Thursday, September 5, 2013

Lobdell On Krypton Returns And H'El

In some older news, Scott Lobdell discussed the Villains' Month H'El issue and the upcoming Krypton Returns arc over on CBR. Here is the link:

I have had this post in the queue for a while but just haven't had the energy to bring it to fruition. I really disliked H'El on Earth, I worry that Krypton Returns is only going to throw another spanner into the works, and frankly I don't know why I should give Scott Lobdell the benefit of the doubt. Outside of the Psi-War issues, his tenure on Superman and Superboy has been sub-par. And I don't think he like Supergirl too much.

All that said, it is worth reading the interview in its entirety. Forewarned and forearmed. After dragging my feet, I felt I needed to at least pick out the parts that caught my attention and add my two cents.

CBR News: Scott, "Superman" #23.3 is the first time you've had the opportunity to really delve into what makes H'El tick since the conclusion of "H'El On Earth." How will H'El re-integrate into Krypton following his arrival before the planet's destruction?
Scott Lobdell: We'll discover -- as we long suspected by the holes in H'El's tortured autobiography -- that he is much more and much less than he ever realized. This revelation is going to be particularly devastating to the already "fragile" mind of this man and send him spiraling deeper into his megalomania. Unfortunately for the known universe, he's also going to do something in the final pages of H'El that will allow him far reaching access to Krypton's past that is going to threaten nothing less than every sentient being.

Well, this is part of my problem with this whole interview. There was so little given to us about who H'El is and what he could do in the H'El on Earth arc that there won't be anything to compare new revelations to.

So I don't know he has a fragile mind, or megalomania, or that he is more/less that he realized. We had a couple of panels of him as a Kryptonian astronaut (which didn't make much sense). How am I supposed to be shocked at the 'new' origin when there wasn't an old origin to hold the new information up to.
CBR: Considering how close H'El was to Jor-El before Krypton's destruction, how will his current knowledge of Superman and Earth affect how he interacts with his former friends and colleagues?
Lobdell: It doesn't end well for anyone. Not even Zod. (Zod?! He's in this issue too?! Scott, that's crazy!) 

I don't know how this question can be asked since we have no idea how close H'El was to Jor-El. Are they close?

Now will the information that Krypton will explode affect Jor-El? Of course. But I don't want the 'new origin' to be that Jor-El learns about Krypton's doom from H'El. Jor-El needs to discover that on his own to keep his origin intact.

CBR: Will H'El's brief romantic encounter with Supergirl play any kind of role in his motivation on past Krypton?
Lobdell: Only in that he was already feeling betrayed by her (and by extension, all of Krypton) before he was discovered by young Jor El while H'El still had that shard of Kryptonite in his chest. So when he receives the bad news that he does this issue it is going to prove the final nail.

I love that H'El feels betrayed when he lied to Supergirl, beat her up ... physically and emotionally abusing her. What a horrid question.

Ugh. And it only reminds me how Supergirl was treated in that arc, especially how quickly she 'fell in love' with H'El and did everything he wanted.

CBR:H'El actions in the past obviously have a huge role to play in "Superman's" future. What kind of fallout will readers see from his actions in the past?
Lobdell: They unleash a series of time tsunamis making their way through the Omniverse, wiping out everything in their path. As Jor El is going to explain to his son, Kal -- Superman needs to eschew his Good Right Arm strategy and try to repair the damage H'El has created using all the skill of a surgeon.
Does that sound a little too gonzo? I like a Superman who travels to other times and other worlds sometimes -- I like the fact that no matter how big the threat, no matter how over the top the enemy, at the end of that day, Superman is the story about a kid from Kansas who grew up to realize the weight of the world (of several worlds, sometimes) is on his shoulders. 

So I don't know what to think about this answer. I think Superman should be more than 'a good right arm'. He should be a thinker, a planner, a strategist. He is super-intelligent. He shouldn't think with his fists. And at this point he has been around for years, so he should be smart enough to realize he needs to do more than outpunch H'El. And the writer of Superman should realize that.

I will say the 'kid from Kansas with the weight of the world on his shoulder' is a Superman I like to read. I just don't know if Lobdell has actualized that.

CBR: With all the events happening in Superman's life in the New 52 -- mind control, villain takeover in "Forever Evil," the H.I.V.E. war -- he's gone through a lot of emotional trauma this year. How will these events affect his ability to function moving forward?
Lobdell: I don't think it will affect his ability to function, at all. He's Superman! You can throw a black sun at this guy and he'll figure his way around it. That's the thing about Clark Kent, it is his rock solid core -- his belief in Truth, Justice and the American Way -- that gets him from the darkest depths into the light.
It's not like we ever have to worry about him snapping and being sent to Arkham.

Again, Lobdell says things I agree with - Clark being the core of Superman, believing in his ideals. But I just don't know if Lobdell has shown us that in the book. Yes, we have text-heavy panels where Clark says he likes being Clark... but I need to see it, not be told it.

And it is ironic that Lobdell says Superman will 'never snap' and yet a couple of issues ago we saw him vaporize Dr. Light.

Can you tell why it took so long to cover this interview? I have trouble with a lot of it. And I am trying to be positive. We'll see if the H'El one-shot helps clear some of this up.


AndNowInStereo said...

My thinking on Krypton Returns:
Please don't suck
Please don't suck
Please don't suck

Although it does look like I might not need to read all of it given that the three heroes and the villain are all over the timeline. Perhaps I can just read Supergirl and ignore the others. I really hope that by now Nelson has enough of a feel for the character to counterbalance any of Lobdell's bullshit, although I've got to be honest he's still walking a fine line with me in his own right.

Also, this Rocafort bloke who's doing the covers. I CAN see why people like his art. But it's not working for me - aside from the busy style, a lot of his faces just don't look interesting to me. I particularly don't like Supergirl on the KR cover. It looks like she's in a daze, or just plain bored. And as she's about to do her characteristic right hook into a dude's face, why so dull an expression? And what's with all that eyeliner, has being re-assembled after SG 23 given her two black eyes? The colours are nice I guess, but it's just not for me. Maybe I'd change my mind if I'd read anything he'd done interiors on.

Jay said...

For the record he didn't vaporize Dr. Light because he lost control. Him getting mad and grabbing Dr. Light for hitting Wonder Woman with energy, that was all him. The heat vision, that was Atom (Atomica, actually) shoving a sliver of kryptonite in a nerve in his brain. Ow.

Anonymous said...

This storyline sounds perfectly dreadful courtesy someone who thinks Superman is Wolverine and his long time legatees cannon fodder and jobbers. Expect the worst and DC will never let you down.