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Superman: The Unauthorized Biography
Glen Weldon (Author)
A celebration of Superman's life and history - in time for his 75th birthday. How has the Big Blue Boy Scout stayed so popular for so long? How has he changed with the times, and what essential aspects of him have remained constant? This fascinating biography examines Superman as a cultural phenomenon through 75 years of action-packed adventures, from his early years as a social activist in circus tights to his growth into the internationally renowned demigod he is today.
Hardcover: 352 pages
Cover date: Early April 2012
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Penciller: Mike S. Miller
Inker: Mike S. Miller
Reviewed by: Jeffrey Taylor
The surviving heroes and villains bury their dead and take some time to mourn. Dr. Fate explains that they tried to save them, but they simply didn't try hard enough. Deathstroke and Giganta gather some of the villains and suggest that they start coming up with a plan of their own. It seems that Circe has been in contact with Brainiac who is offering them all a chance to take over the planet, but they wonder what will happen once he no longer needs them.
Back at the Fortress, the future Luthor fixes the younger Lex's eye while the villains prepare to attack Metropolis along with Brainiac. Batman leads the heroes on the defense but many on both sides are injured or killed. The villains win and Brainiac comes down to the city himself, claiming, "And now this planet is MINE!"
To be continued...
Story - 3: We get a little decompression from last issue's battle, but there's no time to waste getting into the final arc. This was a massive improvement over what we've had lately. Characters are finally acting like themselves again. Even though it made sense for the villains to join up with the heroes, I'm glad to see they're finally on the other side of the fight again.
Since this is still an alternate reality which will lead to the future from the introduction to the DC Universe Online game, anyone who wasn't seen in that video or the subsequent comics set in the future, can die. We actually witness the death of Firestorm, and Booster Gold is probably dead too, unless he survived being crushed with a boulder.
The only problem is that Lex mourns the death of The Atom, who was apparently killed in the space battle from last issue, yet we've seen him in the future of this story. Either these timelines aren't what they appear to be, or there was an oversight by the creative teams. If it's an oversight, it certainly wouldn't be the first in this series, but it would still be a huge disappointment. Here's hoping we get an excellent ending that will explain everything, but I'm not ready to hold my breath just yet.
Art - 5: Sure, the story improved, but the art is the least consistent thing about this series since it's been done by multiple artists and released twice a month. I would have preferred something as solid as this issue had to offer, but once a month over two years.
Mike S. Miller did a fantastic job with the many characters this time out, and that's something I've come to expect from him, but what I've been missing the most are the wonderful backgrounds that have been almost entirely absent in recent issues. The Fortress of Solitude looks great in every panel it's shown. The cemetery has actual gravestones, and even Metropolis, which is still in ruins, looks fantastic. The only place without concrete layouts were the battle scenes at the end, but that worked well too because the focus needed to be on the fighting and the many deaths.
Cover Art - 2: We're still not getting covers that jump of the comic racks and say "buy me." Most of the recent covers have all looked very similar. I'm not opposed to consistency, but I'd rather see a more dynamic theme in place. Some of the characters on the cover either aren't in the issue at all, or they're in the background. If I were in charge, I would have asked for something where the heroes are facing off against the villains, or perhaps something closer to the cemetery scene so we know that characters are really dying and not just in a semblance of danger.
Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2012.