Monday, June 27, 2016

The Coming of the Supermen #5

Superman should have lunch before breaking up this fight. It might solve at least his future Luthor problems.

The Review!
Most artists who can draw probably also think they can write because writing is the easy part! You just draw a panel of Gambit throwing a card at a Sentinel and make him say a card game pun! The thing about comic books is that so many of the writers are so mediocre that companies may as well have the artists write the comic book as well. Which may be the reason we have this debacle by Neal Adams. The writing is terrible. It's terrible with so many "very"s in front of it that I should probably think up a better word to describe it so I can drop a few veries. How about atrocious? No wait! Abominable! It is an abominable travesty! I bet the only person who is enjoying it is Denny O'Neil. There's no doubt now who was the brains behind the Green Lantern/Green Arrow team-up tales! Was there any doubt before this? People were probably just all, "Denny did a great job on the writing and Neal did a great job on the art and I would never consider giving either one credit for what the other person so obviously did!" But if that wasn't the case, now we know definitively that Neal Adams did not do any of the writing on that series. Unless some of that series was terrible. I mean abominable. All that shit was before my time.

The Commentary!
I've just passed the Gertrude Stein section of The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry (Second Edition!) and I've come to a radical opinion. She's a fraud. She's a big fat fucking fraud and I was frauded by her all this frauding time! Fraud! A fraud! Fraudulently a fraud. I mean, the opposite of that! She was honestly a fraud! Although I still have to read The Biography of Alice B. Toklas to get a real sense of her fraudgility because she sort of breaks all of her own rules in that piece and might actually make some sense in it. Even if I eventually come to remain of the never-before-thought-of opinion that Stein is a fraud, I will still always love Melanctha. She nailed that shit to the wall. Through the wall even! Maybe when all is said and done, my critical opinion will be that she can't quite be a fraud simply because she wrote Melanctha. Although I've never been able to get through Melanchta a second time, and I really don't know if that's a positive or negative criticism of it. I should explain more about why I think she's a fraud or else I just come off as an unthinking moron with no ability to back up their gut opinion which is probably also a stupid opinion. You know, like everybody.

So what I was thinking while reading "A Valentine to Sherwood Anderson" was "Is this clever and I am not clever? Why doesn't this make any sense? Do I need a supplemental class on Gertrude Stein and the literary movement of pseudo-ex-patriots writing in an American vernacular while partying in Paris with painters? I can see why James Joyce avoided Gertrude's salon! No wait! Maybe he avoided her because their styles were so similar! Is that true? Have I ever managed to read anything by James Joyce? I did once begin to read A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man. Does that mean I'm an expert on James Joyce? Probably! I also know he wrote Odysseus! Do I have to put the name of a book in italics if I've gotten the name completely wrong? Since this is supposed to be what I was thinking I can probably do away with the italics altogether since I don't think in fonts and styles. At least not usually." Did that clear anything up? Um, maybe what I was trying to express was how if I read something and it doesn't make any sense, I know the fault is with me and I should read it again. Because the artist almost certainly had a quite specific reason for writing the piece the way they wrote the piece. If I read it a second time and it doesn't make any sense, I still know it's my fault and I should maybe think on it and read it again later. If I read it for the hundredth time and it's still nonsense and it will always completely be nonsense until I read in Gertrude Stein's own words what she meant and what she was trying to do, then it is a work perpetrated by a fraud. It is as worthless as anything created by a student in art school.

Unless it isn't. It probably isn't! I'm going to go back to assuming I'm too stupid to truly get it until after I've read "Tender Buttons" five thousand more times.

You might think a discussion on Gertrude Stein doesn't belong at the beginning of a review of a Superman comic book. But that's probably because you haven't been reading it and avoided being thoroughly confused by the dialogue of The Coming of the Supermen.

This is the best dialogue so far!

Superman is going crazy searching for the boy he kidnapped who was kidnapped by Kalibak. He's acting like a crazed lover! It's so untoward! People may begin to talk. Like me! I'm a people and I'm talking all about how Superman kidnapped a young boy to live with him and now has gone mad with lust-rage because the boy has gone missing. I'm not sure Neal Adams understands the character of Superman. I also might be projecting my edgelord beliefs onto Superman.

Superman eventually discovers where Rafi is being held when he tells a Parademon to both talk and shut up at the same time. No wait. Maybe I read the dialogue bubbles out of sequence. I think it made more sense than that. Although maybe not because Neal Adams seems to like writing dialogue which constantly contradicts itself.

Well, which is it, Granny? Nasty boy or goody two-shoes?

Lois shows up and does something untoward to Granny Goodness with a large staff. I wonder if I use "untoward" a few more times, I'll understand what Gertrude Stein was getting at!

Besides Lois, Kalibak also shows up even though I thought Orion took care of him earlier. It doesn't really matter because Mister Miracle and Big Barda also show up to take out Kalibak once and for all. Maybe. How everybody realized that needed to be in this scene at exactly this moment, I don't know because I don't understand writing and contrivance.

What follows are a series of incomplete sentences forming a discussion about divvying up New Krypton into thirds.

Superman: "Can New Kryp...?"
Mister Miracle: "Sure! Take a look at...."
Superman: "Wow! A planet can be divided three ways and shared?! Who would have thou...?"
Big Barda: "Boom...Tube...unsafe...penetrate...anything...."
Superman: "I see!"

And then Metron appears because what is going on?

Where are they that they can't pass? What is The Jaunt? Why can't Superman speak smoothly?!

Metron's new purpose is "freedom." Apparently he's running an underground railroad for people who want to leave Apokolips which is basically everybody. Too bad Metron's underground railroad ends in explosive death for the people yearning to be free. Superman stands aghast to Metron's untoward method of rescue and Metron is all, "Freedom is death! Duh! Why are you so dumb, Superman?!"

Wait! I shouldn't be so glib about the conversation because the conversation is better than any glibness I can glib all over it! After Metron blows up all of the Apokoliptians, he says, "It's a kind of freedom...isn't it?" And Superman replies, "The very worst kind." Touché!

But wait! It was all a hoax perpetrated by Metron to fool Darkseid's death machines into thinking they've killed the Apokoliptians! Metron tricked them into seeing the Apokoliptians die so they'd report back to Darkseid and give up the chase. Superman decides to believe that it was all an illusion because the thought that Metron just murdered hundreds of innocent people is too disturbing. But now that the death machines have reported back to Darkseid, they can be destroyed. So the Supermen smash the robots to pieces.

Do grown reporters have an aversion to appliances being smashed?

Superman desperately tries to convince the Supermen and Mister Miracle that the Apokoliptian refugees are a danger to the real citizens of New Krypton. Rafi must be playing with Isa because he doesn't begin hating Superman at all after hearing that opinion.

Mister Miracle mentions that the refugees will be able to choose where to live once New Krypton is sorted into three parts: New Krypton, Apokolips, and New Genesis. Even if Big Barda pointed out earlier that New Genesis won't be safe even using New Krypton's force field due to Boom Tube technology. She adamantly stated New Genesis will not be part of New Krypton. It might still be that way. I really have no idea what's going on in this comic book except that Superman kidnapped a child.

Now that Rafi is safe, Superman decides to go after Darkseid and Lex to stop whatever their evil plans are. Destroying New Krypton to take up two-thirds of the planet, I think. Lois insists on going with Superman even though he explains that he is invulnerable while she is not and it would be easier to fight Darkseid while not having to worry about keeping a her safe. Lois calls him a rat and tells him she's going with him even if it means more work, worry, and stress for him. Lois is an asshole.

I don't even know.

Apparently Muhammad's "Daddy got to go to war" argument convinces Lois to stay behind with Rafi. It's either that or Superman telling her that the real scoop is Rafi and his dog, Isa (Jesus!), but she won't be able to write it because Superman would then be arrested on molestation charges. Superman begins to head off to battle while Neal Adams shows just how much enthusiasm he has for this project.

I'm with you, Rafi. We've got the 'tude.

Meanwhile, Darkseid and Luthor continue to act like buffoons. Darkseid threatens to Boom Tube in an army to kill Luthor and Luthor goes insane. Lex laughs in Darkseid's face for six panels without killing him.

The seventh panel.

Superman arrives in time to see Luthor disintegrated by Darkseid. Luckily Superman doesn't care about Lex Luthor. Or maybe Superman knows this is another trick of Metron's. Or maybe Lex Luthor has a force-field like the one on the cover and we all know he's not really dead. Or maybe Lex Luthor has been transported back in time. Or maybe none of this matters because it is terrible and out of continuity anyway?

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