Buy Now!

Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Superman #679

Superman #679

Scheduled to arrive in stores: August 27, 2008

Cover date: October 2008

"All That's Red and Blue Falls Down"

Writer: James Robinson
Penciller: Renato Guedes
Inker: Wilson Magalhaes

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Click to enlarge

Atlas and Superman fight, with Superman unsure of why he can't defeat him despite knowing that he can.

Lois frets, recalling the morning, when she berated Clark about Zatanna. After Clark reassured her that he loved her, she jumps to him, kissing him.

Lana attempts to send Team Luthor to fight Superman, and a hologram Lex fires her.

Jimmy sees a strange figure on a roof indicating that "they're winning."

Supergirl arrives from playing with lions, only to be zapped by a ray from space and taken out. Superman, nearly defeated, sends her to examine the ray source.

Atlas knocks Superman out, and then Steel, and then Bibbo.

Krypto arrives on the scene.

2Story - 2: Dammit, I want to like this! I want James Robinson to rock! I want Robinson and Johns to team up and kick my head in! I DON'T like giving bad marks on my reviews!

But this issue earned it. It's glib, it's full of itself, and while cute in a few parts, it's not doing anything new, at all. It's not even attempting to.

Luminous military figure pulling strings. Random baddie comes to town. Supergirl tries to help and comes up short. I can't count the number of plots with these ideas on ten thousand hands, so if you're gonna do it, there had better be something exceptionally witty to it.

Lois jumping Clark's bones after berating him in bitchy fashion is not it. That's arbitrary, baseball bat to the head characterization.

Six pages of two guys exchanging blows is not exactly Dark Knight Returns, either. That's six pages of lost story. And after a sixteen panel page. Some might call that arty, innovative. I don't. I just see it as a guy trying to dress up six pages of blows being exchanged as a pace change. It's not. It's six pages of blows being exchanged. You know what that says to me? In a loud voice:


Not: We're telling the best story we can.

The Lana tangent is also ridiculously absurd and space killing. You're telling me that Lex still has any say at Lexcorp, overrules the CEO by hologram, and institutes a rule that he himself violated on the constant when it served his interests? The scene thinks it's cute because Barrington is shown up. That's a distraction from the fact that Lana is just randomly, and without rationale, fired from a subplot that never accomplished anything to begin with. It'd be one thing if Robinson was mandated editorially to do that and had to (which can be accomplished off-page if need be). But obviously, this was the most compelling thing he felt he could spend 5 pages (almost 1/4 of the comic) on, and that doesn't speak well to the writing for me.

Beyond that, the Lexcorp building is now an L again. Did I miss that somewhere?

There are some great moments. Supergirl with the lions is marvelous. Seeing Bibbo ruled. When Krypto arrived, it was great. But that's three panels in 22 pages.

5Art - 5: Fantastic art on almost all fronts. The aforementioned panels that made the issue for me would not be as fine were it not for the art involved. Atlas is a one-note, but the fight itself and the connecting bits were great, with the exception of the random, pointless Lois panty shot.

2Cover Art - 2: This would be a fine cover, if the red and the blinding light source didn't almost entirely swallow the image and wash it with a strange glow.

Ross, of late, has been taking to instituting odd light sources and extraordinarily one-color compositions that grate on the eyes and take away from what is otherwise a compelling image. This is a prime example, and it's sad, because if this were in black and white (IE the crappy colors removed) it would be an awesome image, so I'm guessing that if it were recolored, it'd be epic.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2008

February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008

Back to the Mild Mannered Reviews contents page.

Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2008.