Thursday, February 26, 2009

Week of 25 February 2009

(SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers. Don't read it before you've read the comic.)

SUEPRMAN #685 (4/09)
"The Long Goodbye"
ROLL CALL (Retro Legion): Mon-El, Superman, Tellus

Mon-El, fresh out of the self-destructed Phanom Zone, is dying of lead poisoning. Superman panics, especially when his Legion flight ring won't take him to the future. He races around the Fortress like a chicken with its legs cut off, until he finds a phallic bottle bearing a Legion tag ("Mon-El, Drink me"). Despite the fact that the bottle is very clearly addressed to Mon-El, the Man of Steel shows no compunctions about opening it himself.

Against all first-aid advice, Superman pours an unknown liquid down the throat of an unconscious patient. (I'm not going to make crude comments about Supes, a phallic object, and squirting stuff into Mon-El's mouth.) Luckily, the serum works and Mon regains his invulnerability before he can choke to death.

Deeply concerned for his friend, Superman takes his wife and runs off to Metropolis, leaving Mon alone at the Fortress to watch 3D TV. (Is it any wonder that General Zod decided Superman was a bad father and took Chris away from him?)

Meanwhile, the Guardian wakes from a wet dream about Tellus (you think I'm kidding? The scene ends with the Guardian saying, "Okay, buddy -- I'm coming." [emphasis in the original])

Superman decides to leave Earth and go to New Krypton, leaving Earth in the hands of Steel, the Guardian, Oracle, Jimmy Olsen (!), and Mon-El. Apparently a night of TV at the Fortress is adequate preparation for the job of taking over for Superman. Superman and Lois kiss, then he flies off into the night while his tearful wife whispers, "And please come back to me." Gee...I wonder if he'll be back?

BITS OF LEGIONNAIRE BUSINESS: Now Superman thinks of going to the future to bring back a cure for Mon's lead poisoning. Couldn't have had that idea, oh, fifteen years ago when you put him in the Phantom Zone, could you, Kal?

Superman is quite distressed (deservedly so) by his flight ring's inability to take him into the future. First he says, "Something's wrong -- with tomorrow!" and then later he somewhat incoherently tells Lois, "The 31st century -- which when I tried to go to, I couldn't -- like it wasn't there any more. What's going on in the future, Lois? And why leave me the means to save Mon so mysteriously? Why didn't Brainiac 5 appear and simply say 'here'?"

Mark my words, this has something to do with the end of Legion of 3 Worlds. The future is closed because it's under construction, or something.

I just can't figure out the significance of Superman's sudden inability to speak a coherent English sentence....

"Origins and Omens"

Mon-El flies to Smallville, looking cuter than ever, and has a heart-to-heart talk with Ma Kent -- who is the planet's leading expert in training teenage superheroes. Krypto really likes Mon, which shows remarkable good taste on Krypto's part. But Krypto'd better be careful...Tasmia will kill him if he tries anything.

Mon-El, still speaking without contractions, tells Ma that he's going to adopt a secret identity as Clark's cousin ("To help me be around Lois without too many questions" -- uh huh, yeah, that won't raise anyone's suspicions -- anyway, if Lois tries anything Tasmia will kill her.) Because of his stiff way of speaking (no contractions, remember?) Mon will claim he's from London. Oracle has set him up with falsified immigration papers and a bank account full of untraceable cash -- uh, remind me again, Oracle's one of the good guys, right? -- but Mon needs a name, and "Bob Cobb" just ain't gonna cut it this time around.

So Ma Kent says, "Hey, you need a name...I have a dead husband who doesn't need his name any more...I've got a great idea."

Next page, Mon is outside the door of his new apartment. He must be feeling better, because he has regained the ability to use contractions. He meets his nosy neighbor Sandra, and introduces himself as...wait for it!...Jonathan Kent. (Didn't see that one coming, did you?) Sandra makes goo-goo eyes at him. If she tries anything, Tasmia will kill her.

Then we see a montage of scenes from, presumably, Mon's next few months on Earth. He gets punched out by that god guy whom Krypto chased away last year, flies with the Guardian and a police officer, gets strangled by Sodam Yat (Tasmia will kill him if he tries anything...), gets leered at by Luthor (Tasmia will kill him...), and kisses someone in dreds and obviously not-blue skin (oooh, Tasmia's gonna kill whomever that is...)

The story ends with the promise: "Follow Mon'El's adventures in Superman starting next month." Yeah, I'll bet Mon-El is going to have some adventures "in Superman." Nudge nudge wink wink.

BITS OF LEGIONNAIRE BUSINESS: Okay, we know that Supes has this adorable little spit-curl that forms an "S" on his forehead. Correct me if I'm wrong, but in at least three panels, doesn't it look like Mon-El's hair forms a stylized "M" on his forehead?


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