Posts Tagged ‘Threat Quality Press’

Holland

ImageLook, I won’t lie: I came to DC’s new Superman comic, Superman Unchained (a title that really should be Superman Unchained! but then I am in charge of nothing) with a bit of dread.

On the one hand, Scott Snyder’s been doing astounding stuff on Batman, managing to craft these big, epic stories that still feel very personal, with plot points that matter beyond any initial shocks (seriously, go read volumes one and two, “Court of Owls” and “City of Owls“, for some of the best Batman comics produced in the last 20 years). Add to that his fantastic creator-owned series American Vampire, an honest-to-god fresh take on a tired-ass genre, and I can comfortably say the guy’s earned a fair bit of trust.

Then there’s Jim Lee on the art. And when Lee is on, he concocts some really exciting visuals and Platonic ideal levels of Superhero Art. He is also one of the only people who can draw Superman’s new costume as though all those extra lines make any kind of sense (they don’t, and the boots are stupid and the sleeve cuffs are too long and there’s not enough yellow and jesus what is with that hair? but the point is, Lee’s the guy who designed the stupid thing so he’d better be able to draw it well).

On the other hand…. (more…)

Somewhere between my transformative experience watching Superman II, and my utter bafflement reading J. Michael Straczinski’s Superman: Earth One, I’ve been on a bit of a Superman walkabout. Mostly, I’ve been trying to find the essential components – precisely what makes a Superman story feel “right.”

It’s easy to point to All-Star Superman as the apotheosis of what makes a great Superman story. Too easy, is the problem. All-Star Superman is nothing less than a love-letter to the entire idea of the character’s mythos, told in twelve parts and then…complete. And until some young, misguided upstart decides to write a sequel in 15 years, it will remain a perfect artifact.

It’s also a story emphasizing what Superman cares about when he’s only got a finite time left to live, and while that’s totally awesome…most Superman stories occur when he’s NOT dying.

So in the meantime, there’s 70-odd years of “everyday” Superman stories to go through, and god knows they can’t all be winners – but there’s got to be a few gems in there, too. So, looking at some of the high points (meaning, the collected editions I can grab through the library), what makes Superman, well, Superman?

Essential Component #1: Superman’s gotta smile.  (more…)