Saturday, March 27, 2010

Week of 24 March 2010

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

SUPERMAN #698 (5/10)
"Last Stand of New Krypton Part Three: Destiny"
ROLL CALL: Mon-El, Tellus (not pictured)
CUTE BOYS: Mon-El, miscellaneous Kryptonian cannon-fodder

Superman battles Brainiac and Luthor. Meanwhile, Mon fights his way into Brainiac's ship, urged on by Tellus. The Lanothians, inhabitants of one of Brainiac's cities, telepathically moan and whine at Mon until he snatches their city away from Luthor just before Lex destroys it.

Mon, shirt ripped and muscles bulging, stands there with the Lanothian city dangling from his hand and reflects: "Can't explain the my gut, the feeling that my destiny...part of it, anyway...why I'm here on Earth now...that it just came to pass. I was meant to save this world...and boy am I tired."

Okay, ignore the fact that he isn't technically "on Earth now." And ignore the fact that all this telepathic bothering has scrambled his mind so badly that he isn't thinking in coherent sentences (although maybe all Daxamites think in similar syntax, the way Yoda speaks funny). It's pretty obvious that this feeling Mon can't explain comes from a lingering telepathic link to the writer, who's rather clumsily providing exposition.

Top that off with the fact that the rest of the Espionage Squad is nowhere to be seen, and you can see that this isn't the best chapter in New Krypton's Last Stand.

BITS OF COLUAN BUSINESS: In the old days, Brainiac had a little white monkey named Koko. Now, Koko seems to be a whole army (clones?) of big white apes, possibly gorillas.

One of the most regrettable features of the pre-Crisis DC Comics was the tendency to put large apes into stories. History does not record a single instance in which this improved a story. Quite the opposite: large-ape stories were among the worst ever published. From Congo Bill to Titano to the time Red Kryptonite turned Superboy into a giant ape, they were uniformly awful.

We might call this Get-A-Life Boy's Second Principle of Comics: Stories with large apes are always awful. [It's worse: Large apes can even negate Get-A-Life Boy's First Principle of Comics: Putting Legionnaires into a story always makes it better.]

Writer James Robinson seems to be on a one-man crusade to demonstrate the Second Principle to a whole new generation of readers. First it was Justice League: Cry for Justice, now Last Stand of New Krypton.

I wish he'd stop. (Writing comics that I read, I mean.)


"The Big Noise Part 3: Righteous Destroyer"
ROLL CALL: A time-traveling Durlan
CUTE BOYS: Possibly one of the S.T.A.R. scientists

The time-traveling Durlan is apprently from "countless millennia" in the past. So the Legion connection is a tenuous one indeed.

Besides, the story isn't that good.



Craigopher said...

Strangely, DC found in that period that every time they put an giant ape on a cover, sales went up. So they started looking for excuses to do it everywhere. Glad that trend went by the wayside before I started reading comics. said...

You might want to make yourself a little scarce for a few days. I cam imagine all the comic book gorilla lovers (and they are definitely out there) making your life miserable.

RavenScholar said...

Your "First Principle of Comics" is completely right. Legionairres always make it better.
Sadly, sometimes they are not written well.
But they're showing up everywhere now in DC! That makes up for any writing problems (probably) in my mind.

Meerkatdon said...

RavenScholar, you're absolutely right. I'd rather have badly-written Legionnaires than no Legionnaires at all.