Mild Mannered Reviews - Smallville
Smallville #10Scheduled to arrive in stores: September 22, 2004
Cover date: November 2004
Reviewed by: Neal Bailey
This comic is segmented, and thusly will be reviewed as such...
Cover Art - 3: A good picture, per usual, but it's just like last month.
Ladies, I already told you, I don't have a dollar. There's no work for you here. Stop looking at me! But this time, there's the added irony of the fact that they are "bad girls" I know, because the words tell me so. So giving them a dollar might be even more problematic.
Bottom line, the cover is interesting and well done in ways, but on the other hand, it's cliched from the other issues, it's got silly words all over it, and the whole thing looks photoshopped... it's just not a cover style I really dig too much. Maybe an exciting drawn cover would spice stuff up.
Table of Contents:
Photo: Jeffrey Thurnher
A large photo of Chloe with the table of contents below it.
Page - 1: I've mentioned it a number of times, while the picture is nice, it's not worth taking a whole page out of a large magazine, when taking said page away could add more to story or take away from price... especially when each story has its title and credits already on it.
"The New Girl in Town: Interview with Erica Durance"
Writer: Bryan Cairns
Basically, this is your standard fare interview with the star, only this time it's with the new cast member, Erica Durance... who plays Lois.
Article - 3: This is a fairly typical version of the interview format we've seen so far, nothing amazing, nothing horrible, mostly self-congratulatory oratory on what it's like to be an actor, no hardball questions. A few neat musings on her role and what it will be, but nothing you couldn't assume or guess. Erica seems intelligent, but then, there weren't really any questions to challenge that. She does make a neat little point about how I know who Superman's uncle's brother's sister is. And I do! (You'll have to read it to get that joke).
Writer: Clint Carpenter and Dan Thomsen
Pencils: Tom Derenick
Inks: Adam Dekraker
Lex Luthor nearly closed research on the parasite that infected Pete and Chloe with Clark's "Red K" persona. The researcher persuades Lex that with time he can make his discoveries more profitable. Lex gives him until the next day.
The man injects the serum into a monkey.
Chloe drives down the street for a meeting with Lana and shopping. The monkey is standing in the middle of the road. Chloe hits the monkey with her car, and the monkey lies dead with the injection gun in his hand.
She calls 911.
The monkey leaps up, very much alive, screeching, and attacks Chloe, injecting her with the serum.
911 tells her that they're not allowed to take her calls any more.
The monkey galavants away, and Chloe goes evil.
Lex finds the lab a mess and takes a parasite, calling the police.
On the drive, later, Chloe tries playing chicken on the other side of the street, freaking Lana out. Chloe takes the VW up on its side wheels and then squeals all over the place. Lana tries to leave, and Chloe injects her.
Lex talks with the sheriff about the monkey and its murder of his scientist.
Lana and Chloe arrive at the mall. A sales clerk tells Lana that she holds the last of a certain shirt, so Lana throws her through a display, complaining that she likely doesn't tip when she buys lattes.
A security guard with a pair of handcuffs comes up to stop them, and they take his clothes and dress up in uniform.
Lex finds out that the research is gone, so he readies the chopper, looking at an article about adrenal stimulus.
A guy hits on the girls, so they play at being lesbians and then Chloe knocks him senseless.
They guy comes back, and they throw him again.
The entire shopping mall comes out and tries to beat them up, so they beat up all the mall shoppers.
They tow Chloe's car, so the two ladies go and grab a water tower, pull it down, and soak all of the people attacking them.
At a garage, looking for the car, Lana lifts a car and talks to the mechanic. Chloe arrives and tells Lana that the man is hers, and punches Lana through a brick wall.
Then she throws her into a pile of debris.
Then Lana punches Chloe into the air and through a bus.
Chloe hits Lana with a pipe and readies to drop a refrigerator on her. She stops at the last minute and collapses. The effect of the adrenaline wears off on them, and they wonder how they got where they are.
They don't know how they got where they are, or how their clothes got all torn up, but they decide to just carry on with what they were doing and go to the mall.
Lex arrives, and writes a check, and solves everything.
Chloe and Lana later shop, and Lex calls, where they laugh it all off.
Story - No Rating: I can't rate this. Honest to God, I just can't rate this story, because I have NO idea how I feel about it. I'm just..wow. This story REALLY threw me for a loop. It's like, the single best and single worst story I've ever read, all at once.
I've reviewed over 250 comics, and this is the most shameless piece of exploitive trash I've ever seen. But it had monkeys!
See, wow. I mean, wow. Look at this story. We start off with Lex Luthor and a monkey. That's just, that's classic right there. Lex Luthor and a monkey and an evil scientist, who injects said monkey with a serum that makes the monkey go nuts. There is nothing on Earth cooler than a monkey going nuts. Seriously. Think of something. I dare you. There is nothing.
And then the monkey goes on a rampage! YES! Sweet! Monkey rampage! The monkey is standing in the road, obstructing traffic and ooking, and then the monkey gets hit by a car! COMEDY! So the girl gets out, and there's the monkey with a gun in its hands, and this monkey hocked up on the juice comes out of it and attacks!
GO ATTACK MONKEY!
And you're like, man, this story is just getting better and better.
Then the monkey injects the human, enacting its evil monkey plan, and then goes galavanting into the trees to find monkey girls, another gun, maybe some food or some bushes.
Anyway, so this is where the story just immediately plunges into suck.
Chloe goes nuts, right, because she's got adrenaline in her bloodstream, and enzyme, right? Well get this. Even if you have adrenaline or some kind of super-powering enzyme in your blood, you don't become invulnerable or gain the strength and speed of Superman, right? So that makes most everything she and Lana do fluff crumola.
It's also exploitive. I mean, the whole thing plays off a dozen cheesy stereotypes. Guys like lesbians, girls in uniform, girl fights, and girls are obviously only concerned with men, shopping, coffee, and girl power, right?
Also, so help me for saying this, it plays to the idea that a rich guy can write a check and solve anything. And hey, that's true a lot of the time, but not when two super powered human beings terrorize a mall, rip down phone lines, tear down a city water tower, and steal stuff. That's uh, not covered under Lex Luthor "I have a billion dollars" insurance.
But I'm not even there yet.
First, the girls throw a woman into a display plan, hurting her, perhaps killing her. No assault charges.
A cop comes to take them out, but he just lets them take his clothes and walk away? Hocked up on PCP, a drug with similar powers, basically, you can't even think straight, much less concern yourself with uniforming up to look sexy. Exploitive. It sucks.
Then the girls just go on for coffee, like no one would even continue trying to stop them or the police would come, and then a guy hits on them, so they start playing lesbian. My, how cliche. And while I won't lie, it was a tittilating scene, it was also repulsively exploitive, cliche, and even slightly disturbing. These are seventeen year olds, and before you write me telling me that seventeen year olds can be lesbians (a fact I know well, as I had multiple lesbian and bisexual friends in high school), the real question is, is this something that we want to see or promote? High school lesbians on a power drunk mad rampage?
Now I feel old just saying that, because if you were to say to me, "Hey Neal! Check out channel 8! Power mad high school lesbians on a drunken rampage!", my only other question before I flipped to that channel would be, "Are there monkeys?"
But in a comic book, in a SUPERMAN based comic, is that what we want to be showing? I don't know. I'm torn. I mean, I like power mad lesbians, but I also know Superman is wholesome entertainment. So... confused!
So they go tearing out into the parking lot, assaulting multiple people, which, really, adrenaline wouldn't let you do, because no matter how strong it may make you, if you get hit, your body will still feel it later, and they show no sign that it hurt them.
Further, it doesn't matter if you have all the steroids and adrenaline on earth in your blood, you ain't ripping a water tower down, babe, even if you have HELP from another hocked up nut.
When they're driving, Chloe actually puts a bug on two wheels. Now, I'm no gearhead, but to me, the likelihood of being able to successfully two wheel a car with a low center of gravity and a rounded shape for rolling in a convertible car seems about as likely as monkeys and lesbians coming to ME for a good time.
So they go to a garage, and Lana lifts a car.
Don't even get me started. You can't lift a tower, you can't lift a car. My god, the leap of imagination this story demands of you... my brain has totally come off of its track, out my ear, and onto the floor. Literally, I'm walking around the room like Charlie Chaplain, kicking the thing around and trying to pick it up.
So they break out into a chick fight over a mechanic, tossing each other through piles of rubble, busses, hitting each other with pipes, and dropping fridges on each other.
Girl fight, but my God, the implausibility of it all... they would be nearly dead when they snapped out of it, totally, but they go SHOPPING!
So anyway, though their injections are nearly a half hour apart at least, they snap out of it at exactly the same time. WHAT?
And then they go shopping in the exact same mall they just ruined, but don't notice ANYTHING is up?
And then when they did that, they had torn clothes from whomping each other around, and they didn't even think to say, "Man, maybe I should ask someone what's been going on. My clothes are ripped, I have a rent a cop's hat, I smell of monkey, and my breath is, well, minty. But not Clark minty, Lana minty.
You will hear a champagne cork popping sound, and then I will write no more, because this is simultaneously the best story and the worst story I've ever reviewed.
Monkeys, you know? But cliches, implausibility... but chick fights, lesbian action, chaos and destruction...but..
Art - 4: I've always liked the Smallville artist's style of realism while maintaining the intergrity and facial aspects of the main characters. This issue is no exception, and the action is handled very well. All around a lot of fun, well done. Especially the monkey and the lesbian scene.
Man, I just did it again. Come here, brain!
A Guide to the Smallville Young Adult Novels
Writer: Edward Gross
This is basically a summary of the first ten young adult Smallville novels.
Summaries - 3: It's about average... an interesting read, because I was always curious about the plots of these novels, and even want to write one myself for kicks. On the other hand, most of the plots (while original at the time) are, after three seasons of Smallville, actually quite similar to episodes that have already happened. It does save me having to read the books in ways, but in other ways, that's another hindrance of the article... it removes all but the most stalwart fan from having to read the books.
Still though, I like hearing from authors, I like the concept, and the summaries are well done. It balances out well.
Smallville Episode Guide, Season Two: Episodes 9-12
Writer: Jami Bernard
This is basically the episode guide for the 209 to 212 episodes of Smallville.
Article - 3: Same critique as usual. They cover the episode, but we already, at this site, have all the episode guides through season three, and they're longer, more in-depth... not that there's anything wrong with these, it's just it serves a niche of need I've already filled in my life, and on this site, no less.
Overall - 4: I may not like the story, but man, it's MEMORABLE, I have to give it that. I'll read it again, which is rare to say in comics, if only for the laughs and the gratuity. Interesting issue.
Other recent reviews:
Mild Mannered Reviews
2004Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.
- Action Comics #809
- Adventures of Superman #622
- Superman #199
- Superman/Batman #4
- Superman: Birthright #5
- Superman: Metropolis #10
- Superman: The Kansas Sighting #1
- JLA #90
- Justice League Adventures #25
- Superman/Batman: Generations III #11
- Superman/Thundercats #1
- Smallville #5
- Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trinity #3
- JLA/Avengers #3
- JLA-Z #3
- Action Comics #810
- Adventures of Superman #623
- Superman #200
- Superman/Batman #5
- Superman: Metropolis #11
- Superman: The Kansas Sighting #2
- JLA #91
- Justice League Adventures #26
- Superman/Batman: Generations III #12
- Action Comics #811
- Adventures of Superman #624
- Superman #201
- Superman/Batman #6
- Superman: Birthright #6
- Superman: Metropolis #12
- JLA #92
- Justice League Adventures #27
- Smallville #6
- Superman: Secret Identity #1
- Action Comics #812
- Adventures of Superman #625
- Superman #202
- Superman/Batman #7
- Superman: Birthright #7
- JLA #93
- Justice League Adventures #28
- Superman: Secret Identity #2
- Action Comics #813
- Adventures of Superman #626
- Superman #203
- Superman/Batman #8
- Superman: Birthright #8
- JLA #94
- JLA #95
- Justice League Adventures #29
- Smallville #7
- Superman: Secret Identity #3
- JLA/Avengers #4
- Action Comics #814
- Adventures of Superman #627
- Superman #204
- Superman/Batman #9
- Superman: Birthright #9
- JLA #96
- JLA #97
- Justice League Adventures #30
- Superman: Secret Identity #4
- It’s a Bird [Vertigo] (Hardcover)
- Action Comics #815
- Adventures of Superman #628
- Superman #205
- Superman/Batman #10
- Superman: Birthright #10
- JLA #98
- JLA #99
- Justice League Adventures #31
- Smallville #8
- Justice League of America: Another Nail #1
- Action Comics #816
- Adventures of Superman #629
- Superman #206
- Superman: Secret Files and Origins 2004
- Superman: Birthright #11
- JLA #100
- Identity Crisis #1
- Justice League Adventures #32
- Justice League of America: Another Nail #2
- Action Comics #817
- Adventures of Superman #630
- Superman #207
- Superman/Batman #11
- Superman: Birthright #12
- JLA #101
- JLA #102
- Justice League Elite #1
- Identity Crisis #2
- Justice League Adventures #33
- Smallville #9
- Justice League of America: Another Nail #3
- Action Comics #818
- Adventures of Superman #631
- Superman #208
- DC Comics Presents: Superman #1
- Majestic #1
- JLA #103
- JLA #104
- DC Comics Presents: Justice League of America #1
- Justice League Elite #2
- Identity Crisis #3
- Justice League Adventures #34
- Action Comics #819
- Adventures of Superman #632
- Superman #209
- Superman/Batman #12
- Majestic #2
- JLA #105
- JLA #106
- Justice League Elite #3
- JLA: Secret Files and Origins 2004
- Identity Crisis #4
- Justice League Unlimited #1
- Smallville #10
- Action Comics #820
- Adventures of Superman #633
- Superman #210
- Superman/Batman #13
- Majestic #3
- JLA #107
- Justice League Elite #4
- Identity Crisis #5
- Justice League Unlimited #2
- Superman: True Brit
Back to the Mild Mannered Reviews contents page.
Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2004.