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Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

Superman Returns: Krypton to Earth

Superman Returns: Krypton to Earth

Scheduled to arrive in stores: June 7, 2006

Cover date: August 2006

Story Adapted by: Bryan Singer, Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris
Writer: Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray
Penciller: Ariel Olivetti
Inker: Nestor Pereyra
Cover: Adam Hughes

"Superman Returns: Krypton to Earth"

Reviewed by: Barry Freiman

Click to enlarge

In the decade of the 1930s, even the great city of Metropolis was not spared the ravages of the world-wide Depression. In the times of fear and confusion, the job of informing the public was the responsibility of the Daily Planet, a great metropolitan newspaper whose reputation for clarity and truth had become a symbol of hope for the people of Metropolis...

The story is the first third of "Superman: The Movie" - Krypton goes boom, baby Kal-El goes bye-bye, and actor Marlon Brando eventually collects about $9 million for 11 days or so of work.

3Story - 3: How do you start the issue with anything other than: "This is no fantasy."? If they didn't want to use the Phantom Zone villains, then tie the line to Jor-El's discovery that Krypton is doomed.

The script paraphrases much of "Superman: The Movie". Having seen the film once or twice (or 500 or 600 times), I wasn't happy that, when the writers chose to ape the film dialogue, they didn't get it exactly right. For instance, the comic book Jor-El says: "My friends, you know I am not impulsive." And Brando said: "My friends, you know me to be neither rash nor impulsive." OK so I'm slightly neurotic. While the comic book dialogue is more concise, it loses some of its epic and poetic tone; let's face it, without that epic pageantry, all you've got left is an origin story comic book fans - presumably the book's market - have seen told in comic book form a heck of a lot.

I wasn't troubled by the addition of lines that weren't in the film however. It creates the idea that all we saw in "Superman: The Movie" wasn't necessarily all that happened - just all that Richard Donner chose to show us. I do find it curious that the writers added the line about the Council being aware that Jor-El had a space ship. It's clunky seemingly unnecessary exposition and makes me wonder if it has anything to do with the new movie.

Given the number of editors' hands this comic book must have passed through being an official movie tie-in, it's unforgivable that Jor-El uses the word "insure" when he means "ensure". It's sloppy unless Jor-El means he took out a catastrophic insurance policy with Allstate on the planet Krypton, naming the kid as sole beneficiary.

4Art - 4: The artist uses the comic book format well especially when he shows us a little more of what the Kryptonian crystals are capable of, apparently covering everything from transportation to day care. While Jor-El looks just like he did in the movie - and thus resembles Brando - his facial features are slightly altered so that he also somewhat resembles Chris Reeve. This is especially noticeable on the page where Jor says "He will not be alone" and the advertisement on the other side of the page includes a picture of the late Reeve with his late wife Dana.

3Cover Art - 3: Everything to the left of the crystal on the cover is beautiful - using partial images comprising less than a third of the cover space, the cover artist magnificently evokes the first film. I even like the prominence given to Jor-El's fingers - after all, they were all of him that appeared in the original theatrical version of "Superman II". But I don't like the cover giving me the false impression there'd be more of Superman in action in the book.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2006

February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006

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