Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Superman #702 and #703 - DC

While I enjoyed these 2 issues . . unfortunately, I
didn't think they were as good as #701. Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love J Michael Straczynski's work. And I think Eddy Barrows gets better and better with every issue of work that he does. These 2 issues were just a little more . . oblique. I guess that's the best word to describe it. There were parts that I really enjoyed, and I think served to further enhance the story. But then other parts? Come on . . Superman stopping to play a game of pick-up ball? Yes he ended up helping one of the kids that was being bullied. But . . it just didn't' seem that believable to me. But then some would argue that it's a comic and believability isn't really the point. But that's part of what I like about JMS's work. He puts ideas out there that maybe aren't mind-bending, but . . a lot of times it's stuff that seems like the natural course of events. We, as readers, just never thought about it that way. Then when he presents it, we think . . 'Oh yeah! I could see that happening.' Anyways, in #702 Superman is in Detroit. The point of the issue, mainly, is that he comes across a 'hive' of aliens living as human. They're just trying to blend in. And, of course, when Superman arrives to see what's going on, he's attacked. But that doesn't last very long. I thought the interesting part of the whole confrontation was when Superman is talking to them, and trying to reason. They just want to live in peace, and they're totally self-sufficient. But then Superman argues . . 'The point is, what are you giving back to your community? Every culture that's come through this country has added something to it. You have scientific advances here that could be helping people. If you don't let anyone know, then what are you giving back? What good are you doing here?' Later Superman comes across an old man in need of medical attention. He's got something or other that he knows that Earth science can't treat. So he takes him back to the aliens. They end up treating him, and then with Superman's encouragement, they decide to 'give back'. They buy up some of the abandoned factories and set up some medical facilities plants. Working some of their own technology into the designs. Yes it's a little far-fetched, but . . it's interesting. And in the end, Superman talks some aliens that were just trying to survive into 'giving back'. In #703, Superman ends up in Cincinnati. This issue ends up being about a debate between Superman and Batman. Batman has been watching Superman's progress. And while he doesn't believe in his overall methods, he is trying to give him his space. Batman's argument though is . . first of all he doesn't think that Superman is actually dealing with what's really bothering him . . the loss of his adopted planet. Secondly, by walking amongst the 'common-folk', he's actually putting the people he's trying to reach in danger. Superman is a magnet, as is anyone in their profession. If he puts himself out in the open like this . . trouble will follow. And while Superman can deal with pretty much anything, can the people he's putting in such close proximity? Of course something happens, and ironically it's caused by his recently lost adoptive planet. More specifically some kind of crystal's that reached Earth from it. Anyways, in his zeal to 'fix the problem', a large part of the city is destroyed. Superman immediately afterwards sets to fixing it, but . . the damage has already been done. While the physical damage can be fixed, the doubts among the people have been sowed. They have seen that while he walks amongst them, in truth . . he's not really one of them. And of course they, and the media turn against him immediately. Basically proving Batman's point. This has got to be hard on Dick. While he's been proven right, at the same time he probably hates to see Superman have to learn the hard truth this way. I think he may have been on to something when he warned Superman that he may be going through a mental breakdown . . or could be, if he doesn't deal with what's really bothering him. It's a side of Superman I don't think we've ever seen before. Anyways, I thought they were good issues. I like #701 better, but . . I still thought they were good. And I think JMS and Eddy are doing a fantastic job. If you've even only been marginally interested in Superman before . . this is a story-arc that I think can touch a lot of people. If you give it a chance. Believe me, you won't be sorry.

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