Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Superman: Red and Blue #2 Review

When Making A Point Loses Its Purpose

Written By: Assorted
Art By: Assorted
Colors By: Assorted
Letter By: Assorted
Cover Art By: Nicola Scott (cover A)
Cover Price: $5.99
Release Date: April 20, 2021

Superman: Red and Blue #2 continues the tri-chrome anthology of the Man of Steel told from various perspectives, highlighting an assortment of adventures. While most of the stories have little to do with Superman directly, but with those he knows or has encountered, the creators take the opportunity to tell stories on a whole array of topics. Sometimes the stories carry a message. Other times, they simply take up pages.

Was It Good?

It was an improvement from the first issue in that it didn't spend the majority of the time finding ways to show how Superman is flawed or weak or wasn't strong enough to succeed on his own. That's a plus.

On the downside, most of the stories are pointless, nonsensical, or just plain bad. Your mileage may vary.

What's It About?


As with the previous issue, this is an anthology. We'll cover each story briefly, what worked, and what didn't.


Written: Steven T. Seagle
Art: Duncan Rouleau
Letters: Pat Brosseau

Elderly Marth Kent is having lunch in a Smallville diner, talking about their children with her friends. One of her friends makes the mistake of saying something to the effect of "It's a blessing you adopted Clark since you can't have one of your own." What follows is a 5-page lecture from Ma Kent regarding just how strong her love for her son is, regardless of his biological origins.

This reviewer is the parent of both adopted and biological children, so this is a topic near and dear to my heart. This entire story felt petty and condescending, and ultimately, it made the impossible possible. It made me dislike Ma Kent. Kudos.

Into The Ghost Zone

*Author's Note: On the review copy, the credits page lists this story as "Into The Ghost Town." we could not find a definitive way to determine which is the correct title.

Written: Chuck Brown
Art: Denys Cowan, John Stanisci
Colors: Chris Sotomayor
Letters: Dave Sharpe

The Superman of Earth-2, Val-Zod, and his trusty sidekick, Krypto, patrol space to help those in need. They find Prometheus, a space pirate kidnapping and pillaging wayward space travelers. Val-Zod easily deals with the pirate crew and commandeers the ship to haul it back to Earth. In a poison pill act, Prometheus activates a series of doomsday missiles to fire at Earth when Val-Zod brings it within range of the planet while Prometheus escapes into a pocket universe called the Ghost Zone. Val-Zod stops the missiles, saves the Earth, and breaks into the Ghost Zone to capture Prometheus.

This had the potential of being a good story if it wasn't rushed out as a short. How did Krypto know to stop the missiles by capturing a targeting drone? How did Val-Zod break into the Ghost Zone? The story is so short, it verges on unfinished, so we're left with questions that will never be answered.


Written and Art: Dan Panosian

Lex Luthor ponders the myriad attempts he's made to destroy Superman with Red Kryptonite. They range from typical (red kryptonite powered ray gun) to nonsensical (a boxing match using red kryptonite boxing gloves). The point of the title is Lex Luthor learning patience toward his ultimate goal of defeating Superman.

Lex Luthor is supposed to be one of the most brilliant minds on the planet, and yet, he's depicted here with Rube Goldberg-esque weapons and plans that wouldn't make the cut in a Batman '66 writer's room. This story has little to do with Superman and paints Luthor as a rich, evil, buffoon.

My Best Friend, Superman

Written: Stephanie Phillips
Art: Marley Zarcone
Letters By: Rob Leigh

A young girl brings a piece of twisted metal to class for Show and Tell. She claims it's a souvenir from her personal encounter with Superman during a battle with a robotic villain. Of course, none of her classmates believe her and she's taunted/bullied for a short time after the presentation. Of course (again), Superman shows up during recess and verifies her story.

What's the message here? Don't be a bully? Okay. Believe in extraordinary claims without evidence? Maybe? Again, this is another story that uses Superman as the object lesson or prop but has very little to do with Superman at all.

S Is For Cyborg

Written and Art: Jason Howard
Letters: Tom Napolitano

A janitor in an evil scientist's lab flees from an escaped energy-eating monster dog. The lab is run by Hank Henshaw aka Cyborg Superman who admits releasing the beast on purpose to see what it would do and who it would kill. The beast kills the science team developing it, and now it's after the janitor. Suddenly, Superman arrives to save the janitor and detonate the sleeping volcano under the lab. The janitor is concerned the volcanic energy will feed the beast, and it does, but when there's no more heat energy, it turns on Hank Henshaw. That was Superman's plan all along... apparently.

Ironically, this story had the best art and the weakest, most nonsensical story. Instead of defeating the beast in its nascent state, why did Superman activate the volcano? Why didn't Hank Henshaw fly away instead of letting himself be attacked? Why is this janitor working on a volcanic island for Hank Henshaw? Nonsense. Pure Nonsense.

Bits and Pieces:

Superman: Red and Blue #2 is poorly drawn, poorly written, and poorly executed. This book has no point, and that's the saddest point of all.


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