Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Superwoman #2 Review and **SPOILERS**

Behind Every Successful Man is a Bizarro Woman

Written By: Phil Jimenez
Art By: Phil Jimenez, Matt Santorelli and Joe Prado, Jeromy Cox
Lettered By: Rob Leigh
Cover Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: September 14, 2016


So now that Superwoman is a comic book, I think it’s time for MAD Magazine to make a Superduperwoman parody. Superduperman, written by Harvey Kurtzman and drawn by Wally Wood, is the first great satire of the publication from way back in 1953. Here, you can check it out yourself until DC Comics figures out that it’s online and rains holy legal terror on that humble blog. I remember the first time I saw this story, in a reprint issue that came with one of MAD’s regular Super Specials, and I thought it was hysterical. So let me help the writers out a little: Clana Clang. Yawn Hungry Myrons aka Squeel. “Specs” Loofa, billionaire industrialist and spindly nerd that uses his robotic suit to turn into Wetropolis’ defender. The damn thing is writing itself! It probably wouldn’t be as good as Superwoman, though, which you may also find is true if you read on!

Explain It!

Lois Lane is dead. No, not the one that’s married Clark Kent and has a kid with him, the other one that caught super powers when the New 52 Superman died doing his super solar flare, and then was killed herself by a Bizarro version of Superwoman from Earth-3. Yep, it’s comic books. In the aftermath of an attack, Lex Luthor stands aboard his massive aircraft carrier the Gestalt doing damage control and trying to rescue the folks trapped aboard while making a big show of it. Problem is that his Mother Box super suit still doesn’t work, so he can’t stop his assistant Mercy from strolling into the Gestalt’s command center and launching a battery of weapons on the city of Metropolis. Don’t worry, they’re not lethal strikes, merely psychologically disorienting and damaging. And I have to admit, I like seeing Lex Luthor scramble to save face, the smug prick that he is. Before this, though, Lana Lang’s boyfriend John Henry Irons aka Steel convinces her to submit to the authorities because that’s totally something a black person would suggest. At the station, Lana makes nice with Captain Maggie Sawyer, recently back to Metropolis after a stint in Gotham City. How does one stay on the police force after working Gotham? “Well, the Joker turned the city into a murderous fun house three times under your watch, but the Riddler only had one slaughterhouse scavenger hunt so I guess you did something right.” Anyway, Maggie and Lana appreciate each other’s recalcitrance, and so they bond over being aloof and unreadable people.

Sawyer releases Lana becauase, really, what is she going to do? Put the flying electric lady in a jail cell? Lana tells Steel they’ve got to get to the Gestalt and put a stop to Luthor, but then she gets a wicked nosebleed. Steel is worried about her and wants her to come back to his place where she can jam wads of toilet paper up her nose. I know that bloody noses in comics and other literature often denotes that someone is dying, but come on: they’re like they most common affliction someone can get. Most people that get occasional nosebleeds aren’t about to expire from terminal brain cancer. At Steel’s spacious apartment in Suicide Slum, his niece Traci gets all “young person” and excitedly talks Lana’s ear off about all the cool robot suits she and her uncle have devised, including one Lana can wear that will dampen her electricity powers—and it’s called the Insect Queen! This is going to blend the Lana of Earth-2, who was shown to have insect-based powers at the close of the Future’s End weekly, with the Lana of this Earth, isn’t it? If this is the Lana of Earth-Prime, that is. Jeez. I’m going to need to make a chart.

While Lana naps and dreams about failing Lois, the Atomic Skull attacks downtown Metropolis, drawing the attention of Steel and his niece (who also wears super robot armor, naturally.) The Atomic Skull is freaking out, throwing purple radiation bombs around and complaining about his treatment in prison—since Luthor took over, he says, the inmates have been subject to bizarre experiments! The Atomic Skull insists on seeing Superman, but just then Lana shows up all sleepy-eyed with bedhead and asks aloud if a Superwoman will do. And when she says it, a stylized “Superwoman” logo that looks like the classic 3-D Superman masthead. Speaking of Luthor, he is out and about with Mercy when he gets a blip on his Superwoman tracker so he tells Mercy to turn the ship around. She ignores him and lands at LexCorp, and just as he’s about to talk to Human Resources about her insubordination, Mercy crushes his armor with one hand and reveals herself to be a Bizarro Lady herself! Lex then finds himself in an inescapable cube, commonly recognized as a superhero trap, and learns he has been captured by none other than his sister, Lena Luthor! And she’s made him crippled out of spite!

Wow…lots of stuff to unpack in this issue. Looks like this could be the series where Luthor’s jerktitude is exposed and he gets his comeuppance, which is something I always like to see. I really liked Lana and Steel’s relationship, it seems to have progressed since last we saw these two, and I really liked Lana’s strong, defiant voice. The art is really nice, though some pages are kind of crowded. In all, the plot thickens, some new characters are introduced, and I still hope they’ll bring back Lois Lane sooner rather than later because I was really into the concept of a Superwoman buddy cop book. But what we’ve got here has a strong dynamic, too.

Bits and Pieces:

Some new characters are introduced to the proceedings as the plot deepens along with a well-liked DCU relationship. Lex is made to look like a bit of a bumbler, and that's something I enjoy seeing after he's been particularly unbearable. The art is great, though cramped at times, and I loved how the book's ancillary villain is rendered by Jimenez. I'm really interested to see where this story goes, but I hope it doesn't meander around for two more issues until it rounds out a nice trade collection.

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  1. I'm getting secret fatigue from all these mysteries in Rebirth that we aren't getting any answers to. But I did enjoy this book. Just like you Reggie I hope it improves and doesn't bs around too much. Solid 7/10.

  2. I'm in on any comic that treats smug ass Luthor with what he deserves, a nice kick in the nuts. The mysteries in this book are great as well.


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