Buy Now!

Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Superman #688

Superman #688

Scheduled to arrive in stores: May 27, 2009

Cover date: July 2009

"The Fall and Rise of Jonathan Kent"

Writer: James Robinson
Penciller: Renato Guedes
Inker: Jose Wilson Magalhaes

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Click to enlarge

Mon-El falls into the water, sans powers. Guardian fishes him out just in time.

Apparently, his powers came back just before he hit the water, then went away again, then return immediately after Guardian puts him back on solid ground. Guardian indicates he's been looking for Mon-El, and found him with one of the Science Police cameras.

Squad K appears to take Mon-El down, thinking him a Kryptonian there against the law. Mon-El dispatches them easily, as their weaponry is geared toward a Kryptonian and Mon-El is Daxamite.

Dr. Light (female version) analyzes Mon-El, and finds out that the serum he drank didn't take away the lead poisoning, it just surrounded the lead poisoned areas. Mon-El's body is now attacking those areas, releasing the poison in order to "heal" him. He has between a year and eighteen months before he dies.

Mon-El meets the man below his flat, Mitch, who gives him strange foods to eat and introduces him to cultures.

Guardian and his team break into the facility where the creature is. After a protracted fight, they find a monitor room filled with many strange figures on the screen.

Codename Assassin appears when they find the creature and attempt to take it off. It shield's Guardian and Mon-El's mind. They escape.

General Lane recalls that Guardian has a daughter, speaking with Codename later.

Mon-El, in Paris, realizes that he wants to live.

3Story - 3: It's not that the story stinks, because it doesn't, it's just that it seems to be stuck in a perpetual holding pattern that's going through the motions of what a comic is. There are some great themes, some good ideas, but nothing really moves forward or comes together. A few months ago, that'd be forgiveable, given that it's the beginning of the run more or less, but now it's starting to really become disagreeable.

However, that said, there are enough interesting moments to keep you reading, so it deceives you into not looking too closely. Speaking from experience, I know that to be talented writing.

The problem is in the pudding. When you step back and analyze it, very little is established here, and a lot of it is unnecessarily stretched out. In this issue, Mon-El survives his fall, finds out he will die soon, and Guardian retrieves the creature. Other than that, most of the stuff is kind of fluff. Of those three things, we know (because of the future) that the first two will not happen, and the third took a bit long to occur.

Then there was a bunch of stuff that was detrimental and pulled from enjoyment. The classic Thumb Wars, "I escaped somehow!" with the whole powers coming back conveniently just before he hit the water, then disappearing for dramatic purposes, then Guardian conveniently already looking for him (in a place where he wouldn't look, with a very convenient camera excuse, etc).

The Kimiyo scene was okay, it just seemed like a bit much technobabble to establish what could have been done with the healing is screwy, dude. You're going to die.

The Squad K thing was completely extraneous and unnecessary, BUT, that said, I enjoyed it, given that it completely decimates a team and a concept I abhorred.

The scene with Mitch actually worked for me too. At first it seemed really extraneous, but then it serves to establish what we see done poorly in the end of the issue (I am beginning to really hate the use of thought bubbles here), that there is a reason to live on this beautiful world.

Thinking that to himself was just awkward with Mon-El at the end there. Really, thought bubbles, though they CAN work (in theory), just don't. I mean, seriously. Experiment on a non-Superman book. Am I crazy?

5Art - 5: With all of these complex demands, this book could have easily folded under the weight of the experimentation going on. That it doesn't and that it continues to impress, is a miracle. This is good work, and it's steadily good, and it's not gimmicky or selfish in terms of trying to bring glory to the artist that I can see. I'm enjoying Renato's work.

5Cover Art - 5: Fantastic, scary moment depicted here, with great coloring and an even better pose.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2009

February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009

Back to the Mild Mannered Reviews contents page.

Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2009.