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Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Superman #701 Superman #701

Superman #701

Scheduled to arrive in stores: July 14, 2010

Cover date: September 2010

"Grounded" - Part One

Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Penciller: Eddy Barrows
Inker: J.P. Mayer
Cover: John Cassaday & David Baron
Variant Cover: John Cassaday & Alex Sinclair, after Joe Shuster

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

Click to enlarge

After the press conference Superman realized how distant he'd become from the people he lived amongst on the planet, Kal decides to travel across America to find himself again.

Superman's first stop is Philadelphia and the media are following him every step of the way. Amongst the journalists and bewildered public is Clark Kent's wife Lois Lane. She asks Clark for his cover story at the Daily Planet, after all he's been on 18 months bereavement leave. They decide he'll also be 'on the road' covering Superman's soul search.

Clark does a few good deeds; with the past few years of cosmic level threats he hasn't really paid attention to the more 'mortal level' threats since he first put on the cape many years ago. He helps a messy diner clean up, kicks a drugs gang out of town, urges a sick man to seek medical attention and talks a woman down from a suicide drop.

Then Superman leaves town for his next destination.

To Be Continued...

3Story - 3: Before I start please read my Perry White editorial on Grounded at:

Back? Good. Now there is a lot to like about this story and a LOT to dislike.

Now let me start by saying - if you were a big fan of the old Bill Bixby Incredible Hulk TV series, you'll love this story, if you don't - I'd suggest raiding the back issues.

What to like? It's a complete u-turn from the overlong New Krypton arc. As a story it's a welcome change of pace. Can the story continue after say 'more of the same' with different stereotypes from different cities? I'm not sure but I'd like to believe after reading Brave and The Bold and the Hyperion/Supreme Power books that it can.

What's not to like? Superman hacked off the ENTIRE world. So how does he earn the trust of the WORLD? Ignore it of course and focus on one country. I'm not Anti American - far from it, and I know Superman was raised in Kansas, but I always thought he was a hero for Earth, not just the USA...

The story is a tired angle that Captain Marvel did, Wonder Woman did and even Clark did when Conduit killed his identity... But ok, let's say we'll buy it again... sure, but there are some fundamental un-Superman-like scenes that really irk. There is the line from the waitress - the one about SECRET IDENTITIES. Nobody trusts Batman because he hides his identity... Superman was always assumed to be Superman full time because he was always open about his physical appearance yet when the waitress throws the comment out there about him having one in front of everyone - he doesn't debunk it, he allows it to pass.

OK you say, allow it to slide... then you have the gang - the one that is all up in Superman's face, they diss and dismiss him, so in turn Superman incinerates their drug stash and then tells a child to pass on a warning to the very angry goons. Very responsible - very heroic. Right?

Superman also seems very cocky. I'm not sure I like it, he seems on the arrogant side.

Despite all that there is a touching scene with the jumper that is written so well it shows there IS a potential for a great story here... I only hope we win out in the end as the last few 'events' have not done Superman justice.

4Art - 4: The art didn't work in War of the Supermen because it was just too full on, rushed and battle scenes were full of contorted bodies. Happily though, so far in this arc, the showcase of NO action has really helped to showcase the artist's work. I found myself really liking it and (now the rush job of the weekly "War" is over) I'm looking forward to it shining.

3Cover Art - 3: Ugly "S" Shield and a very low cut Superman costume... It is a sort of big reveal for the arc so that's nice, but really, as a debut for a new creative team, it isn't exactly screaming NEW ERA FOR SUPERMAN is it?

2Cover Art (Alternate Cover) - 2: What else can I say but If it's not broke don't fix it? Joe Shuster did it better originally and of the two covers on offer that's why I picked the direct edition as the better edition...

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

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