Friday, June 26, 2015

Review: Superman #41


 The review for Superman #41 will happen soon. But first a small rant.

All I want is a good Superman story.

A story where an aspirational hero with powers far beyond mortal men fights for truth, justice, and the American Way. Where he battles one of his rogues. A story where, disguised as a mild mannered reporter for a great Metropolitan newspaper, we see him value his humanity and cherish his friends.

I don't think that is what DC wants.

Because it seems that what DC has been trying to do for too long has been to do something different with Superman. It seems like DC thinks Superman as a concept is stale and needs to be freshened up. So we end up with stories where he walks across the country acting aloof. Or where he becomes Doomsday.

And now we have The Truth, a story where he loses his powers and his secret identity.

Superman #41 is the first part of The Truth, an issue that precedes the identity reveal, showing us the events that lead to Lois telling the world about Clark. It is the first issue by writer Gene Luen Yang. And it isn't very good. The whole thing is basically derailed by the shoddy portrayal of Clark, both in his civilian identity as well as when acting as Superman.

Sadly, the first issue released in The Truth was Action Comics #41, a sort of throwback issue that gave me some optimism. But each subsequent issue has been worse than the last, leading to this issue with a Superman/Clark I simply don't recognize.


The issue starts with Clark and Jimmy planning on heading to a sporting event. Before they can head out, Clark gets a text from an unidentified caller saying they know the source of an influx of technically advanced weapons. Maybe Clark should investigate.

Now I suppose that Clark, as an investigative journalist, might get anonymous tips directly to his phone. But would he trust them, drop all his plans to follow-up? And wouldn't he be a bit more curious about how someone got his number?

But he decides to investigate.

Now here is where things get wonky, almost nonsensical.

Clark has gotten a tip about the factory of advanced weaponry. Rather that do a fly by using xray vision, rather than going directly as Superman, he decides the best thing to do is sneak in, as Clark, with Jimmy! Jimmy knows he's Superman! Why not be prepared and go in as Superman? Or reconnoiter? Jimmy could still get the story from the outside, from safety.

Instead, Jimmy is there, in his bright yellow tank top, as some slick arms dealer is showing off a three dimensional printer capable of making individualized weapons.

No big surprise, Clark and Jimmy are discovered. Clark has to change into Superman in order to rescue Jimmy. He then begins to dismantle the place.

At least we get one tiny sliver of proof that the concept of Superman still exists. A flunky is surprised to be saved by Superman but Jimmy reminds the thug that saving people is what Jimmy does.

But then, in another one of those moments I don't quite understand, Superman uses a more controlled solar flare to destroy the giant 3-D printer which has become a sort of attacking robot.

Why the flare? Hasn't he fought giant robots for years before he knew about this power? Isn't it like using a bazooka to swat a fly.

But the inanity and insanity continues.

First off, we see him getting dressed in his Clark garb in the middle of the planet staff area. Not a broom closet. Not the roof. The main floor. Lois approaches as he is buttoning his shirt.

Lois hears about Clark and Jimmy's story and shows them that the arms dealer in the factory was their recently elected Senator.

Why didn't Clark recognize him? Well, it seems when he ran for office he wore a fake mustache. What??
And while we hear that Clark was on assignment when the election was won, you think he would still know the man from the primaries or lead up to the election.

And why would this guy wear a fake mustache? Why not put on a mask when acting as an arms dealer.

Regardless, the story breaks and the Senator is arrested. It is a story so big that even Perry toasts Clark and Jimmy.

At least here, Lois is written pretty well. Although I think the 'fooled by fake mustache' line is a jab at her being fooled by Clark's glasses.

The next day, Clark gets another text from his anonymous informant. They want Clark to turn over a woman coming into the Planet to the authority. And to not believe what she has to say.

And he better do it ...

Because whoever it is has the goods on Clark. Pictures of him changing back and forth from Clark to Superman. A side by side comparison of their faces, the works. And Clark better obey their demands ... or else.

What is Clark's first thought? That Jimmy has betrayed him. He practically throttles Jimmy, shaking him while accusing him of the reveal. That's not the Clark I know, immediately thinking the worst of his friends.

It is only then that Clark remembers that when he uses his flare power, he is slightly depowered. Maybe his speed isn't what it was, allowing these pictures to be snapped.

As stated, the woman walks into the Planet. But before Lois can spirit her away (she has more news about the arms dealing), Clark turns her over to some Federal Agents who just happen to show up at the same time.

This isn't the Superman I want to read. This isn't the Clark I want to read. He would allow a threat to himself interfere with the truth. He doesn't even check to see if these are actual agents. He just lets them take her!

At least Lois puts up a fight here.

This is wrong.


Especially when the anonymous tipper starts to sound like a blackmailer.

The clenched fist shows it. Clark knows he screwed up.

But how would he feel if the next day they found this woman dead? Would he ever just turn her over? Listen to this person and potentially hurting someone else?


But once again we see some absurd ideas by Clark.

He has to rescue this woman. So instead of going as Superman, he dons a ninja suit. He is still somewhat depowered from the flare attack that destroyed the robot-printer. He jumps on their moving car, telling the informant that he is there to help (an attempt to sound like Superman at least).

With the woman in his arms, he runs back to Jimmy, waiting in a car. Lois shows up, having tailed Jimmy. Then Clark shows up, bleeding and battered from his 'Captain America' style rescue.

The bad guys follow along and shoot the car up with machine guns. Everyone could be dead.

Isn't this an idiotic rescue mission? Ninja clothes? Jimmy is again squarely in the line of fire. This whole thing sounds like a bad idea. After his years of heroing, this was his best idea?

I just don't know what to say. Incredibly, for the first time in a while, I was very pleased with how the supporting characters were written. Lois and Jimmy were written well. The characterization of Clark is so foreign to me in this issue that I don't know who I am reading. It might say Superman on the cover, but at least in this issue, it didn't read like Superman.

Overall grade: C-

27 comments:

Martin Gray said...

Inanity and insanity just about covers it. What a rotten issue.

Oh, do r a story in which Lois AND Clark both get to be admirable.

Anonymous said...

Looks like it's my duty to defend this issue. Here we go...

In my opinion, this isn't poor characterisation. If Superman protecting his anonimity were a question of simply wanting a normal human life, then there'd be little stopping him from turning up somewhere else with a new secret identity. But that wouldn't help any of Clark's friends. Protecting his anonimity is exactly how he's shielded everybody he's ever had a connection with. A comprimised secret identity means that everyone he ever knew would have their lives torn apart. Think about it, they would be harassed by media for the rest of their lives, they would be targetted for reprisals by government agents, petty thugs, the criminal underworld, a range of powerful supervillains seeking vengeance on Superman. What would happen to Pete Ross? Lana Lang? The thousands of people living in Smallville? His school, his friends and teachers, his college, and all the employees at the Daily Star and the Daily Planet? What about Lois, Jimmy and Perry, Ron Troupe, Lucy Lane and Cat Grant? What happens to their respective families as well?

Remember that amazing two-parter 'Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow'? In that story, his identity got exposed. It led to a series of attacks on his friends and everyone at the Daily Planet. At the end of the story, Lana was dead, as was Pete Ross and Jimmy Olsen. We see similar things happening in the Truth storyline. Thusfare, Smallville has been gutted, civilians have mysteriously vanished, Lana Lang and Steel have been kidnapped (they could be killed, beaten and tortured, who knows?) the police are about to burn Clark's neighborhood down in AC 42 and the Superman 44 solicitations indicate that the Daily Planet is about to be put in the firing line. Lois is receiving death threats...what'll happen to her, I wonder? So until Superman finds away to salvage his secret identity, everyone Clark ever knew has had their lives destroyed, careers ruined, families endangered. It's not his anonimity he's guarding, it's those of his friends.

Now, if Superman had actually let that girl get kidnapped, then we'd have a problem. But that's not what happened here. He'd already planned to rescue her before she showed up at the Planet, and he saved her at huge personal risk (given the fact that he was seriously depowered the whole time and got shot), while attempting to protect his anonimity which is so vital in shielding all his friends. That's not selfishness, that's pure courage, and has zero to do with protecting one's own skin.

On to other things: sure, he was rough with those kidnappers, but it's not like he murdered them in cold blood...besides, haven't we seen aggressive Superman in previous eras (Golden Age anyone...?). And as for Jimmy accompanying him early on in the issue, haven't we seen countless stories in the past where Lois and Jimmy accompany Clark on his adventures?

I kinda agree with your point about his accusations to Jimmy, though, but in the context of the danger to his friends, I'm not too fussed.

Honestly Anj, I'd give this issue another chance. It's not so much the actions of the main character that's a problem, but the fact that the writer fails to properly flesh out his motives in a single issue. But this issue needs to be judged in the context of entire story arc as a whole. Let's see how it unfolds.

Martin Gray said...

Pardon the literal, that last line should contain the phrase 'oh, for a story'... Apologies.

Greg A said...

Hearing Gene Luen Yang didn't do good job confuses me because I had really enjoyed The Shadow Hero. In fact, his work on Shadow Hero was the reason I allowed myself some optimism about the direction of the Superman titles.

Oh well, given the general opinion of this story line, I'll probably just wait until I happen to see the collection on a library shelf in about six months.

Anonymous said...

I see why you tweeted you were having trouble condensing your rant about Superman's current condition, I wouldn't have blamed you for going on a longer post myself. But as always, you make astute and sound points in your review critiquing the mess that Truth has become. From the looks of it, I actually think Lois comes off nearly as badly as Clark in this issue. Mocking Clark's ability to be tipped off about the story, the fake mustache 'gag' and her characterisation in general wasn't what Yang's been promising in his interviews thus far. Of course, his writing of Clark was even worse which disappointed me most. Overusing the Solar Flare power when Superman is more than powerful enough to destroy robots without it, changing out of his costume in the middle of the Daily Planet office like a newbie superhero, bending to the will of an anonymous blackmailer just because they know who he is. I'm sad this is how Yang is writing Superman, I loved his Avatar: The Last Airbender graphic novels and his depiction of Aang made me hopeful he could do Superman justice. Sadly, I'm wholly unsatisfied with his first DC story impression.

And I definitely disagree with the defense for Clark turning the girl over to some federal agents, the arguments presented were hardly compelling. There's still no way Superman would ever turn a girl over to be potentially imprisoned, interrogated or harmed. And there's no way Superman would ever refuse to help someone, no matter who they are. Helping people is what he does, what drives him, and to betray that principle like what happened in this issue really aggravates me as a Superman fan. The absurdity of Clark's secret blackmailer was summed up in a tweet I remember seeing which said "Why yes DC, a man with super vision & super hearing WOULD make no effort to find his mysterious blackmailer & just obey their demands blindly."

Louis

Zoraida said...

Great review! I was actually surprised that this issue did justice to Lois, to be honest I had my serious concerns that new writer would get her right, to my delight Lois was still Lois!! So kuddos to Yang for that.

I have to agree that Lois, Jimmy and the little Perry's panel we got with Clark feel right, it is always satisfying to see the Daily Planet gang interacting like "old times", a good reminder what we are missing since New 52 ripped Superman off his myth.

Clark was AWFUL!! Honestly I reciprocate Dranj's feelings about this issue regarding Clark & Superman's characterization. And after reading this, I am wondering if Lois outed Superman to the world because she saw that Superman was acting reckless with the super flare. I am starting to believe that this power is somehow corrupting Clark's personality as well as depowering him. In the article that outed his secret identity it was said that Dr. Hamilton fears that Superman is "unstable" and he is like an atom bomb waiting to explode, my theory is Lois, having same concerns, now that she knows Clark=Superman, talked to Dr. Hamilton about the super flare and would it mean for Superman and the world. In this issue we clearly saw a guy who was not acting like Superman is meant to act, his lack of moral compass was very present in his acts with Condesa. Horrible, he gave in a person to presumably "authorities" without further investigation, just to save his secret identity? That's not Superman, that's not the son The Kents raised! The only time I saw Superman acting this selfish was in Lodbell's run when Superman deliberately throw Lois to Parasite in an attempt to get rid of her memories about him being Superman. This felt exactly the same. And why use the new power in a robo-tank when he KNOWS the effects it has on him. That was very irresponsible, he almost fried everyone including his pal Jimmy!

I don't really understand what was the point of revealing his identity to Jimmy when it is obvious Clark doesn't trust Jimmy that much! His first thought when the first message was sent was that Jimmy betrayed him! This doesn't make sense at all. One of the positive things about Johns' run was the fact that brought back Clark to the DP, back to a recognizable aspect of the myth, but only to be taken away now the world knows. If this will be the new status quo, a world without Clark Kent, and that means no Clark no SuperMAN, I don't think I'm interested in this version at all. DC can only mess with this character a few times before all this changes start to make this a NON SUPERMAN.

Zoraida

Stephen Mitchell said...

"A story where an aspirational hero with powers far beyond mortal men fights for truth, justice, and the American Way. Where he battles one of his rogues. A story where, disguised as a mild mannered reporter for a great Metropolitan newspaper, we see him value his humanity and cherish his friends."

Sweet, go read a bunch of back issues. DC is trying to do something new for the character. You would prefer the same old stuff that has been done for 75 years? You're in luck because there's plenty of material there in the bargain bin at your local comic shop.

Meanwhile I'll be over here enjoying Superman stories meant for today's day and age.

Anj said...

Thanks for all the comments so far.

I'm not surprised that this issue is going to stir the pot a bit. This is a different take on Superman and we haven't even got to the reveal yet so who knows how all this will play out.

Anon, I agree that Superman understands what protecting his identity means for all those involved. We have seen already in SM/WW that Smallville is getting some backlash. What I question is his not trying to discover who the person is, even after the first texts. I question his turning over the woman to the feds as quickly as he did. And yes, he does go rescue her. But the decision to turn her over was so quick. I'd have died for some inkling that he debated doing it or knew he was going to chase her down ... a thought balloon or talking about it with Jimmy.

This just felt off.

Anj said...

Sweet, go read a bunch of back issues. DC is trying to do something new for the character. You would prefer the same old stuff that has been done for 75 years? You're in luck because there's plenty of material there in the bargain bin at your local comic shop.

I just want to make sure I get you.

You don't think that Superman should be an aspirational hero with powers far beyond mortal men fights for truth, justice, and the American Way, who battles his rogues? You don't think he should be disguised as a mild mannered reporter for a great Metropolitan newspaper, value his humanity, and cherish his friends.

If you don't think those things, you don't want to read Superman. Maybe I should be pointing you to a different section of comics?

I understand that Superman can be different things to different people. But I think the core of who he is can't be changed too much or you simply become something else.

I don't want to read Majestic. Or Sentry. Or Apollo. Or Hyperion. Or any of the other deconstructed Superman archetypes written for this modern world. So I shouldn't have to do it here.

And if you want to read those versions of Superman, you should read them there.

I suppose we'll have to see just where this all goes over time.

Anonymous said...

Yes DC is trying to do something new with the character and they're seriously in danger of screwing up Superman's character, what he stands for and how the character will be viewed in the future comic industry. If this is the price of having a Superman story meant for today's age, it's a price that is way too high to pay, considering that it takes away everything recognisable, familiar and intrinsic about Superman in the first place. Superman stories since the New 52 haven't really been proper Superman stories for a while now, the falling sales, negative fan reactions and editorial idiocy are a testament to this. We don't just want the old stuff repeated over again but we want something that respects Superman's rich history and iconic story setup. Yet DC have saddled fans with this terrible premise and poor execution of a storyline.

Louis

Jay said...

I thought it was a great issue. Luen Yang hit all the right notes of a Golden Age Superman story. Heck even one of the characters was straight from Superman #1 Vol. 1. This team is definitely writing a Superman...its just one that hasn't been seen in a long time, and personally I think now is the perfect time for that Superman to come back into the light of day. I think the storyline keeps getting better, personally, and am glad to see that the team has thought up of something not vanilla. Keep doing what you're doing, Super Team.

Anonymous said...

This version of Superman isn't "new", unless one is talking about being new for Superman. It's the same-old-same-old we get with every other hero. What we're getting with this version of Superman is an angry dudebro, a bit stupid and thoughtless, self-centered and unaware of not only his surrounding but his own emotional state. I get that DC wants to do something new with him, but making him like every other angry jerk hero out there isn't new, it's just reimaging him into a poor copy of other heroes. If I wanted to read Mister Majestic I can find those books in the dollar bin.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anj! And you're quite right, it did feel off, so I'm not going to disagree with your negative review. I guess the point I was trying to make was... Clark was placed in a sticky situation. Let's say he did follow up the blackmailer...would that in turn lead to his identity getting blown? Maybe he made the wrong decision, but I'd argue his motives were to protect others. One false step and his identity gets blown, and everyone he ever knew is placed in terrible danger. So what is he going to do? Let a girl get kidnapped to shield his connections, hide her from those agents and place his friends in danger, or find a way to save both the girl and shield his connections in one go? He chose the third course, and it's up to the reader to decide whether that decision was correct or not.

As for the blackmailer, we really don't know who he/she is and what he's up against, what his capabilities are, etc., and rushing in head on could lead to his ID being revealed, and I've already explained what the consequences of that would be. So at the end of the day, any decision he makes will have consequences for others, no matter what. The problem here is the way the story is constructed around Clark's decision, the context in which it is framed, and the fact that his motivations aren't fleshed out. But we need to judge this issue within the context of the whole storyline. Maybe Yang is putting forth an argument in favour of Lois' decision to out Superman, and maybe we'll see the severe consequences of that in issue 44, and the story will be flipped on it's head.

Who knows. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. But I hope I'm right.

And Louis, While I'd agree that there have been many problems with Superman post-flashpoint, these characterisation issues go way back prior to the reboot, and moreover I think Morrison, Pak, Johns and Snyder have all crafted stories that respect the character. And I wasn't aware that the sales were in a bad state.

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Anonymous said...

Even though nothing I heard about The Truth storyline sounded like anything that I wanted to read I promised to give it a chance. Supergirl as a Red Lantern sounded atrocious and just wrong for the character but it worked out amazingly and set the character on the right path (only for her book to then be cancelled). However, after reading all The Truth issues this month I can say that The Truth is not for me. Superman's characterization is all over the place, Lois came across really whiny when she was telling Clark how her life hasn't been that great ever since she revealed the truth, and here Clark comes across as an idiot by using his solar flare for a battle where he didn't need it and for not even attempting to find out who the hacker is.

I've read in interviews that the writers basically wanted to make Superman badass like Batman and to have him be the intergalactic Batman. Um, no. Superman is not Batman. Don't try and fit him into some "badass" Batman role. De-powering him, revealing his secret identity, giving him a motorcycle, and having him wear a tee shirt and jeans might make him a "badass" but it also makes him not Superman. I don't mind new things being done to the character (I kind of liked the Electric Superman) but this is just a case of trying to make Superman into something he's not.

The sad thing about this is that Pak and Kuder were knocking it out of the park when they were allowed to tell their own story. It's all of these cross-overs (H'El on Earth, Krypton Returns, Doomed, The Truth) that keep dragging the Super-books down. After The Truth is over hopefully the books can do their own things without some giant horrible bloated cross-over wrecking things again.
-Kon

Jay said...

Pak and Kuder are doing their own thing. This isn't an event. Truth is just more a premise than an event. The premise being an altered status quo with the power issue and identity issue. Each title is telling their own stories within that status quo though, they're far from connected. That's why it doesn't mesh chronologically; they don't have to because it isn't a crossover.

In any case, I guess I'll be in the minority here and say I loved this. The characterizations were spot on, we got some Clark/Lois/Jimmy time, it had a completely deliberate Golden Age feel (even the dirty senator was a character from the original Superman #1), and it sets up a new mystery that will clearly tie into the existing mystery of what causes Lois to bring to light Superman's alter ego. Other than missing the costume and my preferred hairdo (we can keep that S though, I love it), and a little miffed over pretending Kara doesn't exist in all this, I think this new Superman direction is roaring out of the gate.

Anonymous said...

Just a couple more points: first, we don't know what the capabilities of that 3D printer robot are, so it seems a little harsh to criticize Superman for setting off his solar flare, especially since the Justice League helped him master the ability to emit much smaller, more controlled blasts.

Second, the whole guy-wearing-a-mustache thing is a deliberate parallel to Superman himself. We are reading a comic about a guy who disguises himself with a pair of glasses, after all, it shouldn't come across as dumb within the context of the story.

Finally, I may as well reiterate my earlier point, that protecting one's identity is not a selfish thing, especially for a like Superman who has had no trouble creating different identities in the past (which has never really been explained that well). Honestly, Lois may be well written now, but I think her decision is going to backfire on her and a lot of people in a very, very bad way.

Jay said...

Hmm, it didn't seem like my post went through before, so I'll do it in another browser...apologies though if by chance this is a repeat.

Anyway, in regards to Pak and Kuder doing their own thing, they still are right now. This isn't a conventional crossover. "Truth" is far more just the title of a premise than a crossover event. This is seen in that each of the four titles featuring Superman this month are telling their own separate tales. This is also partly why its not in chronological order; it doesn't have to be (the other reason of course being they're purposely crafting this so we have to wait to find out Lois's motivation).

As for this issue, I'll have to join the minority here: I loved it. Nothing felt off at all to me, Clark, Lois, and Jimmy were all characterized fantastic, and seeing them all together again was great fun. It also had an entirely deliberate Golden Age feel all around that I appreciated; even the dirty senator was a character first seen in the original Superman #1. I like how it established yet another mystery with the anonymous texter, and the strong likelihood that this will tie into the existing mystery of why Lois outs the identity. All in all, I feel this new direction has pretty much stormed out of the gate, with two fantastic issues (Action, Superman), and the other two while not as good as the main two, still good in their own right (BM/SM, SM/WW). There's not a lot more I could ask for here outside my continued preference for his proper costume and haircut (though we can keep that S though, grows on me more and more each week).

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the minority Jay! Glad I'm not the only one who enjoyed it :)

Jay said...

Good to be here, haha. But yeah, nothing seemed odd about Clark to me at all. I didn't get the impression he nearly attacked Jimmy, nor that he truly believed he was betrayed. He looked concerned, and a little scared, not mad. And he was mostly afraid Jimmy might have let something slip by accident, not something he did intentionally. Which I mean, I think he had every reason to wonder. You tell your friend a big secret, and then you find out someone you don't know also has that secret...its a natural wonder if there's a connection. It doesn't speak to negatively on Clark's end to me, at all.

And Clark didn't turn over the woman willy-nilly. He planned to rescue her all along (hence why he asked Jimmy for a favor beforehand. The favor was being his getaway car when he rescued her). It was classic "play the coward" Clark Kent vs his real image. I mean, that's textbook to the classic tales. At the same time he's trying to kill two birds with one stone by acting like he's playing along, but hey, someone else happened to save the girl. Not his fault. Only the blackmailer is a step ahead and tells Clark its not like this is the end.

Anj said...

Sorry folks.

A bunch of comments weirdly went to spam. Just getting them up now.

Thanks for pointing out Clark asking Jimmy for the favor. It does show how he was thinking ahead. Still risky.

Totally interesting to see some people (like me) saying this was not Superman while others say this was totally Superman. Always glad to read the other viewpoints and see things I missed.

Thanks for great discussion!

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more, Jay, plus I'm not convinced that he could easily follow up that blackmailer when completely depowered and cut off from his fortress of solitude, especially considering that he had a very limited time span in which to act before that girl showed up. Protecting one's identity is so important to protect others.

Anyways, I love all your reviews, Anj, keep them coming!!

Mike said...

Couldn't disagree with you more, Anj. I thought #41 was a very strong issue, from a very strong writer.

I take particular exception with your characterization of how Clark treats Jimmy in this issue. You say Clark assumes the worst of his friends -- that his "first thought is that Jimmy has betrayed him" -- but if you read that page carefully, you'll see that Clark never once accuses Jimmy of having revealed his secret. It's the most logical explanation, given this continuity where only Jimmy knows, but Clark doesn't assume, he asks. And, yes, he asks, several times, and strongly- "Did you tell anyone?...You know how dangerous it'd be... Did you ever slip up?" But never once does he decide Jimmy did; in fact, as soon as Jimmy says, "Clark, you gotta believe me, I'm your best friend," Clark's very next thought is, "Maybe it's my fault" - and by the page's last panel he's asking Jimmy for a favor. He doesn't "practically throttle" Jimmy - he holds him by the shoulders, but there is no hint any shaking is going on. Jimmy doesn't seem scared for his physical safety. And the expression on Clark's face is one of panic, not anger. I would be panicked too, if some anonymous social media cyber-stalker was threatening to "out" me as Superman.

You don't have to like the issue, but don't misrepresent its contents.

Anj said...

You don't have to like the issue, but don't misrepresent its contents.

Hoo boy.

I have nothing nefarious about my reviews.

And this is were art can be tricky because you and I have read that scene very differently. There are no thought balloons, caption boxes, or any other ways to put some deeper context into that scene with Jimmy.

In this instance, his first thought isn't 'could it have been me', it's to run and grab Jimmy. You don't think Clark asking him 'Did you tell anyone' isn't as accusation? Let's also remember that Clark has super-strength. Jimmy goes from leaning deep into the chair to being upright once Clark grabs him, as if he has been pulled from the chair. And the first look I see on Jimmy's face is fear. The second one looks like annoyance or anger, as if how could Clark think to accuse him. Only then does Clark think its him.

I have read comics for a long time. That is how I read that scene.

I don't need to make things up in my reviews. I want to read good Superman stories.

But ... and this is key ... I don't want anyone telling me that I am 'misrepresenting' a comic when I review it. I review the book how I read it.

It is clear that The Truth is going to be divisive. Let's try to be civil.

Mike said...

Hi, Anj - I regret my choice of words. You're right; art is open to different interpretations. I think I gave the words more weight than the visuals and, of course, comics being what they are, they have to work together.

I stand by my reading of the scene, because I think Clark's characterization in the rest of the issue backs it up; but it wasn't my intent to characterize you as "nefarious," and I apologize for having done so.

Thanks for the reply.

Anj said...

Thanks for discussion.

Interesting to see the different interpretations of this issue, so varied and sometimes completely opposite to each other.

Anonymous said...

One more point, to be fair. When he's changing in the staff area, it was established from the beginning of the issue that it was after hours at the Planet. He and Jimmy had no reason to think they were not alone, which is why when she does show up Clark asks Lois what she's doing there.

I'm also not sure about this entire arc, and the writers are going to have to do a lot to prove they are not just trying to assassinate Lois's character here.

Gerry Beritela