Monday, January 27, 2014

Adventures of Superman #40 Review

Written by: Max Landis
Art by: Jock
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: January 27, 2014

The Sound of One Hand Clapping part 1 of 2

Adventures of Superman has been a favorite of mine.  Yes, some of the arcs have fallen flat, but I like the fact that writers and artists have used the book to explore Superman and his Villains in unique and fun ways. That's why I was excited when I heard that this week was the start of a two part arc written by "Chronicle" writer, Max Landis with illustration by the artist still known as JOCK.  My excitement increased when I heard the villain would be the Joker.  Did my excitement equal a great book?  Yes and no.

The Joker has gone to Metropolis to meet Superman.  He seems to be at the start of his villainous career and just wants to find out what the hypes all about.  Superman arrives (Joker has threatened to blow up the City, by the way) and Joker doesn't seem impressed.  They exchange barbs, insults and jokes and in the end, Joker still may detonate his bombs.

Max Landis gives us a weird tale for sure. It's a character study of a hero and villain who couldn't be more different.  One is a dark, crazy murderer while the other is a big alien boy scout.  I'm going to keep an open mind until the arc is through next week, but I didn't enjoy Landis' take on the Joker.  It's hard to put my finger on, but this Joker didn't ring true.  He is a bit too desperate to come off as crazy.  Joker may have to work at things, but crazy isn't one of them.  Superman, on the other hand, comes off as slightly amused and a little bit annoyed by the Joker.  That I liked.  You get the idea that the Man of Steel is wondering why Batman puts up with this idiot. 

The story may stall, but the art is great.  In fact, Jock's work here is worth the cover price and then some.  While Joker explains he is trying to figure out what kind of villain he is, Jock gives us a trip down (Joker) memory lane.  Each panel shows Joker through the years including '66 TV Show Cesar Romero, The Animated Series, Jack Nicholson, New 52 and Heath Ledger Joker.  I can't do it justice here, just go buy it and enjoy.

Bits and Pieces:

Adventures of Superman #40 gives us the Joker and the Man of Steel so what could go wrong?  Well, Max Landis' Joker seems a little to eager to prove his insanity, but Jock's art is stellar.  I hope the writing catches up next issue because if it does we'll have something really special.  For now, buy this issue and just stare at's worth it.


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