Mild Mannered Reviews - Smallville
Smallville #8Scheduled to arrive in stores: May 12, 2004
Cover date: July 2004
Reviewed by: Neal Bailey
This comic is segmented, and thusly will be reviewed as such...
Cover Art - 3: This cover is typical fare for this comic book... obvious computer design, reliance on the teen market magazine crop to create sales, and words on the cover. The logo refers to Kryptonite, a pet peeve of mine on this show, and Ross and Sullivan aren't really in this kind of happy-go-lucky way in the comic, so it's a little deceptive as well. That said, Lex IS in an honest depiction of what is (read more) a really great story, so it's not a 2 or 1. Passable, at least, and average.
Table of Contents:
Photo: David Gray
Page - 1: I'm adamantly against a table of contents in any comic less than 128 pages long. It just makes no sense, and is absolute filler, especially when later on in the issue there is a page devoted to bringing you up to speed. If the comics were not titled, a table of contents might make sense. If the artists were not named, it might. But it's just an excuse to show off a photo, which:
Photo - 5: Is a really cool picture of Lex in a straight jacket. It's too bad this couldn't be somewhere less fortunate.
"Interview: Annette O'Toole, Supermom"
Photos: Kharen Hill, David Gray, third uncredited
Basically, this is an (you guessed it) interview of Annette O'Toole...
Interview - 4: Usually I really trash on these things for being self-congratulatory, but this one I do not for several reasons:
1) I am fanatically obsessed with Annette O'Toole, unhealthy in my obsession, so I am ultimately biased (good god, she even knits! I'm like Opus in Bloom County!).
2) This interview actually gives us some spoiler information (HOO WAH). Spoiler follows: Annette indicates that Lionel will be around for every episode next year. I don't know if that'll be good or bad (I picture an 8:50 Lionex, and I'm not too bedazzled with the stupidity of the notion, yet...).
3) She actually complains about her character, and about something I agree with. She says that the mom needs to be pulled out of being regulated to the kitchen and actually play a role again. Hoo WAH again. Go Annette.
Nothing self-congratulatory here. Some indications of what she likes about the show, but an equal and honest approach to the dilemmas, as well.
Photos - 4: Annette. I need say no more.
Story: Clint Carpenter and Mike Warshaw
Writer: Clint Carpenter
Penciller: Tom Derenick
Inker: Adam DeKraker
Cover Page - 1: As I said last month, it is patronizing and a waste of time to include a cover page for a comic story. Especially given that Chloe's Chronicles are supposed to be a multi-media experience, and if you read this summary, you don't have to do the extra stuff that makes the story fun. It'd be like if The Matrix Revolutions was prefaced with a little story that told about Enter the Matrix and The Animatrix.
And in a comic, where space means story lost, that hits me in the angry bone.
ACK! I just checked the website, and it also summarizes the 7th comic. What's the point?
Chloe is pulled back by an assailant, who is revealed to be Donovan Jamison. He indicates that he is not there to hurt her (or Pete, who has been hit in the head), but instead wants to show her what's going on.
They question whether to run or stay, but the people behind them convince them to stick with Jamison.
They follow him to what Hamilton called "The Dungeon" below a lake, a large room which once held a massive meteor rock, now mined for research.
Donovan tells her that Sara died of Jitters, that she experimented upon herself and got out of hand. Donovan leads them to a storage area.
Donovan shows them Greg Arkin, Bug Boy, held in a case. Then Tina Greer, the morphing girl obsessed with Clark and trying to kill Lana, Pete pokes fun at her corpse for throwing him into a locker.
They then pass Scott Kelvin, the ice boy, frozen in a block of ice and apparently still alive, though his heart is beating slowly.
Donovan explains that they are studying them in an attempt to cure Meteor rock related sickness.
He takes Chloe and Pete to a room and locks them in for the night, saying he'll come back in the morning once the goons chasing them have gone.
Chloe escapes through the roof and goes to a room where surveillance videos are kept, finding one where Donovan admits to injecting Sara.
Donovan finds Chloe, and attacks her with a Jitters infected hand, revealing his plans to combine Jitters and all of the powers of Tina Greer, Scott Kelvin, and Greg Arkin to become a super-powered being.
Donovan is about to kill Chloe when Pete steps in and smashes him with a chair. They grab the tape and run. Donovan pursues.
They cover him in boxes, but he breaks out and throws Pete by stomping the floor with jitters. Chloe provokes him, then throws an aerosol can of machine lubricant to the hand with jitters, causing an explosion, which she ducks.
Pete, having fallen into cotton balls, runs with Chloe out of the building, which burns down. Pete asks Chloe to change the title to the Ross Report for all his troubles.
Story - 3: There were many crazy, implausible things from straight out of a continuity editor's version of an uninspired Smallville episode with the flaws, but there were also many funny and interesting things here with continuity, and they balanced out.
First, we see the three freaks again, which is the good. Acknowledgement of some of the teenagers who have randomly gone insane, complete with a memory of Pete getting slammed into a locker, which no one in Smallville seemed to notice. Very respectable.
Then there were the multiple impossible parts of this piece.
First, the idea that you can pull off those cardboard ceiling tiles and get out of a room.
Look, they frame all the way to the ceiling, so they also drywall (at least, if you're doing it right) up to the ceiling. The room is still enclosed, those cardboard things just make it so you don't have to see the vents, which cannot support human weight. Sorry. So unless Chloe can punch through drywall... well, at least that's an assumption most people would make.
Then there's the problem with the fact that of hundreds of tapes she could just find the right one. Suuuuuure.
And then there's the problem that if they were covering up a murder, don't you think they'd erase the surveillance tapes? And why keep surveillance tapes in a top secret compound? Are they mad? ASKING to get caught?
And then the worst of it. Toss a can of MACHINE LUBRICANT (which is, admittedly, explosive) at a vibrating hand, and it explodes with enough force to cause a blast wave.
Don't buy it. First, I don't think jitters would rupture the lubricant. Second, where does the flame enter here, causing the explosion? Third, why would such a small can create enough of an explosion to essentially level a room full of boxes? I know it's volatile, but I don't think it's THAT volatile.
So some problems, some good. It balanced out.
Art - 4: Not bad. True to the characters, interesting in the depiction of The Dungeon, and all around it got me from A to B. Nothing fantastic, but much better than average, and the characters were particularly well done.
"Ezra Small Revisited"
Writer: Christopher James Beppo
Prophecy - 1: I can't translate these things, I never could, I just look them up online and they're always something that would make me homicidal if I had spent time on them and then gotten such a message. Here's an Ezra Small Prophecy for you:
VISIT THIS WEBSITE.
Because if you want to know anything the prophecy says, with about the same spoiler rating, it can be found here. Or at Kryptonsite. Spoilers on paper are not that interesting any more now that we have the internet.
Photo - 3: Nothing special, nothing horrible.
"Smallville on DVD: Season Two"
Basically, this is a promotion and explanation of the Smallville Season 2 DVD, with basic information that you can easily find on this site or all over the internet, with a little panning out explanation and quotes from Gough and etcetera.
Article - 1: I bought this comic for Smallville, not a Smallville commercial. If you're into Smallville enough to buy the comic, likely you'll pre-ordered the DVD. And if you're not, you won't buy the thing. If you're on the cusp, this won't convince you. It's just a waste of everyone's time, even if it is written well. This isn't about the writing, at least on this one, not to me. But offer the writing a 5 if it makes you feel better...
Writer: Clint Carpenter
Art: Renato Guedes
In a painted story, Lex has visions of Clark getting hit by a car saving him in the situation with Morgan Edge, of his youth and the death of Julian, and of Clark saving him off the Loeb bridge.
Lex meets in group and realizes that he's in Belle Reve, and has an imaginary vision of Clark breaking in to save him, smashing his way out and protecting Lex.
At group, Lex relates his story about his father, and they call him crazy.
The orderly tells Lex that Clark is coming, and Lex smiles, committed to defend Clark's secret to death.
Story - 5: Man, oh man, I never really expected this. Most stories in this comic are contrived, geared toward emulating the formulaic aspects of the show, and cheesy. This is an honest, heartfelt character portrayal of Lex, and I'm impressed. The episode in question was amazing at the time, disturbing, sad, horrible, and yet fun at the same time (I know, can I decide?) This issue is a perfect compliment, I'm happy to say. Best part of this issue, by far.
Art - 5: Best art in this comic book so far, with Grummett's story a close second. Detailed, capturing perfectly the essence of the character, and look at that homage with Clark throwing the car. Classic.
Smallville Episode Guide, Season Two: Episodes 3-4
Writer: Jami Bernard
Photos: David Gray
Basically, a story outline of Red and Duplicity.
Article - 3: Average. As ever, I prefer this site's episode guide myself, because they're available right after the episode as opposed to two years later. :)
Photos - 3: Average... just Pete and Clark, and the oft printed seductively subdues Lana kiss.
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.