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Mild Mannered Reviews - Superman Confidential

Superman Confidential #8

Superman Confidential #8

Scheduled to arrive in stores: October 31, 2007

Cover date: Late December 2007

Writer: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Penciller: Chris Batista
Inker: Cam Smith

"The Edge of Forever"

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Click to enlarge

Over the monologue of Morgan Edge, Superman stops Victor Volcanum from causing a volcanic eruption in Metropolis, capturing the villain in the process. Edge labels Superman a menace on his television program (a la Bill O'Reilly, per the old Dirk Armstrong style).

At the Daily Planet, Lois and Clark debate over Superman's impact, with Clark playing Devil's Advocate and indicating he understands why people fear Superman. (It appears Lois does not know his secret identity in this continuity, or she plays VERY coy).

Superman flies off to investigate a report of "super-kids" that Jimmy has produced, and ruminates on his impact on society.

Superman happens upon a cowboy named Serifan, and saves him from Parademons. Superman indicates a lack of knowledge of parademons, Highfather, or the New Gods.

Serifan meets up with his friends from Supertown, Big Bear, Vykin, and Moonrider. They briefly explain the war between the New Gods before rushing off to save Beautiful Dreamer from Darkseid.

Darkseid, meanwhile, has Envoy force Beautiful Dreamer to scan the human race for elements of the Anti-Life Equation.

Superman and the Forever People arrive, finding Dreamer... and Darkseid, who meets Superman for the first time by swatting him aside. Superman, taken aback, grabs Beautiful Dreamer and flees.

The Forever People flee in a Boom Tube, leaving an unsuspecting Superman to confront a new foe, Orion, who tells Superman that he's coming with him.

3Story - 3: It may be closer to a 4, but I hold Abnett and Lanning to a higher standard than most, given how much I admire their work and how great it generally is. I read Mr. Majestic, a character I had little to no care for, for an entire run because of Dan and Andy, and I have no problem with counting them among my favorite comic writers, but this issue had a few problems.

Still, it's a great Darkseid story, a good New Gods story, and it's tight, for the most part.

I suffer fatigue from several plots, which is, admittedly, not the fault of the writers. I am sick and tired of "Superman is a menace to the people!" plots, and though I LOVE the New Gods, Countdown and their seemingly unnecessary demise has put a sour taste in my mouth for them right now.

There's also a few instances of clunky writing and amateur mistakes, like the opening fight, which serves little to no purpose that could not have been set up with a panel showing a television screen (unless Volcanum is, for some reason, much cooler than he seems to be). There's also the whole "names in dialogue" thing that happens a few times, and one line that really got me with its expository as Superman grabs Beautiful Dreamer: "I'd be mad to try fighting you ...but I can snatch this poor girl from your clutches!" Jeeze, Superman. Way to give away the plan, Chuckles.

There is also an overabundance of splashes, though the art justifies it.

I am also still perplexed as to why Superman continuity needed to be changed, what this re-imagining serves, and just generally, the point to this series. But that's ongoing.

As for this story, once it gets past the beginning with Volcanum, it's actually a lot of fun beyond the mistakes. Clark as his own counterpoint with Lois, Jimmy and the Forever People, who I really love, Darkseid smacking Superman around, Orion, the Anti-Life Equation, and just a ton of great action and introductions seek to counter a lot of my criticisms.

5Art - 5: This work is incredible, top to bottom. I have rarely seen panels this busy, and yet so well executed. People cite Perez as a fine example, but I'll even go so far as to say I prefer this artist's composition of a panel to Perez. Every square inch of this book pops. I can't believe I haven't seen or heard more from him.

2Cover Art - 2: Yeah, homage. Yeah, throwback, I know. Throw it back. For the love of... so sick of words on the cover. It was cheesy in the old days, and it's cheesy now. Drives me BUGGY, given how much of a piece of art the cover generally is, and this one in particular.

The art itself is a five, but the words drag it down and make it a cheesefest, unfortunately.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2007

February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007

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