Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Review: Smallville Continuity #2

Smallville Continuity #2 came out last week and was another great chapter in this final arc. So much of this Crisis and this deep dive into Lex that has been percolating through the entire series is finally coming to a head. And while this is clearly a Smallville story, it also riffs on Crisis on Infinite Earths. It even metatextually comments on comic book continuity. Heck, it's the title of the arc.

Writer Bryan Q. Miller continues to shine as he gives us the most inspirational, the strongest Supergirl, the most unified Justice League that DC has had since the New 52. This reads like a timeless Superman and I have appreciated that immensely.

But each of these issues is bittersweet as I know that the end is near. We are reaching the end of this continuity ... at least for now.

Cat Staggs gives us another great cover. And Ig Guara and JP Mayer do a good job on art here, handling action sequences and a whole bevy of characters. I always wonder if artists like or hate these crazy issues with huge casts.

This Earth is being unmade by the Monitors with the plan to reboot the whole universe, rewriting it into something the monitors are please with. And most of this Earth has been destroyed. It seems only Metropolis is left, with all the heroes of Earth banded together to fight this threat one last time.

And it isn't a big surprise that Lois is smack dab in the middle of it. While the heroes skirmish with the Monitors and the Manhunters, Lois will board the Monitor's ships and plant a virus which will undo all the de-creation that the Monitors have achieved so far.

Miller's treatment of Lois has really been fabulous throughout this title. She has been strong, pro-active, and physically tough. And while I have sometimes questioned her battle prowess, I have always appreciated what she has done in this book. I love that Clark and Lois have always treated each other as equals in this book, no better shown than above. Lois and Clark saving the world is a story that writes itself. And Lois is the most important person in the universe.

But Lois can't get up on the ship alone. She needs some transit. And since Lex is also still around and has information about the Monitor's ships, he needs to help.

I love the interaction here as Lex knows that Lois is the agent, that Superman doesn't trust him, but Superman needs him. There is no choice ... Lex has to join the heroes.

Who here actually trusts him?

This is my favorite page of the issue.

Like many Crisis books, the heroes gather to fight the enemy. Here Superman says they have united to fight for 'this Earth, this reality, this continuity'.

And that second panel is so great. This is what Miller is fighting for. Maybe this is what we fans have been fighting for. To keep this continuity ... these incarnations of DC characters ... alive in some ways. I look at this panel and see that mature Kara in the background, Steph Brown Babs Gordon as Nightwing, that DEO Wonder Woman ... I am going to miss these guys. All of them.

We get lots of battle sequences as the heroes fight the Manhunter robot troops trying to hold back this unmaking.

I have said all along that I think this Nightwing is basically the second coming of Miller's take on Batgirl. Since we won't be seeing her much longer, I had to include her one last time.

And Lex, in an old school Lex-Corp battle armor, has successfully boarded the Monitor ship and downloaded the virus. It looks like our heroes have won and this Earth will be rebuilt as it was.

Unfortunately, we shouldn't have trusted Lex after all.

He wants to rewrite the universe; he wants to reboot this place in the image he wants. He tosses Lois off the ship and gets down to it.

Lois is so matter of fact about the betrayal too.

Lois doesn't die though. She is snatched out of her death fall by Wonder Woman riding a pegasus.

I have had some problems with the New 52 Wonder Woman. While I could tolerate what was happening in her own title, I don't think the 'God of War' Wonder Woman works for me in the main universe.

This arc is probably the last I will see of this Wonder Woman, the DEO agent who loves her special boy Steve Trevor, so I have to include her too.

Yeah, we should save this continuity.

But more troops show up to defend the planet.

The Legion shows up!

But all doesn't go perfectly.

Miller had brought the Green Lanterns and even Blue Lantern Saint Walker into the battle as well, the first time we saw Walker. And then -alas we hardly knew ye- Walker is killed in battle.

Is there some sort of metatextual message here? Hope is dead?

Given the internal sabotage by Lex as well as the heroes united front, the Monitors actually have to retreat.

And they aren't that happy about that.

The will release their ultimate weapon to end this. The Omega Monitor will bring an end to this world.

This is the second issue of an arc and, as such, it does it's job. The plot is moved forward. Whether it is Lex's treachery or bringing together more heroes or even the threat of the Omega Monitor, things progress. And we also get a ton of action here, a perfect way for us to see these characters strut there stuff one more time.

I love this book and I will miss it immensely.

Overall grade: A


Starsaber said...

Trust me, this isn't the last time you'll be including Nightwing. ;)

LJ-90 said...

I actually really liked the scene when Walker appears, Oliver and Mia talking (kinda arguing) but Walker just says "not fear, all will be well" and they're like "'Kay". But maybe there were way too many scenes to put here, the whole book is wonderful, at least to me.

Great review Anj :)

P.S: Let me know whatever happened with the Miles Morales comic haha

Saranga said...

I loved these issues!
Wait till you see what happens with the blue lantern ring...!

The only thing I didn't like about this issue was Canary in weird thigh suspenders (not sure if you call them that in the states?). She looks like she's riffing off the chick from Watchmen. In the rest of her appearances in this arc she doesn't wear them so I'm not sure why she's in them in this panel.

Anj said...

You guys are killing me!! You know how it all ends!!

LJ- I have been looking! Honest! Gonna check local book store next!

Thanks for comments!