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: February 2013
"H'el on Earth": "Into Kandor"
Writer: Mike Johnson
Penciller: Mahmud Asrar
Inker: Mahmud Asrar
Cover: Mahmud Asrar
Reviewed by: James Lantz
Supergirl now finds herself inside the protective dome containing the miniaturized Kandor. There, she is greeted by an astral projection of H'el, whose face is no longer scarred. The pair finds everyone in the city, including Tali, in stasis guarded by the robotic Terminauts. The gigantic automaton attack the Lost Daughter of Krypton. She makes short work of them in spite of their being able to hurt her a bit. Saving Tali gives her the strength to fight on. Supergirl and Astral H'el then continue to head for Kandor's Central Power Station. Will they find what H'el needs, or will the mysterious being need to find another means of making his plots come to fruition?
Having retrieved the Quantum Crystal from Kandor, Kara Zor-El has returned to H'el in Superman's Fortress. Sensing in him a bit of a kindred spirit, Supergirl sees a side of the unknown being he has rarely shown. H'el and Supergirl embrace leading to a powerfully passionate kiss. Together, they may be a force to reckoned with, and even the combined powers of Superboy and Superman may not be enough to stop them.
To Be Continued in Superman #15.
Story - 5: This is another exciting issue that puts a lot of interesting questions in readers' heads. What are H'el's true intentions? Does he really want to save Krypton, and if so, for what purpose? Will Superman and Superboy be able to stop H'el now that Kara seems to be on his side? Like any good cliffhanger in an old radio show or movie serial, these kinds of things make you want to see what happens in the next chapters. I can't thank the writers of the Superbooks enough for that.
Like previous issues, this one, has some of the best character moments in recent comics. Scenes with H'el and Kara in Superman's Fortress particularly pack an emotional wallop. I can't stress enough how much I love these kinds of things in Mike Johnson's hands. Let's hope he continues to show this strength throughout his run on Supergirl.
All and all, "H'el on Earth" has given even the most lackluster of the Supertitles the boost they need. Supergirl has been the strongest one of the bunch in recent months before this story started, and it continues to be a great comic so far. Yet, Superboy and Superman have had their ups and downs. Thanks to this crossover, my interest in the New 52 Superman family has been renewed.
Art - 4: While it's improved somewhat compared to the previous issue, Mahmud Asrar's renditions of Superman still look odd. Superboy, Supergirl and the rest of the images are amazing. Yet, the Man of steel seems too strangely drawn for my taste. Asrar may be trying to make him seem more alien, but it just does not work for me. Aside from that, every page is stunning in the visual sense.
Cover Art - 5: This is yet another cover that really got me curious about what would go on in the comic book. It has that old school feeling mixed with the new style. If this doesn't make you buy this issue of Supergirl, nothing will.
Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2013.