Comics / Comic Reviews / DC Comics

Superman #13 (A Prelude to H'el on Earth) Review

By Andy Frisk
October 24, 2012 - 17:32

H'el is going to be the new bad guy to beat up on Superman and his bratty (since the launch of The New 52) cousin Supergirl and Superman's clone, Superboy. H'el is either another Kryptonian who somehow survived Krytpon's destruction or is some demon from Krypton's pantheon or something, we really don't know yet. What we do know is that he has the worst pun of a name there ever was. It looks like even the superior artwork of Kenneth Rocafort isn't going to be able to save yet another New 52 Superman story from being the laughing stock of the comic book world...

Since Superman #13 is just a "Prelude to H'el on Earth" we don't get much H'el, but we do get yet another hell of a bad story which shamefully takes its title from a brilliant line in the new Man of Steel trailer: "They Will Join You in the Sun...". In this issue alone, Clark not only pines over Lois' apparent decision to move in with her boyfriend (after Clark has already hooked up with Wonder Woman), he mistakes Dr. Vertias' (I have no idea who she is) conversation with him to be the beginning of a seduction play, then walks in on Jimmy and some chick getting it on in his shower (Jimmy is his "best friend and current mooch" i.e. they're roommates). Apparently, Lobdell is attempting to up the sexiness level (to the adolescent crowd) of Superman. He doesn't exactly want to dump all the old Superman corniness, though. In an effort to champion the old Superman values of "Truth, Justice, and The American Way" he has Clark actually quote these platitudes while quitting his job at The Daily Planet. Then of course the Kryptonian dinosaur from hell (sorry can't stop the puns myself) shows up followed by a (once again) pissed off Kara Zor El who still doesn't believe that Clark is really Kal El, her cousin, or that Krypton is gone. Ho hum...haven't we already been here multiple times in the Superman titles over the past horrible story filled year? Even Superman himself seems to be tired of his own story when he states to Kara "I"m not up for a few more rounds of your trying to find your way in the world by pounding on your baby cousin." It's almost as if Superman really doesn't give a damn about Kara anyway...the Superman I know would have moved Heaven, Earth, and what was left of Krypton to help out his family...

The one saving grace about Superman #13 is its awesome interior artwork. Kenneth Rocafort always came off to me as a poor man's Marc Silvestri, but with better drawn anatomy which really makes his art more enjoyable, and better, than Silvestri's. He takes the best aspects of Silvestri's style and raises them up a level. I enjoy his art and like his take on Superman (even if I still can't get used to the new costume).

A comic book cannot thrive on art alone though, and Superman #13 is just another in a long line of pretty terrible stories about one of the most popular superheroes of all time. One that no one now recognizes.    

Rating: 4 /10

Last Updated: July 2, 2020 - 16:53

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