Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Week of 28 April 2010

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

ACTION #889 (6/10)
"Captain Atom: Finale"

ROLL CALL: Mon-El (image), Mordru
CUTE BOYS: Mon-El, Zatara (and don't miss Chris Kent being all darkly enigmatic in the first story)

The Captain Atom storyline comes to a conclusion with Mirabai dead and guest star Mordru happy (or as happy as he ever gets).


SUPERMAN #699 (6/10)
"Last Stand on New Krypton Part Eight: Irony in Ire"

ROLL CALL:Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Element Lad, Matter-Eater Lad, Mon-El, Quislet, Sensor Girl, Star Boy/Starman, Tellus, also Superboy (Conner), Supergirl
CUTE BOYS: Conner, Jan, Kandorian Soldier, Mon, Tenzil

The Penultimate chapter, and boy is that a relief.

All right, everybody take a deep breath. Here's what happens: Superman and Zod fight Brainiac's troops and then Brainiac himself. Superman goes in search of Kandor. Meanwhile, the Legionnaires go in search of Mo-El and the other bottled cities. Brainy and Supergirl go to meet Superman at Kandor.

Mon-El, unconscious and with a tube down his throat (oh baby!) slips into a nine-panl-grid and remembers his captivity under General Lane and the conversation with Conner where Mon asked him to repair Mon's spaceship. Various mysteries are re-stated (like how Lane knew details about Daxamite physiology, why the gorilla was fascinated with Mon's genitals, and why Mon wanted a rocket). None of these mysteries are answered, of course.

Mon awakens, he and the Legionnaires defeat Brainiac's bad guys. Meanwhile, Supes gives Kandor to Supergirl and sends her with Brainy to take the city to safety and re-enlarge it. Conner, trapped in the bottle, goes along.

Mon and the Legionnaires find the bottled cities. They tell Mon that they are leaving with the cities, and that Mon must come with them. (They keep calling the bottled cities "worlds," which they so aren't.) Brainy enlarges Kandor, Conner comes flying out to greet him and Supergirl. Brainiac beats up on Zod until Supes shows up. Meanwhile, Luthor sets down the bottled city he stole and uses his iPod to start it enlarging. (With Kandor, the bottle is actually a force field; with this city, the bottle is obviously glass. Weird.)

Mon displays his legendary loyalty by agreeing to desert Superman and run off with the Legionnaires. You can tell that he's impressed by the cute boys, and thinking of the erotic possibilities of a guy who can change into anything at all. He so thoroughly turns his back on Supes that he asks Jeckie to change his costume to eliminate the "S" shield, going back to his classic look. (Huh? Since when does Jeckie have the ability to transform physical objects?)

The bottled city continues enlarging, and bursts through Brainiac's ship from the inside.


"Last Stand on New Krypton Part Nine: This is the Way the World Ends"

ROLL CALL:Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Element Lad, Matter-Eater Lad, Mon-El, Quislet, Sensor Girl, Star Boy/Starman, Tellus, also Superboy (Conner), Supergirl
CUTE BOYS: Conner, Jan, Mon, Tenzil

Gah, the end at last! Except...not really.

Let's see...Brainiac's ship comes crashing down, and all the rats are leaving the ship. Mon -- who agreed last issue to desert Kal with the Legionnaires, announces that he's not going to desert Kal. But Kal tells him "Your place...your with the Legion. Go." So he goes. The Legionnaires and Mon go flying away, and all the remaining bottled cities come flying after tham. (Who's doing that? Tellus with his telekinesis? Starman creating a gravity wave that carries them? Matter-Eater Lad with his previously-unsuspected ability to make bottled cities fly?) Mon & the Legion fly into space, out of the story entirely, and presumably into the next issue of Adventure. Or something.

Superman, Supergirl, Conner, and a bunch of Kandorians take ten...whole...pages to bring Brainiac's ship down in the middle of Kandor. Brainy stops the enlarging city, shrinks it, and pops it into a bottle where, presumably, it sits to this day. Hooray, Kandor is saved and an innocent city is returned to hellish captivity!

Supes was gored by the wreckage of Brainiac's ship, with pointy pieces of metal sticking through his guts and blood everywhere. Brainy summons Conner to open one of Supes' veins (because there's nothing nearby sharp enough to pierce Superman's skin, not even those sharp pieces of metal Superman's skin) and donate blood. Then Brainy uses "synthesized yellow sun" to power up Superman and heal him.

Meanwhile, Brainiac snaps Luthor's neck and is confronted by Zod. Zod, the master tactician who takes no chances in protecting his people, uses a red sun gun to take away his own super-powers so that he can face Brainiac one-on-one. (Brianiac's ability to hit the invulnerable Supes hard enough to raise bruises of course means that an unpowered Zod would be Kandorian jam at the first punch, but things like super-strength and invulnerability seem to come and go as convenient for the writer.) Against all odds and common sense, Zod brings Brainiac to his knees, but Superman intervenes before Zod can execute Brainiac.

As Supes and Brainiac are arguing, Brainiac 5 steps forward and teleports away with Brainiac. We next see Brainy in a time sphere with Brainiac tied up behind him.

Zod is acclaimed by the Kandorians as their savior. It turns out that Luthor was really a robot, surprise! The real Luthor is still on Earth with General Lane. And the War of the Supermen begins soon.

BITS OF LEGIONNAIRE BUSINESS: Brainy's "synthetic yellow sun" is probably based on R.J. Brande's star-making technology. (Incidentally, in the panel immediately after Brainy flashes Supes, look at the expressions on their faces...and at Superman's trousers. You can almost hear Brainy thinking "Is that a yellow sun in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?")


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