Tag Archives: Kurt Busiek

Superman 675 – the new Galactic Golem

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Busiek reboots a classic 70s villain as he concludes both this storyline and his run, with Superman 675 (June 2008), with art by Guedes, Magalhaes and Jorge Correa Jr.

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Superman has both Paragon and the elders of Daxam to deal with as the story starts. Superman tries to warn the elders of Daxam that they will fall victim to lead poisoning if they stay on Earth, but they have no interest in listening to him, just in attacking him and getting Superman to turn over Mon-El.

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Paragon does listen, and shoots the elders.  The bullets pass through their bodies, but the lead poisoning begins to take effect.

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Mon-El warns Superman about a Daxamite legend, which the elders seem to be referencing.  It’s a new origin for the Galactic Golem, which is not really named that until a bit later, as Superman compares the Daxamite legend with the legend of the Golem.  The origin is also reminiscent of Doomsdays, in that a Daxamite scientist tried to create the ultimate weapon, which wound up destroying everyone.

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And sure enough, that’s exactly what the elders were sending Superman’s way.  It looks a lot more impressive than the pre-Crisis version.

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Paragon uses his power on the Golem, to try to determine it’s nature, and potentially how to defeat it, but almost dies.

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Superman risks it all to enter the Golem, and finds its core, destroying it and saving the Earth.  The art neatly references the original story of the Golem, with the swirl in its forehead as the weak point.

The best story of Busiek’s run.  And the last appearance of Paragon and the Galactic Golem to date.

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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 673 – Superman vs Insect Queen

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Busiek and Merino conclude the Insect Queen storyline in Superman 673 (April 2008).

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Superman gets a vision of the world if Insect Queen succeeds at her plan.  Can’t help but notice how often in Busiek’s run there are scenes of potential futures.  They do make for interesting visuals, although they don’t really advance the story.  Makes me wonder if these are meant to be an adaptation of the old “Imaginary Stories.”

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Chris Kent is terrified that Clark will send him back home after he blew up the apartment in the previous issue.  Lois tries to comfort the boy, but all he can think of is the way Superman insisted that the Kryptonian woman from the Third Kryptonian turn herself in for her crimes.  Lois has a hard time trying to convince Chris that the situations are completely different.

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The Insect Queen has added Superman’s DNA to her new troops, and now prepares to get rid of Superman.  Lana Lang steps in to fight back, and though she clearly is outmatched by the Insect Queen, this does give Superman the minute he needs to recover and fight back.  The newbie insects, despite having his powers, are no real threat to Superman.

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He encases the Insect Queen in her own ambrosia, and sends her floating away in the void of space.  Although she does not return in this body, the Insect Queen does come back in Supergirl the following year.

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And once back on Earth, Superman lets Chris know that he has no intention of sending him away.

Superman 672 – Insect Queen on the moon

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Busiek, Vale and Wellington Diaz continue with the Insect Queen storyline in Superman 672 (March 2008).

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The Insect Queen explains her past connection with Luthor, who built a Lexcorp base on the Moon.  Luthor had made his usual shallow promises to the alien insect leader, and then turned on her and exploited her.  At least he helped create her insect army.  But now the Insect Queen wants both vengeance on Lexcorp, and to take over the Earth.  She drew Lana Lang’s DNA to form her current body, which is why it resembles Lana.

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Now the Insect Queen wants Superman, planning to use his DNA to add to her “ambrosia,” and give her insect army super-powers.

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As the Insect Queen draws what she needs from Superman, Chris Kent has a huge explosive power burst, destroying Lois and Clark’s apartment.

The story concludes in the next issue.

Superman 671 – Lana Lang captured by Insect Queen

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While in the pre-Crisis universe Insect Queen was Lana Lang’s hero identity, Busiek, Peter Vale and Merino introduce a villainous version with an interest in Lana Lang in Superman 671 (Feb. 08).

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Lana Lang, who is currently the CEO of Lexcorp, gets attacked by a giant insect, who captures her and takes her away.

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This story arc also deals with Chris Kent, and the explosive power bursts he suffers from, which the red sun watch is not much help in preventing.

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The giant insects also go after Superman, though the reason behind these kidnappings is not clear at first.

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The issue ends as Lana Lang meets the Insect Queen, who emerges from a chrysalis, looking much like Lana herself.

The story continues in the next issue.

Superman 670 – Superman vs Amalak

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Busiek, Leonardi and Green bring the Third Kryptonian story to a conclusion in Superman 670 (Jan. 08).

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Amalak attacks Superman, but he is not the only one in peril in this issue.  Amalak’s men also go after Supergirl, Power Girl and even Krypto.

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Amalak’s past gets filled in in a flashback scene.  His world had been ruled by Krypton, and had rebelled.  General Zod had exterminated the entire population, except for Amalak, who was out in space at the time.  Amalak swears vengeance against all Kryptonians.

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So Kandor is a big prize for Amalak.  Batman tries to defend the Fortress, but only manages to delay Amalak long enough for the Kryptonians to get there.

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Amalak finds the bottle city, but is furious.  It is not the REAL Kandor.  Incensed, Amalak destroys the bottle.  As Superman thinks, this does not actually destroy the city, as the bottle was really just an energy barrier, the city still exists in some other dimension.  Not that we will ever see it again. But this does open the door for the real Kandor to appear, not too far down the road.

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With that done, the heroes all join together and trounce Amalak fairly easily.  The one who had called herself Kristen Wells decides to go to the interplanetary authorities (the Green Lantern Corps?  they aren’t named though), and turn herself in.

Some nice touches, but overall a bit of a disappointment.

Superman 669 – the Third Kryptonian

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Superman finds another Kryptonian on Earth in the Busiek, Leonardi and Green story in Superman 669 (Late Dec. 07).

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Thanks to Batman, Superman learns where the Kryptonian woman is hiding, living as a human under the name Kristen Wells (the same name as the pre-Crisis Superwoman).  She is none too happy to be found.

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Much of the issue delves into her backstory.  She is far, far older than Superman, one of the first brigade of Kryptonian soldiers to leave Earth.  Discovering that they gained powers under different suns, she and others abandoned their posts and went rogue, becoming murderous pirates.

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One subtle touch, which is nice, but kind of wasted, is the reference to the Silver Twist, which appeared in a few Green Lantern stories in the 70s.  Sadly, aside from it being there, it isn’t used in this story at all.

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The Kryptonian pirates found themselves hunted down and killed by Amalak, who has a hate on for all Kryptonians.  She fled to Earth, and has been living undercover ever since.

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As the story ends, Amalak arrives on Earth.

The story concludes in the next issue.