Monday, 10 May 2010

Proud Lion Recommends Superman War Of The Superman #1

Phew, after a few weeks of chaos thanks to Mount Doom over in Mordor (or is it Iceland?), we're finally all caught up and I can take some time to tell you about some great new comics.

Saturday 1st May was Free Comic Book Day 2010. Among the titles on offer was War Of The Superman #0, the first part of this bookend Superman event.

In 2008 the Brainiac storyline saw the return of the Bottle City Of Kandor. Restored to full size at the end of that story, the Kryptonians tried to live on Earth alongside humanity, but misunderstanding and conflicts drove them out.

Instead they created a new crystalline planet and placed it in Earth's orbit, but on the other side of the Sun. New Krypton became their new home and they choose the villainous General Zod to lead their defence force.

Meanwhile back on Earth, Lex Luthor and General Lane began to work together to combat the perceived alien menace.

War Of The Supermen sees all these elements come to a head. The cynic in me saw War Of The Supermen as a way of clearing house for DC. The past year of Superman comics has seen Kal-El leave Earth and travel to New Krypton, as documented in the 12 part World Of New Krypton series.

In his absence, Action Comics switched to focus on Nightwing and Flamebird, two young Kryptonians who had travelled to Earth to attempt to uncover the conspiracies surrounding their exodus and Lex Luthor's further plans. The core Superman title also switched focus to follow Mon-El, the old friend tasked with protecting Metropolis while Superman was gone. Suffice to say, sales plummeted.

The dawn of a new era of Superman storytelling is just around the corner and I'll talk more about that soon. This is why I assumed War Of The Supermen would be a sham event. But James Robinson and Suprgirl writer Sterling Gates have surprised me.

War Of The Supermen has some brutal punches in it's first proper issue. It was obvious New Krypton had to go, but the timing of that moment has a devastating impact on Supergirl.

Igle's panels of Zod's warfleet on the move are striking, underlining the subtitle of this miniseries, 'The 100 Minute War'. Interspersed with the continuation of the story thread of Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane, desperately trying to uncover her father's machinations, this first issue plays to the strength of the established supporting cast. Mon-El, the Guardian, Superboy, Krypto, Nightwing and Flamebird are all seen waiting in the wings ready to join the fight.

I'd say that I have only two criticisms about this first issue. Firstly, Superman has very little to do other than a quick skirmish with Zod and comforting Supergirl. Secondly, the debris of New Krypton is littered with Kryptonite, yet Superman and his kin seem completely unaffected. Even though issue #0 took steps to reiterate the affect of the green rock on Kryptonians. Still, this maybe addressed in the second issue, so i'll forgive it as dramatic license for now.

Bottom line is, if you enjoyed the free issue last week, give issue one a go. Now's a good time to get involved in Superman again. In the coming months acclaimed writers J. Michael Straczynski and Paul Cornell take over on the Man Of Steel. I'll have more on that later this week.

Up, up and away...

Ben Fardon is the owner, proprietor, manager and filing clerk for Proud Lion. Bascially, Ben is Proud Lion is Ben. He often uses the personal pronoun 'we', in an attempt to not feel like a man alone. In that context 'we' refers to Ben, the bricks and mortar, the stock and the branding that comprises Proud Lion. It also makes him sound kind of crazy. 'We' are OK with that.

Ben has been reading comics since he was five years old and his Dad bought him a Transformers comic at the local newsagent. In the same comic were reprints of Iron Man in the red and silver armour. To this day, Tony Stark is his favourite superhero.

He likes eating, swimming and science fiction Tv series. He recently became addicted to The West Wing.

One day, he'll finish a script for something.

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