Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Review: Smallville:Continuity #1

Smallville:Continuity #1came out in print last week and continued this comics unbelievable steady streak of quality. This is the final Smallville 'episode' and the series has been over for the digital crowd for some time. But I still like to feel the pages between my fingers, so I am delayed in my coverage.

We knew from the first issue of this comic that we were headed to a Crisis. And now, after building up momentum through the last several arcs, we are finally there. There is something of a sad finality to this episode knowing that none are planned afterwards. And I can only praise Bryan Q. Miller, as I seem to every month, for bringing me a fun and heroic DC universe and for making me care for the Smallville continuity more than I did while watching the show.

Here, Miller and artist Ig Guara start the episode out with a bang, showing the effects of a Crisis through time, bringing a couple of classic COIE moments, and ending with an inspirational scene for Clark which reminded me why I love the character.

I have 3 more issues and 3 more months of this comic. I am going to savor it.

We start out in the future where the Legion, while on a rescue mission, come across an all too familiar white wave of energy erasing the universe. Here we see the first homage to Crisis on Infinite Earths. The unmaking of the universe is happening in all times at once.

As for Superman and Lois, they finally made it back to their Earth after a few detours. And with some yellow sun rays, Superman gets rejuvenated.

But the Crisis is already happening here. I love the tenacity of Superman here. "It is never too late to make a difference!" Fantastic!

Unlike prior Earths though, the Monitors are using blue crisis energy. They aren't destroying this world. They are breaking it down in order to reboot the whole thing. And that brilliant idea came courtesy of Lex.

I don't know if I understand the Monitor's motivations are here. Why are they doing all this? Am I forgetting some key moment? I mean, the Anti-Monitor craved power. That I understand.

And I suppose Lex, who has been reborn and is still frustrated by his lack of memory, probably would welcome a reboot even if that means dying and coming back.

Throughout all of this, I have started to see some cracks in Otis' loyalty. Will he eventually betray Lex?

The Monitors have arrived. And they first place they have unmade is Washington D.C. The heroes there are able to slow down things enough to get the president out of there. But this is a loss. The city is gone. There is that blue energy, breaking down a city into its components. Yes, Lois and Superman are going to fight to save the planet no matter what. But this is personal. General Lane and Senator Kent both live in D.C.

Again, why the Monitors would agree with the reboot idea is something I still need to wrap my head around. Will Superman be in the new version of this universe?

It is the end of days. That means some tough decisions need to be made. Diana decides she needs to warn Paradise Island of the threat. She might never see Steve Trevor again. So she says goodbye to her special secret boy.

Hey look ... Wonder Woman! At least a recognizable one ...

I would love to read a Bryan Q Miller Wonder Woman book.

How about another great and classic Crisis moment!

Does anything say Crisis more than all the heroes together in a satellite or headquarters, preparing to team up? This reminded me of the famous Monitor satellite scene from Crisis on Infinite Earths #5.

Love it!

Despite all the action happening, despite the world being unmade around them, Miller does a good job giving us some nice character moments. We should see how these characters we have come to love would react to what's happening.

Here Chloe is weary by all the near-apocalypses she has lived through. What will it mean for her baby?

I also like how, especially in this issue, Miller references many Smallville episodes. I have to assume this magic tears moment actually happened at some point. Fans of the show must be appreciative of this internal continuity.

And here is a great Tess moment. I have liked the arc that Tess' character has been on in this book, killed, reborn as living data, acting as something akin to Oracle.

But here, Oliver wonders why she hasn't created a tangible body for herself. Maybe she is scared of feeling again, of being physical again, of being vulnerable again. The second panel with Tess small and alone is a great image for this point.

Will Tess make herself a body and somehow be sacrificed? Hmm ...

This Smallville book has really embraced a sort of classic take on the DC heroes here. This isn't the New 52. The core of these characters are pretty solid here.

Here, Superman and Batman try to figure out a way they can defeat the Monitors without killing them. How do you end a war without death?

These are two heroes who hate when people die. It would be easy to say that a 'zero body count' is an impossible mark. That they should go in with lethal force. But that would be easy. Instead, they make more coffee and keep thinking. They don't kill.

And then this page where Clark, on the Planet roof with the other heroes, rallies them to battle. This includes another panel where the American flag.

Can I say, I love that this is Clark giving this speech and not Superman. I wish I could verbalize why. Maybe it is that I think that Clark is the real identity. Maybe because he is fighting for Earth, being in this identity carries more weight. But I thought this was great.

The stage is set ... bring on the Crisis.

Overall grade: A


Anonymous said...

I simply loved all the meta in the Lois & Clark scene, the "DC", "Reboot", "Dead parents", and Lois and Clark fighting against being separated.

About the Lois/Chloe scene mentioned, it's this one:

Anonymous said...

Oops, the link: