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Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

Wednesday Comics #12

Wednesday Comics #12

Scheduled to arrive in stores: September 23, 2009

Cover date: September 23, 2009


Writer: John Arcudi
Artist: Lee Bermejo


Writer: Jimmy Palmiotti
Artist: Amanda Conner

Reviewed by: Barry Freiman

Click to enlarge

When we last left Superman, he was gaining the upper hand on the aliens who had been messing with his head when he suddenly remembered Lois and yelled out her name. This week, in the last chapter of Superman, by John Arcudi and Lee Bermejo, Superman calls Lois on a Smallville pay phone. She has a Daily Planet with the headline "Batman Visits Metropolis" with a photo of Batman fighting one of the aliens. Superman flies back to Metropolis.

That's it? Really? We never find out why the aliens were on Earth or why they were intent on taking out Superman. The writer has no sense of timing and last week's pseudo-cliffhanger which played out anticlimactically this week seals the deal.

It should not be this challenging to tell a straightforward Superman story. There is a formula after 71 years: Clark is living life either at the Daily Planet, at home with Lois, working in the city on a story, or saving people as Superman. Something goes wrong that requires Superman's involvement. Superman saves the day. With only essentially 12 pages in total, this isn't the place to tell pseudo intellectual attempts at emotionally deciphering Superman's core.

This should've been 12 individual strips which could have highlighted different villains and supporting characters. Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, Bizarro, Luthor, Brainiac, Lois Lane, Lana Lang, Mr. Mxyzptlk, Doomsday, and Kara Zor-El. There's a reason these core characters have all appeared on TV's "Smallville" - the general public has a basic knowledge of most of these characters and each has particularly iconic personality traits that play off Clark's personality.

1Superman Rating - 1: This strip was designed for a mass audience as evidenced by the decision to showcase it in McPaper, USA Today. However, instead of giving the audience what it expects of Superman, we get a stripped down Man of Steel who's smoothed down and dull (kind of like the art too). Overall, Superman has been disappointing and I'd rate the entire 12 week experience a one out of five.

Happily, it isn't all gloom and doom in Metropolis. This week's concluding chapter of Supergirl, by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, Kara is saved by Krypto and Streaky who are able to communicate with the aliens. The aliens are revealed to be extraterrestrial canines and felines and they think Krypto and Streaky are king and queen of Earth. An exhausted Kara, Krypto, and Streaky fall asleep on the couch in Kara's apartment.

3Supergirl Rating - 3: The goofy conclusion with the alien reveal definitely saves this strip. It's a last second reminder that we aren't supposed to be taking any of this all that seriously. Overall, Supergirl was uneven but it mostly did what it was supposed to do which was to entertain. I am giving the 12 weeks a rating of three out of five.

This is such a disappointing close to what seemed like a great idea of combining DC's characters and the Sunday Funnies. I hope DC tries it again after Diane Nelson jettisons Dan DiDio and replaces him with an editor who can edit (no I don't know anything, but he is part of a chain of command that no longer exists).

See ya in the funny pages!

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2009

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