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Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Superman #213

Superman #213

Scheduled to arrive in stores: February 2, 2004

Cover date: March 2005

Writer: Brian Azzarello
Penciller: Jim Lee
Inker: Scott Williams

"For Tomorrow" - Part Ten

Reviewed by: Nick Newman

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Orr lights a cigar when an explosion suddenly rocks a building. Walking towards it he finds Halcyon standing there. She tries to approach him but a force binds her. She blames his familiars, the dogs. Orr says they're just dogs, but whatever she believes works for him. He tells her that he wants her knife, she needs to give it to him for the magic to work. Wonder Woman was much more helpful, she gave him some clay.

Superman and Lois talk to Jor-El and Lara as Superman tries to puzzle out what has happened. Jor-el tells Kal that when he was sent to Earth he had the means to create a history, it was his birthright. Superman created this entire world from the Phantom Zone.

Equus and his army draw close to the city, ready to kill everyone. A restraining hand halts Equus and an armored man tells the beast that this day belongs to him.

Lois asks Superman how he's feeling, and after telling her that he can be loving forever he asks her to call him Kal-El. Suddenly they hear a bell ringing and they walk to the balcony. They see the approaching force, but Lois tells Kal to let Jor-El handle it. Equus surges forward to confront Jor-El and with one slash he drops him to the ground. Superman looks out to see Clark tied to Equus' back. The armored man comes forward and tells Metropia to prepare itself for reality at the hands of Zod.

1Story - 1: Zod. I'm supposed to be excited about Zod. Again. Sorry guys, but you can't just keep spitting out Zod every time you need a villain with an impact. The 'he will kneel before me' line can only be used so many times. You would think that the extremely talented (or at least I'm told, 100 Bullets in on my read list but I haven't gotten to it yet) Brian Azzarello could do something a little more creative. I'm not saying it needed to be an entirely new villain (we've seen how that goes with Equus), but couldn't he have used someone else? And from what I can tell, all this is going to amount to is another boring end fight with Superman triumphing over a villain that lacks any personality. At least Kelly's version had some motivation. This is just a cheap way to end what's been a pretty boring series.

Second, I think we've finally seen the grand plan for Birthright. And evidently, it involves Superman having imagined Waid's Krypton. Maybe not. Maybe tell Kal that it's his birthright was just coincidence...but somehow I don't think so. So if this is indeed the case, then this is just lame. If you're going to do an imaginary story, do it with class. Don't tell the thing, anger fans, and then make them wait two years while you make comments about how it'll be explained. Who knows, maybe all this won't be the case, but if it is then you've really disappointed me Eddie.

The Orr and Halcyon (did she have a name before this issue) subplot continues to cloud an already obscure story. I'm not sure what their role is, but whatever it is I don't really like it.

Neal's done a much better job at attacking this series as a whole then I could ever hope to, but I'll throw my two cents in to the mix as well. This is, first off, another issue where nothing happens except for some confusing dialog. I'm fine with deeper meaning in my comics. I'm not going to act like they need to be written for seven year olds (although kids should be able to understand them at least on some level). Some of my favorite comics would have baffled me as a child. Sandman, Watchmen, Invisibles; all good reads with a much deeper meaning to them. However, I can at least read the dialogue in those books. This one, not so much.

It just really annoys me though, that this entire arc, the whole thing, is culminating in a poorly done repeat of Return To Krypton from a few years ago. I could have just read my back issues, saved some money, and been a lot less confused. Oh well, at least the next time you hear from me on this book the series will be done. Maybe the conclusion will be great. I doubt it, but stranger things have happened. However, that doesn't make up for ten issues of nothing.

4Art - 4: Well, it's Jim Lee, and this is my fifth time reviewing his work on Superman, so I'm really starting to run out of things to say. He's a really good artist. If you haven't checked out the videos of him drawing Jenny Sparks of Stormwatch/Authority on the Wildstorm homepage then you really should. I've seen other artists sketch before, but what Lee does is absolutely amazing to me. The way he can sit down, and pencil and ink something in twenty minutes that I couldn't reproduce given a year is just incredible. Back to this issue in particular though. Jor-El, in my opinion, looks a little to much like Kal. Yes, I realize they're related, and yes, I know they're very similar, but I wish they had made him look older or something. The main problem with the art in this issue was that it's just a boring issue. Azzarello writes extremely character driven stories, and Lee's at his best when it's action-oriented. This is why the Lee-Loeb team was so great. Loeb told the right kind of story for Lee to illustrate. This story is just a waste for a man of his talents. Again I have to wonder what could have been if Superman had been given the true Hush treatment by returning Loeb to the title for twelve issues. Unfortunately we'll never know. At least we get Superman/Batman and Supergirl.

3Cover Art - 3: This cover just doesn't do anything for me. The boring villain pose is just lame when it could have been so much more. Jor-El could be lying on the ground, Zod could be smashing Superman, anything. Instead this is all we get. Great art, bad characters, and a boring image unfortunately only add up to an average cover.

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