Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Strange Visitor - Superman Our Worlds At War Secret Files & Origin

We are a day away from Strange Visitor appearing in the DCU again in Supergirl #16, perhaps as a villain who has been brainwashed or confused by Mr. Bones and the DEO. We know that Strange Visitor has always had a short fuse. So maybe a turn to a mad rage isn't that big a shift in character.

Over the last month, I have been reviewing the history of Strange Visitor, her first arc and her last sacrifice. That last issue in which she is a pivotal part of the defeat of Imperiex in the Our Worlds At War mega-arc was interesting to me for any number of reasons. But her appearance in Superman #173, so crucial to the defeat of Imperiex, seemed to come out of the blue. Now I am really glad I reviewed that issue as it is name dropped here in current continuity!

With that sudden appearance of Strange Visitor and her importance to the ending of Our Worlds At War in mind, I scoured the back issue bins and found her in Superman Our Worlds At War Secret Files and Origins #1. And it is an interesting appearance because it may have spoiled the ending of the story.

Now I will admit, I am missing a few more Strange Visitor books from this time, including the Batman Our Worlds at War Secret Files and Origins book and an Adventures of Superman issue. But this book still intrigued me.

First off, if you look closely on the cover, you’ll see a teeny tiny Strange Visitor floating in space.

She hadn’t been seen for a while. She wasn’t part of the Our Worlds At War arc before this.

Maybe her presence on the cover should have tipped us off that she was going to be a part of this ... a big part!

In the middle of the book is this sort of Who’s Who page of the Earth Allies. It is a pretty impressive group starting with Superman and including most of the Justice League, the Justice Society, and many of the Bat Family. Heck, Plasmus, Shrapnel, and Chemo are there too!

But there, on the left, is the Strange Visitor/Superman amalgam which ultimately pierces the Imperiex armor ending the threat. There is no mention of Strange Visitor or the amalgamation or the plan anywhere in the text.

But astute readers might be able to put the pieces together. Thee is no mistaking the blue color or the jagged S-Shield. That screams the electric Superman suit which at this point meant Visitor. But why does she look like Superman.

Great art by Ariel Olivetti!

I suppose people were wondering who this metallic Superman was!

Remember, this book came out a month before Superman #173! Was this a spoiler of sorts?

I feel obligated to point out Supergirl amid the allies. This was during the latter part of the Peter David run when she was depowered and stripped of her angelic powers.

The Timm-verse white t-shirt costume has grown on me over the years. And I like Olivetti’s young looking Linda.

The question is now that Our Worlds At War is in continuity, will Linda be name dropped as well? (Doubt it.)

Maybe I need to review her specific Our Worlds At War crossover Issue!

Now I have focused my discussion on that page and the stealth appearance of Strange Visitor (in a way). But the rest of the book is a nice solid read beefing up some of the peripheral characters’ stories, filling in some gaps on how they ended up in this war.

For example, we get a story by Joey Loeb, Marv Wolfman, and Yvel Guichet on how and why some of the alien allies joined the fray including old friend Maxima. She doesn’t have the stuff to stop Imperiex from running roughshod over Almerac. She has no choice but to flee and join Superman in his quest to stop the galactic destroyer. And for someone as proud as Maxima, that is galling.

I love these giant sized books. The Secret Files and Origins series always were great reads. And, best of all, I sometimes see them in the buck bin! If you were a fan of the Our Worlds At War arc, or a Strange Visitor completists, you should seek this out.

Overall grade: B


Anonymous said...

Talking about Maxima, she also died during "Our Worlds At War", right? And she stayed death until Kate Perkins reimagined the character in 2015. I'm wondering whether that crossover was regarded as a chance to get rid of some Post-Crisis characters the writers no longer knew what to do with (or wanted to work with).

"The question is now that Our Worlds At War is in continuity, will Linda be name dropped as well? (Doubt it.)"

No, I don't think so. Even Kara is being snubbed nowadays, so other Supergirls. I bet Supergirl's role in that storyline will not be mentioned, or her actions will be attributed to Kara, regardless how little sense it makes.

A pity. I'd like reading a storyline where current Kara and Linda run into each other, Kara helps Linda regain her faith and hope and Linda feels kind of obligated to protect Kara in a "I can't save HER but maybe I can protect her counterpart" kind of way. And then either Linda becomes a recurring character or stays in Leesburg performing deeds. Anyway, it'd be a better fate than comic Limbo or literal Hell.

KET said...

Finished reading this week's Supergirl #16 this morning, and it appears more like the cover art for this issue was rather misleading. Anj, it seems that you actually surmised Strange Visitor's appearance in the issue in your first paragraph, as she gets shuffled off to the sidelines pretty quickly, unfortunately.