By Koppy McFad
June 14, 2008 - 01:26
This collection reprints stories from SUPERMAN, THE FLASH and various other books recounting the origin and travails of DC Comic's resident alien space dictator, Mongul. This is clearly intended to be a companion piece to the GREEN LANTERN comics where Mongul is shaping up to be one of the main bad guys.
Of course, technically the Mongul who appears in this book is not the one who appears in GREEN LANTERN. This Mongul has already been killed off and the one now accumulating power rings is his son.
But since his son acts, looks and sounds exactly like his daddy, DC Comics figured they might as well treat them as the same person.
Sadly, DC Comics does not bother to give us too much back story, explaining how Superman fell into Mongul's hands or why Mongul is running around in Central City or other such matters. We are suppose to fill in the blanks ourselves. It would be nice if they included a text page at the very least.
The first story, of Superman being forced to fight as a gladiator for Mongul's amusement, is a lot of fun. It is inspiring to see Superman holding his own, even against stronger beings-- as well as seeing Superman holding onto his humanity despite Mongul's attempts to turn him into a killer.
The origin of Mongul is less entertaining. Both art and story are hard to follow with panels laid out poorly. The creative team tries to impress us by showing how casually Mongul murders people but after a while, it becames a tired, old trick, used mainly for shock value.
The last story, showing Mongul getting the crap knocked out of him by the Flash, is amusing but is far from Mongul's best showing. In fact, if I recall, that story was intended to show how powerful the Flash had become, not how dangerous Mongul was. After reading this story, you wonder why the Green Lantern Corps are having such a hard time with old yeller.
This compilation just seems unnecessary. Is Mongul such a great character that we need to learn about his background? Basically, he seems to be just another power-hungry dictator for heroes to knock around. Maybe Signalman or the Invisible Destroyer will get their own specials next.
Rating: 5 /10