Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Superman #2 Review and *SPOILERS*

Bloody Hell!

Written By: Peter J. Tomasi
Art By: Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray, John Kalisz, Rob Leigh
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: July 6, 2016

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Holy shit, did the last issue of Superman just go and flip the script on what I expected from this series.  Not only did it traumatize the shit out of everyone reading when we saw young Jonathan Kent fry the family cat Goldie with his developing heat vision, but we also got some really solid, emotional character work towards our new Superboy that got us past our traumatized state and actually got us to start feeling for the young man, who spent the remainder of the issue scared and ashamed.  Yeah, I might not agree with him not telling his parents what happened, but I remember being a kid and it felt spot on.  I don't know how Tomasi plans on following up such a solid issue, but goddamn, I can't wait to find out.  Let's jump into this issue and see what Superman wanted with his son after Wonder Woman and Batman paid the Smith family farm a visit in the middle of the night.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

Our issue begins with me being relieved as hell because where I thought Superman coming to Jon's bedroom in the middle of the night, all stern faced and ominous was leading to some kind of whooping, verbal or physical, it turns out that Batman and Wonder Woman made their house call to check in on the new Superman and apprise him of a situation developing in the arctic, with a stranded nuclear submarine.  While this meeting between our trinity might have been a way for Diana and Bruce to see how this Superman acts in action, Clark sent them on their way, telling them that the only backup he needs is from his son....... hence the strange look up to Jon's window we had in the previous issue that gave me the impression that some terrible monster man was looming over the house, but it was just the surprise I guess that Superman would want to take his son into harms way that got them.  So yeah, our father and son duo head off to adventure and that's where this comic gets weird as hell.

So after repairing the sub so that the sailors could get on their way, a giant fucking octopus monster emerges from the water, complete with a techno mind control doohicky, that makes the monster a puppet to some mysterious master, but after Superman holds the many armed menace and instructs Jon on how to focus his heat vision, the control device is burned off and the day is saved.  We also get John sporting his new Superboy look in this moment and besides for all of this feeling really strange, that was a great reveal.  Don't worry though, the strangeness continues when we find out that Superman knew about Jon using his heat vision against his wishes in the previous issue that led to Goldie's death...... and when Jon asks Clark if he thinks Lois will be upset about him killing her cat, Superman responds by saying he thinks she'll be proud........ and that's just fucked up to me.  Yeah, he might just be trying to reassure the boy so he doesn't get power shamed or he might be making a point about him growing up and coming to terms with right and wrong and what it means for someone with their skill set.......... but come on!  She'll be proud?  That's messed up, especially when we see the family bury the cat together and there's nothing but smiles on all of their faces.  All that aside though, the comic begins to stray away from the craziness that it's already presented by giving us a sweet moment with Jon and Kathy Branden from next door, but sadly that doesn't last long because we have to see how Jon being half human affects his powers and while he may be able to fly and have heat vision, he's not as invulnerable as his father as we see when the branch that Kathy and him are sitting on breaks and John is knocked out with a concussion.

In the end, we find out that Jon will be fine, Clark scares his new neighbor, the grandfather of Kathy by going all over the top protective parent on his ass....... and then the weirdness picks right back up as we see that the blood that John spilled in the arctic somehow comes to life and flies to the Fortress of Solitude, where it's assimilated by the Fortress into the Eradicator......... somehow.  Man, I really hope that we get some hardcore exposition about what the hell was going on here with Jon's blood because I'm completely lost on this.

That's it for this issue of Superman and for as much as I loved this series over the last two issues, I have to say that this is a weird ass installment.  Where we had a ton of heart driving the stories previously, here we seem to have that same heart trying to do something similar, but the way it's going about it really comes off as odd...... and a little disturbing at times, not to mention the strange ass sci-fi elements included in this story, like a gigantic octopus monster and the Eradicator being created out of Jon's blood...... that somehow seemed to just come to life or was collected by something that never really felt explained...... just like that mysterious octopus puppet master.  So while there was some decent, while subtle look at Jon's power limitations and the start of what hopefully will be a lasting friendship between Jon and Kathy Branden, there was a lot of things that we were just left in the dark about too and sadly though dark spots were the majority of the book.  We do have some excellent art in this book, so hopefully that's something we can count on as a mainstay with this series because the family dynamic which I originally loved....... is like I keep saying..... a little odd here.

Bits and Pieces:

While Superman has just been a joy to read since Rebirth came out and took us all by storm, this issue decided that it wanted to do something different than tell a heart warming story about a boy coming into his own by adding some strange ass elements, both action oriented and family oriented and while this really took me by surprise...... and at some moments left me scratching my head, I'm still really invested in this series and can't wait to find out the explanations to what the hell went down here.

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  1. I had fun with this issue. And it's all thanks to Superboy being done right. I'm also interested in seeing John's limitations. But I think we won't have to wait long to see them being that the Eradicator is made from jons blood. He'll probably have the same potential that jon has. I'm hoping this series eventually addresses Conner Kent and that this version of him is a augmented clone of Jon. And that he was made to stabilize Jon powers because Kryptonian DNA doesn't exactly mix well with human DNA. 7/10

  2. I think the "she'll be proud" thing was just referring to Jon finally coming clean about the cat-frying incident. I don't think he meant she'd be proud that he killed the cat. I still think it was an emotional response that was not in his control. I don't like that it was made to seem like he disobeyed his dad's order not to use his powers. Like how in Smallville Clark's heat vision was a hormonal trigger at first. I liked this issue more than Erik but I'll have to explain tomorrow...I'm getting sleepy. Good night guys. 😴

    1. Jon's powers do seem to be emotionally triggered. I believe Jon crushed the branch with his super strength after Katie tried to hold his hand.

    2. Oh that's totally how I took that scene. He was startled by her touch in his hand and not knowing his own strength his reflex reaction broke the branch. I thought for sure though that he'd fly or hover or something before hitting the ground and then there's no hiding his powers from Katie anymore.

    3. Best moment in the book imo


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