Tag Archives: Clark Kent

Superman 710 – young Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne vs Vandal Savage

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As I suspected, Grounded does nothing for me.  Straczynski is joined by Chris Roberson, Barrows, Travel Foreman, Mayer and John Dell III on Superman 710 (June 2011), the tenth issue of the story, but the first I felt a need to write about, simply because it uses a classic villain.  Superman has continued walking across the US, being trailed by an angry woman.  The stories are pretty moody, and not very enjoyable.  There was one that dealt with child abuse, but it had an extremely patronizing tone.

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This story has Batman catch up with Superman, and the two reminisce about earlier days.

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The bulk of the tale consists of a flashback, of Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent meeting up in Asia in their travels before adopting their costumed identities.  They wind up running into Vandal Savage, who has taken control of part of the Chinese army, and is using them in an attempt to find and conquer Nanda Parbat.

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There is one page I like, as it somewhat reprises the cover of Action 1, although in this case it’s a tank that Superman is lifting.  Together, they stop Vandal Savage’s army.

Superman 700 – coming home, doing Robin’s work, and deciding to walk

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Superman 700 (Aug. 10) is a double sized anniversary issue, which contains an epilogue of sorts to the New Krypton storyline, a prologue to the next storyline, Grounded, and a story from Superman’s early days that teams him up with Robin.

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The issue opens with a story by Robinson and Chang, which sees Superman return to Earth, just in time to save Lois Lane from the Parasite.  He is working as muscle for the Prankster, but the villains are not really important in this story.  In fact, we do not even see Superman capture the Prankster.

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Instead, the story deals with Lois and Clark renewing their relationship.  They discuss losing Chris, and Lois’ feelings about her father.  It makes a warm ending to the long and powerful storyline, and I love the final page, of Superman and Lois embracing in the Metropolis sky.

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Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund jump back in time for the second story in the issue.

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Dick Grayson is still in high school in this story, and Bruce Wayne refuses to let him go out as Robin until he finishes his geometry homework.  But despite Alfred’s efforts, Dick sneaks out anyway, and winds up going after some gun runners.

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Superman winds up coming to Robin’s assistance, and Commissioner Gordon is always happy to deal with the polite Superman.  As Robin has been out much later than expected, and is exhausted, Superman quickly finishes his geometry homework for him.  Dick believes that he has successfully conned Bruce into thinking he did it himself.

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But of course, no one puts something over on Batman.  It’s a cute story.  Made me smile.

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The final story in the issue, by J. Michael Straczynski, Eddy Barrows and JP Mayer, launches the Grounded storyline.

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Superman is answering questions with a crowd of normal people, one of whom is a woman who blames Superman for not using his powers to cure her husband’s brain tumour.  Superman takes this to heart.  Although he really shouldn’t. Superman is hardly responsible for every person’s ailment on the planet.

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He visits Batman in the Justice League satellite, and sees how things are viewed from way above.

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And then he talks to the Flash, who tells him that things are a blur at super-speed.

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And so, Superman comes to Earth and decides to walk across the US.

This just rubbed me the wrong way, and I didn’t collect any of the Grounded storyline.  But now I am going to read it, and write about at least part of it, as it is the final story arc before the book gets cancelled because of Flashpoint.

Superman Annual 14 – the origin of Mon-El

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Robinson and Pina delve into the past of Daxam, and Mon-El’s days before leaving his world in Superman Annual 14.

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In one of those touches I love so much, the story opens with Mon-El at a Metropolis nightclub called Reverb, run by the brother of Vibe, who had used the name of club as his alternate identity when he was a member of the Conglomerate in the early 90s.

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But the bulk of the tale deals with the history of Daxam.  A technologically advanced world, the Daxamites had explored the far regions of space, even reaching Earth.  The discovery that other suns endowed them with super-powers had resulted in a backlash on the home world, which became increasingly conservative and religious.

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Daxam turned it back on its science, and space exploration, and centuries passed, as their technology declined into ignorance and superstition.

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Young Lar Gand was fascinated with his world’s history, and longed to leave the planet and go exploring.  But when it actually happened it was a question of necessity rather than want, as Lar finds himself betrayed by pone of his friends, and must flee for his life.

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The story skips over his interaction with Jor-El on Krypton, but does have his first meeting with young Clark Kent when he arrives on Earth.

 

Superman 685 – Superman ends, Mon-El begins

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Superman bids farewell to his wife, his mother and Earth in the lead story from Superman 685 (April 2009), by Robinson and Javier Pina.  But he does not bid farewell to his dead father, despite the cover image.

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Picking up from the end of the last issue of Action, Superman has removed Mon-El from the dissolving Phantom Zone, but once back on Earth, his lead poisoning takes effect, killing him.  Superman tries to contact the Legion of Super-Heroes, but gets no response.  On the other hand, a mysterious “drink me” bottle does show up from them.  It does cure Mon-El, but Superman is still puzzled as to why he was no contacted directly.

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The Guardian dreams about the vision he had, in the Adventure Comics issue a couple of months ago, of an imprisoned Tellus.  The story here implies that he has decided to go and find and free Tellus immediately, although that is not what happens.

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Alura has invited Superman to come live on New Krypton, but demands that he sever all contacts with Earth.  Superman decides that he needs to accept Alura’s offer, to keep an eye on Zod.  He talks with his mother, and with Lois Lane, letting them know how much he cares for them, even though he is going to stop seeing or contacting them while he goes to live on New Krypton.

This ends Superman’s run in his own book, as he moves over to the World of New Krypton miniseries.

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Mon-El begins his run in this book with a back-up story by Robinson and Pablo Raimondi.  His origin is briefly recapped, part of the “Origins and Omens” stories this month.

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Much more of the story is devoted to setting up Mon-El for his forthcoming run.  He visits Ma Kent, who has also taken in Krypto.  He needs an identity for living on Earth, and Ma suggests he adopt the name Jonathan Kent.

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He does this, as he moves to Metropolis to protect the city while Superman is on New Krypton.

Superman 676 – with Green Lantern against Solomon Grundy

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Vito Delsante, Julian Lopez and Javier Bergantino have a one-shot story that pits Superman against his old (70s) foe, Solomon Grundy in Superman 676 (July 2008).  There seems to be a bit of a 70s revival in these issues.

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The story has Luthor send his men after Grundy, finding him in the sewers of Gotham City.  They later release him in Metropolis.

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Clark Kent happens to be interviewing Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern, getting his views on the modern heroes.  This gets interrupted by a crazed horde running in terror.  Green Lantern shoots into action against Grundy, but gets taken down.

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So Superman gets some solo play fighting the marshland monster.  One might expect Superman to do a bit better in this struggle.

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But it does take the two heroes together to take down Grundy.  Alan is sure he will return, he always does.  There is a nice touch in their final conversation, as Superman reveals that Green Lantern was Pa Kent’s favourite hero from the Justice Society.  But Superman preferred Starman.

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The story ends with Luthor and Dr. Teng, and the creation of Bizarro.  This is sort of implied to have some connection with experiment on Grundy, even though that makes no sense in the chronology.

Superman 674 – the unbelievable new apartment

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Busiek ends his run with a two part story that brings back heroes and villains not seen for years in Superman 674 (May 2008), with art by Guedes and Magalhaes.

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The issue also introduces Lois and Clark’s outrageous new apartment.  Openly built by Superman as a “gift” for his reporter friends, the place is amazing.  But so not Superman.  Too ostentatious, and it would quietly forgotten.

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The best element to it was the direct route to the Fortress, which he shows off to Lois and Chris.

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Mon-El, recently re-introduced into the Superman books in an Action Comics annual, chats with Superman through the Phantom Zone viewer.  He relates how he found an ancient spaceship, and left Daxam, against the orders of the very repressive council that rule the planet.

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Then Superman gets confronted by Paragon, a one-time Justice League enemy from the early 80s, whose battle is seen in flashback.  Paragon can copy and amp up the powers of anyone he faces, and he is out for vengeance against Superman.

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But before he can get to it, the elders of Daxam also show up, demanding that Superman turn over the fugitive Mon-El.

The story concludes in the next issue.

 

Superman Annual 13 – Superman vs Arion, and a really good day

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Busiek, Pacheco and Merino conclude the Arion storyline in Superman Annual 13.

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Continuing from the end of Superman 667, the whirlpool the hero creates is enough to overcome the dome that Arion has created.  His impostor, still imprisoned, openly roots for Superman to defeat Arion.

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Arion sends two sea monsters to fight Superman.  But as he battles them, he realizes that these are the two young New Gods who stayed behind, and have fallen prey to Arion.

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While Arion himself transforms into a huge leviathan.

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But Superman has been paying attention to the advice Phantom Stranger and Zatanna have been giving him.  He figures out that Arion is using the Atlantean tower as the focus of his spells, and destroys it.  With the tower gone, the spells vanish.  The New Gods return to their own form, and Superman captures Arion.

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Of course, the one that Superman captures is the impostor, the real Arion heads back in time to the 1700s.  Not bad, nice art.  about on par with the rest of Busiek’s run.

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Busiek joins with Fabian Nicienza, Renato Guedes and Jose Wilson Magalhaes for a really pleasant back-up story.  Superman and Supergirl bring Lois Lane, Ma and Pa Kent, Krypto and Chris Kent to a planet with low gravity, for an afternoon picnic.

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This marks Chris Kent’s first appearance in this book, and it’s a fun little story.  And though all the characters have a great day, the Kents reflect that the best day of their lives was the day they found Clark.  Awww.