Deus ex Machinas, and voila! A story that seems epic but is actually shallow as shit.

As Superboy pulls himself together to stop the Star Chamber, Supergirl appears and begins knocking him all over the arctic. He doesn't fight back. He just tries to convince her H'el is a big fat liar. But she won't listen to reason. But maybe she'll listen to a sexy catfight!

Sorry! Sorry! I just watched the Futurama episode where Leela and Amy become Butterfly Fighters and Fry says, "Rowwwwr! Mrrroowwwrrr!" while making cat claws about seventeen thousand times during that episode. By the way, I have a huge crush on Amy Wong.

While Wonder Woman and Supergirl's super sexy fight of wonder continues over in Supergirl #17 (hopefully for the entire thing!), Superboy picks himself up one last time and heads toward the star chamber to destroy it. Will he succeed? Well, according to Superman #0, no. Unless Supes finds another way home later.

Superboy #17 Rating: No change. While I mostly despised this issue, a lot of that stems from my own personal bias for certain types of stories that use logic and characterization to propel the action. But I have to say that from the point Superboy encountered Supergirl, I actually enjoyed the rest of the comic book. That whole scene in the last seven pages pretty much saved it for me. The dialogue between Superboy and Supergirl was actually pretty nice. I think Supergirl being under H'el's spell because she feels he loves her is a bit icky. I'd rather her single motivation was to restore Krypton and not have it be tied into some school girl crush. But Superboy actually acted like a hero here. That was fucking nice to see. And Wonder Woman coming out of nowhere to punch Supergirl through three glaciers? That's always fun. Perhaps my will was just worn out by the end of the comic book? Or perhaps DeFalco actually wrote a good scene. I think the jury is still out on which it was.

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