Saturday, March 19, 2016

Superman #50

Basically the Superman/Batman movie boils down to whether you like Chocolate-Strawberry or Caramel cereal? I guess I'm Team Superman!

Rating: No change.

I've become so invested in how this God-awful Superman story is going to end that I had to bring back the long-form commentaries for a few issues. Also, I'm simply avoiding doing my taxes. It's such drudgery!

At the end of Superman Loves Wonder Woman #27, Vandal Savage was gaining more and more powers from being in close proximity to the comet that made him immortal thirty thousand years ago. He's going to need the extra powers because Superman just got his powers back as well! I wish I could say something like "I hope this fight is going to be as good as Superman's battle against Doomsday" but that fight was shit, wasn't it? Just a lot of punching each other into buildings until everybody died. I doubt this fight will end in the death of anybody. I'm actually hoping it ends by page three with all of Vandal Savage's teeth knocked out and Superman banging Wonder Woman on top of his unconscious body in celebration.

I almost get my wish! Page two and three are a double splash of Superman punching Vandal Savage in the face. Shards of the comet are flying by in the background and at first glance, I thought they were teeth! According to Vandal, Superman has already lost because he's relying on punching instead of making a plan. Although I suppose if punching is the plan, Vandal is screwed.

This is that part which I mentioned happens every time Superman meets a new threat. Superman mentions how he actually felt a punch or, as here, got the wind knocked out of him. Now the reader knows how powerful Vandal is and how tense the situation really is! Oh my!

Instead of killing Superman, Vandal Savage decides to play a game of Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future with him. I suppose it's because his plan is to...okay, you know what? I can't even be bothered to make up a stupid reason for Vandal not killing Superman. It must all be part of the plan because plans are important! More important than punches! Or friends!

Vandal's son Puzzler (or the robot version of him, anyway) uses some techno-hoodoo to send Superman back to Krypton just as the planet is about to explode. I'm sure he's not really there! Like I said, this is probably a Ghost of Christmas Past thing. I guess Vandal wants Superman to learn some kind of a lesson about being a douche.

Although Superman seems to be corporeal enough to save his mother and father from being crushed. It's probably just an acid trip. Or a device built by Hordr_root capable of creating virtual simulations. Vandal decides to show Superman what one timeline might have looked like had something beyond Superman's control turned out different. Wow. How fascinating. Imagine that! Things could have turned out differently if things had happened differently. I can see I'm in for a really tedious read.

After showing Superman how Krypton could possibly have lived if things had happened in the way his totally false and assumptive simulation calculated, Vandal takes Superman to a future which is complete and utter speculation based on bullshit data and inconclusive assumptions.

Vandal shows Superman a future where the Earth is safe because weak people have been turned into slaves while the strong rule and defend the world. It's a great place! Then Vandal shows Superman a future where he continued to protect everybody and that world is an awful, barren dead place. Of course the two versions of the future are like that! Vandal wants what he wants so he shows Superman a future that he assures Superman will come to pass if Superman helps him. This is Vandal's plan? Prey on Superman's need to keep his adoptive world safe by feeding him absolutely transparent lies? I think Vandal should have stuck to punching things.

Vandal learned this trick from spending all those years with Madame Xanadu. Tell people lies about future dangers and they'll do anything you want them to to save the world!

Vandal ends the simulation and asks Superman to make his choice: work with Vandal to create a paradise on Earth (for some) or try to stop Vandal so that Earth can remain the mediocre toilet it currently is (for everybody!). Superman decides to think about Pa Kent for a bit to help him make his decision.

I guess up until this moment, Superman had forgotten this conversation because he seems to live by the theory that punching solves everything.

At the end here, across these last few chapters, this story really seems to be playing up the idea that Superman isn't supposed to solve problems with violence. And yet, that's all he does. Constantly. I suppose if DC tells the readers that that isn't true enough times (starting now), the fans will eventually believe it. Because it was true every now and again, depending on who was writing the character.

Superman decides to not join Vandal. Now he finally gets the bright idea to get rid of the comet. Fucking dick. I told you to deal with that earlier! How nobody told Hal Jordan to fling that fucking thing into the sun when they realized it's what Vandal was after, I'll never know. I mean, I guess I do know. Because that would have ended the story anticlimactically. Now the story ends with Puzzler betraying Vandal because Superman reaches out and finds the humanity in Puzzler. I know normally I would be calling for that kind of ending but I was really hoping Superman would have just punched him.

The comet is destroyed in a tug of war between Superman, Puzzler, and Vandal. Everybody is flung back to Earth where they all celebrate because Superman's hair somehow grew out during this issue and he now has his spit curl back. Hooray!

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