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Written By: Gene Luen Yang Art By: Howard Porter, Hi-Fi, Rob Leigh Cover Price: $3.99 Release Date: November 25, 2015
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
Since Superman went and got outed as Clark Kent and had his power all but depleted....... shit's been rough for our Man of Steel....... and you know what? It's been rough for the readers as well. With the exception of Action Comics, it seems like all the other Superman titles have just been nonsense and the Superman title has been the worst offender of them all. At least when we were dealing with the initial TRUTH story line, we had an idea when all of this was going on in correlation with each of them, but now it's a free for all, where Superman just seems to be multiple places at once and dealing with the craziest shit that you could think of without any clear idea of what his endgame is. I mean, we're dealing with Wrath and her shadow monsters, Vandal Savage and his miniature sun......... and whatever the hell Mr. Bend is up to. Here though, we've got Superman supposedly going after Hordr, but as we saw in the previous issue, he's given up on that so he can become a professional fighter in a god's UFC........... yeah. So let's jump into this issue and see why the hell Superman would give up on everything that he should be doing and all the morals that his father taught him to get a paycheck punching people. Let's check it out.
Our issue begins with Superman just beating the hell out of a God known as Crow and just loving the hell out of it. That's right boys and girls, we've just entered Mythbrawl, the fighting spectacle that is taking the underground world by storm! The fights are real as god's reenact old tales that lets their stories be known and while the audience cheers, these gods can continue their life, drawing power off the praise and worship....... That is, except for Superman, who I guess is just collecting a paycheck and getting a chubby off the cheers for his physical prowess. Yeah, Superman has fallen hard since his powers were taken and his identity was revealed because once we had the greatest superhero the world had ever seen and now we've got an attention seeking bruiser....... It's just not Superman. After the fight, to make sure that everyone is all caught up to speed with what's going on, we talk to the person in charge of Mythbrawl: Shahrazad, who's powers involve healing, but only after she tells a person's story..... really? These are some convenient ass powers for these characters to have. Speaking of convenient ass powers, we also check in on Jimmy Olsen and Condesa, who if you remember has the power to talk to technology and with this power she's able to talk to security cameras at the airport to find out where Clark got off to........ even though it's the same place that she told him to go....... Why not just check there first? Maybe that's just me.
So our story continues with Superman going out with his new bestest bud Haemosu, who in my opinion shouldn't be so chummy with our former Man of Steel because earlier in the book he seemed kind of pissed that Superman took his role when he fought Crow, but I guess he instantly got over it because the two are going to paint the town red...... Well, they're going to go to an Old God bar and Superman's going to get a little dirt on the god that he seemingly killed in the previous issue Apolaki....... Which Superman seems to know was some kind of sand clone. Yeah, I get that Apolaki turned to sand when Superman zapped him with a Quarmer head, but how did we get to a place where Superman just knows it was a clone? I read that book..... I had no idea he was a clone. After talking to some of Apolaki's ex-girlfriends, Superman finds out that he was seeing some knife handed spinner called Yurei and one of these girls saw him go to her house, get tied up and delivered to Hordr........ you know because she's a ghost and that's what ghost do, they haunt people........ This story is fucking weird.
In the end, Superman runs into Jimmy and Condesa on his way to Yurei's place and quickly tells them to go home when Jimmy makes Superman feel bad about his current life choices. That's not the end of them though because after Superman confronts Yurei and finds out that Hordr is siphoning energy from people and using the byproduct sand that's produced to create clones of the person.......... shit...... really?
Well, after we find out that and Superman has to fight a fully powered Superman sand clone, Jimmy shows up right when that sand Superman fires off his heat vision and our pal Jimmy Olsen takes a chest full of heat. Hordr_Root appears on the screen and makes fun of Superman's previous threats about going after anyone who hurts his friends and our issue ends with Superman clutching the motionless body of Jimmy.
That's it for this issue of Superman and really, the only thing that is worthwhile in this book is Superman's reaction to Jimmy when he got hurt at the end of the issue. The rest though...... the fighting, the drinking, the blowing off of friends, it's just so...... un-Superman. It's gotten to a point where we could replace our title character with someone else and no one would ever know the difference. I have no idea how far off the rails this story line can go because we already have an underground god fighting ring and sand clones and none of it feels right for what we're dealing with in all the other Superman titles right now. Plus in the last story line the Superman title was dealing with, it was a prequel to everything else that was going on but out of nowhere here we find out that all of this is going on after Superman/Wonder Woman and my sense of continuity and timelines is completely screwed up. So after everything that Superman's gone through in every other title, it turns out that he just becomes a self centered jerk, who craves the spotlight. Now if everything that I've said right now sounds awesome to you, then by all means, go out and enjoy yourself, but to me this title is the worst that we're getting from the Superman titles because of how far removed it feels from everything else and the only thing that is decent in my opinion is the great art that is depicting this all over the place story....... but good art, is good art.
Bits and Pieces:
The Superman title seems so far removed from what every other Superman comic is doing now that it's hard to really get into it because while it seems that this series has become further in the timeline than the rest of the titles, it does nothing to show Superman's growth in dealing with his new status quo. If anything, it retrogresses him back to his earlier jerk off state, but adds a new spotlight seeking characteristic that just feels so wrong for the character. Besides for all that though, this story is off the wall and is just throwing things out there hoping that any of the concepts stick, but nothing is connecting with me......... Well, besides for the art I guess because that's fantastic........ The rest though is nonsense.