Friday, February 3, 2017

Action Comics #972

Touching butts is extremely sexual to Kryptonians. And to Earthlings, really.

The Review!
Look, I'm fucking busy. Not busy in the way most people think when they hear the word busy. I'm not busy saving lives or doing work or prioritizing important issues in my life that would probably make me a happier person overall. No, I'm fucking busy fucking around. My days are full of leisure hours because I've decided leisure is better than stress. I endure just enough stress to support maximizing my leisure hours. And I don't just sit there thinking, "Christ. I'm fucking bored. Why do people live so long?" I mean, sometimes I do wonder why people live so long but mostly that's due to the constant erosion of our senses of wonder and our capacity for passion until we're just vapid hunks of intellect that can't be bothered to emote anymore. But mostly, I don't feel boredom because I pack so much time wasting into my leisure time! Even explaining this shit is intruding on all the time wasting I had planned! And since I have so much time wasting to get to, and because it's bugging the fuck out of me that I'm still reading these comic books that came out months ago instead of reading comics the week they come out, I'm going to try my best to stifle my digressive nature! I'm going to get right to the review of the comic book which I'm going to read before even writing the review instead of writing the review as I read it. Even now, I'm stifling the urge to digress about how I just pointed out how I was going to stifle my urge to digress!

Okay. I'm reading now! You just fucking wait until I'm finished. I am not going to interrupt my reading, no matter how many times Superman does something ill-conceived!

I'm not even going to make a pants shitting joke here!

I'm not done reading the comic book yet but I can't just stand by and not mention a stupid plot point. L'call and Zade are hunting Lex Luthor. Even when Superman defends Luthor, they say things like "Out of the way" and "You aren't our target." So presumably, they don't give a shit what happens to Superman. Later, Lex and Superman come up with a plan to evade Zade and L'call: split up! Their reasoning is that it will force Zade and L'call to split up. Wrong. It would just mean Zade and L'call get to hunt down Lex Luthor while Superman hides in a bush.

Of course comic books being what comic books are (generally poorly constructed plots by average writers who have to deal with editorial interference and tight monthly schedules which result in stories that constantly reuse old comic book plots, tropes, and clich├ęs), Zade and L'call split up.

Of course it helps if you have super-cunning, super-speed, and super-agility.

What would have been cunning? L'call and Zade shrugging their shoulders over Lex and Superman splitting up and both just going after Lex!

Okay! So, what is this issue about and what does it attempt to do? Aside from the usual bits where Superman is shown to still be Superman even without his powers, or that other bit where an antagonist isn't killed by the protagonist so it causes the antagonist to completely rethink their entire belief system, it does a nice job reworking the relationship between Lex Luthor and Superman. It reframes New 52 Lex Luthor for the audience. Superman has never known this Lex to be a super-villain. And aside from Lex being in prison with a scar across his face in He Who Shall Not Be Named's run of Superman, DC hasn't given readers any proof that Lex is any more of a criminal than any other ethically challenged corporate CEO. In seeing how some aliens have already convicted Luthor for crimes they suspect he'll commit, Superman realizes how wrong is his assumption that Lex will inevitably do something terrible. So Lex and Superman bro-hug it out and decide to start over. Superman is no longer suspicious of Lex and Lex no longer has an anti-hard-on for super-powered aliens. We'll see how that eventually plays out, of course, but I like the idea of Rebirth starting out with a neutral relationship between Preboot Superman and New 52 Lex Luthor. This is actually doing right what The New 52 should have fucking done previously. Instead of that stupid fucking scar-faced Lex Luthor who was in the only prison that could hold him because Superman dared him to make a prison that he couldn't escape from. You-Know-Who wrote that stupid idea and then never followed up with the obvious reality of that idea: Lex Luthor would have built a prison that seemed like he couldn't get out of but he could leave any time he wanted.

Anyway, no change on the ranking or anything. Because even if I liked some aspects of this, I still hated the oft-used plot devices and the bit with Clark, after having met Jon, storm away thinking that Lois is lying to him (which she is! Surprise!) and the ending where the guy who saw Superman's future is all, "Oho! Superman is going to have a lot of shit to worry about so keep buying this comic, boys and girls!"

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