Friday, December 14, 2012

Review: Action Comics #15 Back-up Feature

I will be catching up on overdue reviews today and tomorrow. Sorry for delays!

One of the consequences of Grant Morrison leaving Action Comics is that the Sholly Fisch back-up features are going with them. No need to rehash my love for them. I will say it must feel daunting to be writing the back-up strip in a Morrison book. Fisch has risen to the task.

The stories usually have dealt with some personal moment in the life of Superman or his supporting cast, some piece that needed to be fleshed out and built upon. From the Kents' struggle with infertility to saying goodbye to Lana to creating his tee shirts, each story has been the mortar between the big stones of the title's story, supporting it and making it stronger.

That is what makes the feature in Action Comics #15 so interesting. Because here it focuses on Mr. Mxyzptlk. It doesn't necessarily strengthen Superman foundation. But it does add to the story of Vyndktvx and how we got to this point in time. What was Mr.. Mxyzptk's greatest trick?

While special, becoming the jester for the King of the land of Zrff was not his greatest trick.

Look at one of the things he pulled out of the king's ear. Is that a refrigerator running? We should catch it!

How about wooing Princess Gsptlnsz?

Good, but not his greatest trick!

And sparring with Superman all the time, battles we haven't even seen yet, is his favorite trick, but not his greatest.

I can't wait to see these future battles.

How about being wished into our three dimensional world. working as a magician, and being united with his Princess, now Ms. Nyxly? Close!

I would love for their to be more stories about this time in their lives. I imagine wacky crime-fighting stories where Mxy has some rudimentary magic and thinks our world is silly. I am getting a sort of Thin Man Nick and Nora feeling.

Nope, the greatest trick was having a son here. A fifth dimensional baby born into our world. Little Ferlin, the greatest trick of all.

Well as a dad, I can say I think my greatest gift has been my children, so I love that look of unconditional love on the faces of the parents here.

But I wonder if Ferlin somehow plays into the end, a sort of proxy Superman, a super-powered son on an adopted planet. He even has a personal stake against Vyndktvyx.

So a cute story filled with the whimsy of Mr. Mxyzptlk, one with a nice ending.

Chris Sprouse does the artwork here and does a good job of being just cartoony enough in the 5th dimension to be cartoony and just real enough in the 3D world to be realistic, but both close enough to eac other to be blurred. Great stuff by him here.

Overall grade: B+


valerie21601 said...

Ferlin? Merlin? Ferlin? Merlin? I wonder if there is a connection between them? ;)

Anj said...

Interesting theory.

There was a Ferlin Nyxly in the 70's Superman. Will try to dig up an issue to review.

valerie21601 said...

I didn't know that one. So many fine details from the past I never knew about Superman's retro history.