Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Coming of the Supermen #3

Superman is Jack from Lost in the last season?

The Review
What the fuck is going on in this comic book? Does anybody else get the feeling that Neal Adams had no real idea what to do with this story after the first issue? By the last half of this issue, things are so muddled and confused that I had to check my pupils in the mirror to make sure they were the same size. After confirming that I wasn't having a stroke, I went back to the comic book where I remained confused until the end. On a basic level, I suppose the story is easy enough to follow. Darkseid is invading New Krypton who need Superman's help to stop the invasion. But why the fuck is Rafi important enough to be kidnapped by Kalibak? Doesn't that just ensure that Superman is going to come to New Krypton? And what about the demon Muhammad and the dog Jesus? I thought this was going to be an allegory about the relationship between Christianity and Islam! And why do most of the scenes wind up making little sense at all? And who uses "PAM" as the sound made when Superman bounces off of Kalibak's skull? Why is Lex Luthor such an incoherent bumbler? Usually when a mini-series I'm reading has an issue like this, I give up on it even though that means my collection remains incomplete. But I guess I'll stick this one out because Neal Adams is getting to that age that he's going to need money for medical expenses and it's either going to come from supporting his work or giving a few bucks to a future GoFundMe page.

The Commentary
Here is a Tweet that I happened to read on my Twitter Feed because it was retweeted by a cousin of the Non-Certified Spouse whom I follow because I don't want to seem like the pretentious Douch├ęstork I actually am: "What's it like having enough money to go on strike and still be able to pay the rent?" Oh! Ha ha! Hilarious and cutting observation, @FuckstickMcGee (I changed his Twitter handle to protect him from whomever he stole that Twitter joke). Too bad Fuckstick doesn't have the brain power to think past his bon mot! Guess what, Mister McGee? If not for strikes and unions by people who not only couldn't fucking pay their rent to do it but were also subjected to physical violence and blacklisting, people don't have to work every fucking day, all fucking day, just to pay that fucking rent! And guess what? People go on strike all the time even when they can't afford it. Because corporations aren't going to improve employee working conditions and pay simply because the wind changes direction and Mary Poppins arrives to teach them a magic word. A magic word that can kill, by the way! Boy, that Mary Poppins was a bad-ass. One of my biggest anti-establishment heroes alongside Willy Wonka. Oh, sure. You might argue about Willy Wonka and I might have to concede some points that he was definitely a bastard corporate owner, what with using alien labor in the guise of offering them protection from Vermicious Knids, but overall, I'd have to say he generally gave his finger to the establishment in terrific ways. Like causing global riots with his Golden Ticket program, and murdering shitty kids in his factory, and willing everything he owns to some poverty stricken child. Oh, sure, that child was white and male but all of our heroes are problematic in one way or another!

I wonder why I even present the idea that I'm reviewing comic books? How many people might actually enjoy my blog if only they realized it was only about twenty percent about comic books?! I might have a problem with branding! Although that's not a new revelation. Who names their comic book review blog something incomprehensible like Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea?! Fucking idiot.

In the previous issue, Kalibak had kidnapped Clark's new foster child. I call Rafi his "foster child" because I don't want to accuse Superman of kidnapping as well. When Kalibak takes a child away from his home, you know the intent is probably malicious. But when Superman takes a child away from his home and his country, you know it's probably for the kid's sake.

You should probably also remember that Rafi's dog's name was Isa which is Jesus in Islam. That would probably be offensive if anybody actually cared about offending Christians. It's probably actually offensive to white people who think Muslims need their protection, actually. What might be most offensive is how Neal Adams drew Muhammad as a winged demon in the first issue!

Oh! And in this issue as well!

I know what you're thinking! At least, I know what I'm pretending you're thinking so that I can answer the fake question I'm shoving in your head: "What proof do you have that the demon is supposed to represent Muhammad?!" Oh wait. I can't answer that question. I don't have any proof. You're just going to have to trust me. I am a Master Comic Book Reader, after all.

Superman discovers that the Supermen are from New Krypton where they've been invaded by Darkseid who heard New Krypton had really great--and strong!--chairs.

I guess everybody is out of breath this issue because every sentence is interrupted by at least one ellipsis. "This is why we came to Earth. We...need your help...on New Krypton. We've been Apokolips." He's so out of breath that he can't even muster the strength to end that last sentence with an exclamation point! Which it totally deserves!

"They wear us down, like vermin." Is that a Biblical allusion?

The Supermen's plan was to take over protecting Earth while Superman headed off to New Krypton to save the day. Superman agrees but he needs a ship so he can bring back Rafi since Rafi can't hold his breath in space the way Superman can. Superman decides he'll borrow one of Lex's. Actually, he'll steal one of Lex's ships. I know Lex ultimately gives Superman permission but what else can he do when Superman is holding him by the scruff of the neck and calling him a criminal?

And apparently flaunting his perfect locks as well!

Is that Neal Adams take on Lex Luthor? He hates Superman because he's jealous of his hair? Enh, it's better than some takes!

I also like how Neal Adams can't picture a spaceship that doesn't drive like a car. Why would Superman even trust one of Luthor's ships? It's probably full of kryptonite!

New Krypton lies on the other side of the sun from Earth. I suppose that means it's in the exact same orbit and going about the sun at the same rate of speed? Is that the idea? Protecting New Krypton from interstellar stuff is an invisible shield. And making their home on that shield? Darkseid and his minions! So they're like lice, I guess.

Lois stows away on Superman's ship because she has to get the scoop! Her ass looks great in a space suit, by the way. I'm sure that didn't need to be said. We all know Lois's ass looks great in anything she wears.

Superman and the New Kryptonians go to battle against Darkseid's forces while Darkseid learns that the software he purchased from Lex Luthor was only a monthly licensing agreement. What a jerk! Remember the days when you could pay one price to license using a program on one computer and you didn't have to keep renewing it monthly because everything took place in the cloud? Fucking cloud! Corporations try to make it sound like a magical place to keep data safe but it's really just an excuse to charge people monthly for their stupid fucking software.

This Luthor's dialogue is making Jesse Eisenberg's look like Edward Packard. I was going to say like Shakespeare but I didn't want to exaggerate.

In the battle against the Apokoliptians, Superman is blasted by Desaad's Red Sun Mote Ray before the action shifts back to Earth. But when the scene returns to New Krytpon, Superman is going after Kalibak. So I guess Luthor's weapon made especially to defeat Superman was a dud? I hope Darkseid didn't sign a two year contract.

Superman beats Kalibak over and over again asking where Rafi is until Orion finally turns up to point out that Kalibak is an idiot and probably doesn't remember. And that's where this mess ends.

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