Metropolis television news reporter Billy McCoy debuts a preview of a piece he is working on titled “Superman in Metropolis: Messiah or Menace?” Of course, the piece is slanted toward the anti-Superman side. Lois, McCoy’s boss, disagrees with the piece, also of course. Meanwhile, Clark Kent visits the graves of his parents, gets a phone call reminding him that he’s late to meet another reporter for a piece on Metropolis’ homeless or something of the like, and on his return flight to Metropolis runs into yet another elemental based alien threat, that leaves in its wake “A City Frozen…and it’s (his) Superman’s Fault!”
While the art on Superman remains superb, and the mysterious alien threat that somehow ties to Krypton remains…mysterious, all of the intelligent commentary that packed the first issue of this New 52’s Superman (intelligent writing and commentary that I gushed over unexpectedly) has since pretty much dried up. The story in Superman now consists of a mostly poor characterization of Lois (admittedly better this issue—but horrific last issue), and the beating of what is quickly becoming a dead horse: Superman as a feared and alternately hated “menace.” For the umpteenth time, Superman is not a Marvel Mutant, but I will refrain from being guilty of what I myself am deriding here…I won’t beat my own dead horse anymore.
This current storyline wraps up in February, along with Perez and Scott’s run. Sadly, I’ll miss Perez and Scott’s art, but not their story. I felt a slight glimmer of hope when I heard that none other than Dan Jurgens will be returning to Superman (The Dan Jurgens that brought us some of the best Superman stories ever), but it was quickly dashed when I saw that Superman will be taking on Helspont, another one of those old Wildstorm imprint villains that DC Comics (i.e. Jim Lee) is trying to make relevant and central to the DC Universe. One can argue that Superman vs. Helspont will be something new and different, but really it’s just more of the same. I don’t see any intelligent, groundbreaking, or new storytelling spinning out of a “Superman vs. washed out villain from a cancelled imprint” tale. Hopefully, I’m wrong, and I will be pleasantly surprised. Either way, I’m too far into my lifelong adventure with Superman comics to skip it, so I’ll buy it, deride it, and wish for better days…maybe.
Four months into The New 52 and I can happily say that I’ve seen and read much more from the relaunch that I have liked than I have disliked. Mostly because the other two hot properties, Green Lantern and Batman, weren’t messed with so badly. In Batman’s case, the comics and stories were actually and significantly improved. I’m still not happy with where the Superman stories are going though. I know I said that Secret Origin hallmarked the dawn of a new age in comics: A Neo-Silver Age, but DC Comics apparently didn’t like my assertion. Instead they have decided to scrap the organic birth of a new age of comics (of which they once again proudly lead the charge into) in order to do it more blatantly and under better sales circumstances. I wish I never said that “when Superman gets rebooted a new age in comics begins” or something of the like. We might not have to be putting up with this poor excuse for a Superman story right now. I like it that DC Comics is listening, but also wish I kept my mouth (or keyboard actually) a little more quiet.
By the way, this is the infamous butt cover issue. For the final cover version of this issue, Perez and Buccellato highlighted Superman’s ass for me with a thin read line. This little bit of butt lining wasn't visible in the original promo cover art. Thanks guys…that's just what Superman's costume and fans needed.