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
"Superman: Unbound" Animated Movie
Superman battles Brainiac in order to save his home planet's city of Kandor which has been miniaturized on Brainiac's ship. Based on Geoff Johns' mini series.
Cover date: September 2012
"Wonder Wonder Who"
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Penciller: Brett Booth
Inker: Norm Rapmund
"When Dinosaurs Walked the Earth"
Writer: Fabien Nicieza
Artist: Jorge Jiménez
Reviewed by: Shawn Morrissey
Elsewhere, Superboy is hanging out at his new digs (seen in Superboy #11) with some deer-eyed floozy when he notices that Lex Towers has gone dark. He slips away from the blindly adoring lass to see if all is well with the Titans.
As it turns out, all is not well. Superboy catches up with Red Robin on the way to the Towers where they discover Wonder Girl kneeling in full Silent Armor regalia, the other Titans KOed around her. The Silent Armor thrusting and bursting through her flesh, Wonder Girl begs for help, but not to ease her agony, rather to stop her before she kills... again!
Story - 2: All right, now we're getting into some more interesting territory. Unfortunately, it's ultimately a rehash of elements from the first arc. Rather than having Superboy as the threat that the Titans must face, they've chosen Wonder Girl, the other physical powerhouse of the team. We can guess pretty easily where this is going, but how I hope I'm wrong.
Other than that shameless rehash, it is interesting to finally see some origin story. We were given a hint at Kid Flash's origin, or at least a secret in some manner regarding his origin, but that was just a couple panels several issues ago. This title has been doing an exceptionally feeble job at keeping plot and character elements fresh. It seems that these little snippets of the characters' back stories are tossed in here and there to keep interest piqued. Yet, the stories have been so mundane that I wonder how many average readers stay interested enough to stick around. It's like digging through a pile of scat to find a 0.03 carat diamond. Sure, you got yourself a beautiful, albeit itsy bitsy gem, but you also got yourself full of carnivore plop.
Just the same, I'm interested to see where this goes. I like the idea of the Silent Armor, so I hope - perhaps against hope - that it gets some decent treatment. I would truly like to enjoy an issue of Teen Titans, something I haven't done since about issue #2.
I just want to point out something else that this title does ad nauseum: introduce pointless, five-panel villains. What's a five-panel villain, you ask? A derivative villain created for the sole purpose of moving action through a small portion of a single issue, appearing in about five panels. See Grymm from Teen Titans #6. No, wait! Don't see Grymm from Teen Titans #6. Just take me on my word.
Art - 4: Yeah, I'm still a fan of this art team. When Booth has a good idea, he doesn't hold back. I love the look of the Silent Armor: it's powerful and menacing, and it does look like it would smart having it rupture out of your body. Rapmund's inks and Dalhouse's colors are again in top form.
Backup Story: "When Dinosaurs Walked the Earth"
Stepping out of a dark alleyway, three bipedal dinosaur-like beings get ready for an adventure! That adventure? Run amok in Chinatown.
Bart Allen happens to be enjoying a few noodles when he notices the ruckus. He zips into his alter-ego attire and assesses the situation. The alleyway from where the three creatures lurked: the late Danny the Street, now honored as Danny the Alley. It looks like the Teen Titans brought something back with them from Mystery Island.
Story - 2: I really don't have much to say. My story synopsis really just explains everything. I think this story needs to be assessed in its entirety, which we'll see in DC Universe Presents #12 and Teen Titans #12. I'm curious though, why did the creative team decide to cut one of their issues short just to showcase an upcoming story? Couldn't DC Universe Presents #12 (a one-shot that will feature Kid Flash) have incorporated what happens here in this backup story? What's more, this has me worried: are we not going to see what happens with Wonder Girl and the mystery figure at the museum next issue? Let's just see...
Art - 3: Jiménez is a competent artist. I like some of his renderings, what with the slight homage to anime. He has an almost cartoon style, as if he was drawing an animated series. All in all, the art is quite good.
Cover Art - 2: I do like this cover a lot. The Silent Armor looks brilliant and the little details, like the spurs on Wonder Girl's lariat, are somewhat signature for Booth. However, I do have one big problem with the cover: the Silent Armor. Wha...? Yeah, I love the Silent Armor, but it should have been granted a proper reveal on the last page. We get a nice splash at the end of the story, but it's somewhat deadened by the fact that we knew what the Silent Armor already looked like. These little things are what make reading comic books so much fun, and if we were gathering adjectives for Teen Titans, fun wouldn't be one of them.
Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2012.