Monday, August 21, 2017

Review: Superman #29

Superman #29 came out last week and was a nice little read, merging the Green Lantern mythos and Superman. The usual plotting team of Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason are not here. Keith Champagne, who I know mostly as an inker is writer here. Doug Mahnke is on art.

Champagne does a good job of bringing us the inspirational hero that Superman should be. Between tirelessly looking for missing children to spouting some words of wisdom to public to sacrificing himself for others, Superman is very much the classic hero. I even like how Champagne describes Superman's vision powers. As for the story itself, Superman as a symbol against fear makes perfect sense.

And Doug Mahnke brings his usual powerful style to the proceedings. In particular, the end scenes with the villain are incredible. Even the title page is fabulous, an almost poster worthy pose.

But this grand, superhero fights supervillain story was a bit welcome after the last history lesson issues. Trust me, I loved those issues. But getting back to the super-stuff was nice.

The book opens up with a kid named Zee in Metropolis playing the DCU version of Pokemon Go!, a game where you find Cap'n Carrot and the Zoo Crew. How awesome is that! Instead, Zee comes upon an actual yellow energy little monster.

The next page is this dynamic splash of Superman streaking to the camera. Talk about a 'smack you in the face' image. Mahnke can just bring it. You can feel the speed of this. And I love the look of determination on Superman's face.

Despite being called 'A Minute Longer', the page has the theme of fear written on the skyscrapers. Nice touch.

It turns out that Zee has been one of many children in Metropolis who have gone missing. Everyone is nervous, even Superman, about their children.

Superman has no lead to go on when he meets with the parents of the missing children. He says that courage is lasting one more minute before giving in to fear. These folks need to find that one more minute inside them.

All right. Not a bad little statement.

Reminds me of a line from The 13th Warrior, a movie I love that no one else does. In it Buliwyf says 'Luck often enough, will save a man, if his courage hold.'

The scene seems to be flooded with a yellow tinge. Even Jimmy's pictures have a yellow pall.

That gives Superman the idea that maybe this is emotional spectrum energy. He strains his vision to see the yellow energy. He picks up the footprints of two more children (earlier we had seen a possessed Zee luring another child away).

I like how Champagne says that opening his eyes open to these spectrums is an effort, hurting Superman. But that doesn't matter, the time has come to find these children.

(Maybe the 'fear' written in lightning bolt is a bit much.)

The trail leads to an abandoned building. You would think those would be the first place heroes would look at!

It is interesting how the creature is playing on Superman's ability to deal with fear. As he approaches, this voice is badgering Superman about how he should be afraid for the children. He even senses that Superman is afraid.

I think that having a Superman who is still afraid of failure makes great sense. What else could drive him but fear of not being able to save people?

No big surprise, the villain of the piece turns out to be Parallax.

He has possessed Zee. He has grown on the fear of these children. And now he wants to possess Superman. With that kernel of fear inside Superman, it seems the Man of Steel is ripe. Parallax dives into Superman ....

But after a brief struggle, Superman is able to cast him out. It is that one more minute of courage that gave him the time to repel this thing.

It is a brief respite. Parallax says he will kill the kids. In a move straight from The Exorcist, Superman offers up his body for Parallax to control if he will spare the children. And so we get a Yellow Lantern Superman.

I don't know what to say. Trusting Parallax to spare the kids, giving his invulnerable body over to a fear demon ... it seems risky.

It turns out that someone else besides Superman was hunting down Parallax.

Nice closing page and cliffhanger.

Should Superman be a Yellow Lantern? Nah. Should his body be a receptacle for a fear demon (even if willingly offered)? Probably not. Was this a good little superhero story? Sure. Was the art great? Definitely.

Besides, I think I am going to like seeing Superman and Sinestro team-up. What a DCCP that would have made.

Overall grade: B-


Anonymous said...

"It turns out that Zee has been one of many children in Metropolis who have gone missing."

Dollmaker? Is that you?

Pretty good issue, a little different of the whole run so far which had been dominated by Superman's relationship with his wife and son. Here we have an entertaining romp between super-beings.

Superman becoming Parallax's vessel? I didn't see that coming. I ask if Emerald Twilight and Green Lantern: Rebirth have happened in this continuity. Clark must be... well, afraid of what the Fear Entity can do to him.

Yellow Lantern Superman. We'll see where this is leading us to.

Off-topic, I know you don't follow digital comics, but DC Super Hero Girls's last week issue had a pretty cool reference. After trying to break a magically-enhanced door, Supergirl claims it's tougher than a Kryptonian thought beast.

Martin Gray said...

Aha, I caught the FEAR in the lightning bolts, later, but missed the splash page buildings.

The Fear quote is from General Patton. Makes a change from Zod.

Anon, you made me smile, I love that old Kryptonian critter!