I don't get it. Is this symbolic of the way The Joker keeps coming between Batman and Superman's love?
I'm not excited to be reading another comic book written by Greg Pak. I've come to the objective conclusion that he's an awful writer. I haven't done any double blind studies or anything but, come on! We all know how those would turn out without actually having to conduct them, right? A bunch of scientists will randomly hand out comic books without knowing who wrote them, a bunch of people will read them without knowing who wrote them, and all of the comics written by Greg Pak will wind up in the garbage where they probably belong. So why waste money when I can imagine the results that I expect and desire?
This issue begins like this so I guess the Annual was an imaginary tale?
Instead of bleeding to death on a remote island, Superman is powerless in Metropolis and battling more xenophobes. It's shocking how many people other than Lex Luthor have really hated Superman all this time but were afraid to say anything because he might punch them in their stupid mouths. I think I have more respect for Lex Luthor! He's apparently been of the majority opinion all this time but he's the only one brave enough to stand against Superman. But now that Superman has hardly any powers and his secret identity has been exposed, everybody is crawling out of Greg Pak's woodwork to kick his ass. I'm not sure how the knowing his secret identity helps everyone suddenly know who Superman is though. Clark Kent went about for years looking exactly like Superman but nobody noticed. But now that people have seen pictures of Clark Kent (who looks exactly like Superman), they now instantly recognize him on the street?
To be fair, Clark is wearing a Superman t-shirt now. But even before that in the Sneak Peek, his image was causing him trouble. Hell, he was being recognized while wearing sunglasses and a hoodie when he used to be able to hide behind simple glasses. I bet he was recognized more because he was still hanging out with Jimmy Olsen! Although why would anybody recognize Jimmy Olsen? He was a photographer for a local newspaper whose circulation was circling the drain.
I've never been kicked in the groin so hard that I heard it go "KRANCH." I think Superman may have done two serious injuries to this guy.
Superman beats up these guys while reminiscing about a bunny and how his father ran it over in a tractor and how he cried for an hour. Here's my story about a bunny: when I was five years old or so, my mom, grandparents, aunt and uncle, sister, and cousins drove to Kansas to visit my aunt's family. Some of the family were in a military bus my uncle had converted into a recreational vehicle, the rest of us were in my grandparents motorhome. My grandfather was driving and, excitedly, he yelled out, "Look! A bunny! A bunny! Whoops. There goes the bunny," as he ran it over on the freeway. I didn't cry for an hour. My family has been laughing for years over that bunny's sacrifice. Not because it died. That's sad, of course. Boo hoo and all that. Big show of empathy. But my grandfather's reaction was so perfectly timed. He couldn't have set it up any better.
Oh, your father never said that! Greg Pak is saying your father said that because it's such a popular thing to say in the current zeitgeist.
Also, if Superman was told to never punch down, how come when he had his super powers, he was constantly punching everything? I don't think he really respects your advice, Jonathan Kent!
After the fight, Superman meets up with a cop who he recognizes from events in Action Comics #42 which, once again, I missed due to my time machine having been stolen because I left it unlocked in front of that 1983 Red Barn I visited last week to pick up a Foghorn Leghorn glass.
The police apparently hate Superman as much as the rest of the DC Universe. They've been given orders to let him get his ass kicked by whoever wants to kick his ass. They're all just so angry at all the trouble he's caused over the years. Normally I wouldn't want to agree with that but for quite some time (decades, maybe?), comic book writers have often gone the lazy route where they tell stories about villains whose only motive is to attack the super heroes. So most of the time, Superman is battling creatures who are only in Metropolis to battle Superman. Which, you would think because Superman is a hero, would cause Superman to go live in his Fortress of Solitude after taking out advertisements on all the Metropolis bus benches letting the villains know where he can now be found.
Clark figures Lex Luthor must be behind the police attitude toward him, so he goes to visit Lex. Why bother, Clark? The people obviously hate you. Why blame Lex at this point? Lex was the only one who allowed his hatred to be public. That doesn't mean he's managed to cause everybody else to hate you too. Although according to Batman Loves Superman Annual #2, Xa-du has the power to make everybody in the world hate Clark Kent. Also Xa-du knew Superman's secret identity. So why is Superman confused about everybody knowing his identity?! Why was his first instinct in Superman #41 to blame Jimmy Olsen when he knows he has villains who know his identity? If they knew it would have caused Superman this much trouble, they probably would have beat Lois Lane to the punch and exposed him themselves.
Lex hasn't done as much research as he might think if he still isn't convinced Clark Kent is Superman. He figured out Batman's identity with even less to go on.
INSERT BATMAN LOVES SUPERMAN SNEAK PEEK HERE
Superman is beat up by Commissioner Batman but Lex Luthor flies in to help. Remember that bit? The whole thing was about how Superman broke a bunch of laws which he didn't actually break? Superman slinks off while Lex and Commissioner Batman have a chat about how awful Commissioner Batman's gut is. Just like every police officer's gut. Gut isn't evidence, assholes. Following your gut really just means being led by your bias, bigotry, and prejudice.
Imagine that. Asking questions! Following the evidence! What a novel approach to police work!
I wonder how difficult it was to allow Greg Pak to have the first moment with Alfred? I bet DC Editorial were really strict about how this scene was handled because Bruce's disappearance had to remain a mystery. And I think that first panel which really shows Alfred missing a hand was a mistake on the artist's part. I think Alfred's arm was supposed to have disappeared behind Clark's head completely so as not to give a definitive answer to whether Alfred was still missing a hand or not.
Clark calls Lois for some reason but he's not sure how to get out what he was calling about. So Lois monologues for a long time about her life and when she finally asks him what he called about, he pauses for a moment. Apparently it's too long a pause because Lois hangs up on him for keeping secrets. Fart noise.
Superman spray paints one of Batman's motorcycles red, analyzes the evidence he got from the Waynetech break-in, then goes to the Gotham City Junkyard to blow up an old car because he knows, for some reason, that will attract Commissioner Batman. I guess they need to work out a way to work together because both of their names are on the cover of this comic book. It can't be constantly about Superman or all of the Batman fans are going to stop reading. Oh wait. Commissioner Batman isn't really Batman so all of the Batman fans are probably going to stop reading anyway.
Batman Loves Superman #21 Rating: -2 Ranking. This whole truth thing is kind of annoying because so much depends on things that haven't happened in front of the reader yet and so nothing can be explained to any reader's satisfaction without spoiling the other comic book stories. For some inexplicable reason, I don't like that. It's not like this story is supposed to create tension as the reader wonders what happened but knows they'll eventually find out organically in the telling of the tale. No, this is just a story that isn't allowed to say a bunch of stuff which is important to the telling of this story and that stuff will never even be revealed in this story because it's part of a different story in a different comic book. It's just a poorly thought out mess that I'm finding I care less and less about with every letter I type. So I should stop typing because now I care about forty-eight letters less than when I began this sentence.