After Superman’s recent drubbing by Mania’s own Chad Derdowski who proclaimed reading the 700th issue was akin to “getting a turd cake on your birthday” I felt it important the follow-up got a shot at redemption. I’m happy to report that J. Michael Straczynski has completely turned it around from last issue... if you’re into the idea of Big Blue doing his best to reenact the events of Forrest Gump.
In the same manner as America’s favorite low IQ multi-millionaire, Superman is taking life as it comes, walking through the US and finding himself in situations where his skills are needed, and his powers have never been put to better use. Faster than Jiffy-Lube, more powerful than a street thug dealing heroin (all of whom happen to be non-white, because stereotypes mean we don’t have to think! Hooray), able to clean a cluttered store room in a single second. Look! Walking down the street! It’s a hobo! It’s a homeless drifter! No, it’s... Superman?
But fear not, the fun doesn’t stop there! By demonstrating a heretofore unknown gift, the Man of Steel dispenses wisdom like Run DMC drops rhymes. Witness in full color all his glory, like:
“If you honestly believe, in your heart of hearts, that you will never, ever have another happy day... then step out into the air. I’ll keep my promise. I won’t stop you.” (To a person standing on a ledge, contemplating suicide).
And my personal favorite:
“Over there has to stand for itself, has to speak for itself. Because it’s only when over there becomes here that we can stop this once and for all. And from now on, my eye will be right here.”
You know what? Just never mind. Never mind a coherent review. Forget a thoughtful critique. Throw out the idea of a rational argument from me about why this is a terrible travesty, and quite possibly the worst single issue of Superman ever, which is an incredible accomplishment considering this is the 701st issue. I am too freaking pissed off at this rancid waste of ink and paper. If Mr. Derdowski likened the big seven-oh-oh to getting a turd cake on your birthday, then reading this is like waking up after a particularly nasty sleep walking incident to find the turd cake platter empty and your stomach full.
It’s true, the writing is wretched, the script stinks, and story is sanctimonious, but at least the art is atrocious. Most panels, unless it’s an extreme close up, are so bereft of detail it’s impossible for (poor, unfortunate) readers to see character reactions to the madness that is a walking Superman. It’s said a picture is worth a thousand words, but the entirety of this book isn’t worth the five hundred or so words this review has taken to say, quite simply, DO NOT READ THIS BOOK!
I don’t know, maybe JMS and friends are trying to make a statement here, but all I got out of it is that the Last Son of Krypton is a smug, self-satisfied prick.
If we had a lower grade than F-, this would have gotten it.