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Mild Mannered Reviews - Smallville Comics

Smallville: Season 11 #6

Smallville: Season 11 - Chapter #6

Released Digitally: June 1, 2012

"Guardian" - Chapter 6

Writer: Bryan Q. Miller
Penciller: Pere Perez
Inker: Pere Perez

Reviewed by: Marc Pritchard

Click to enlarge

The Lexcorp Guardian shuttle, having just exploded, is now burning in mid-air and leaking radiation. With Chloe's assistance, Superman uses his Arctic Breath (when it's your power, etc.) to put out the fire and then flies Hank Henshaw's five crewmates to safety. Henshaw, remaining behind in order to pilot the shuttle away from the people below, suffers radiation poisoning but is still alive while Lex, who seems to have planned for the shuttle's explosion, is looking forward to speaking with Superman.

5Story - 5: A worry has emerged in me this week, namely that the still-unmasked figure from the end of Chapter 5 is going to turn out to be Lana Lang. Need it be said that no amount of Lana-took-her-"Power"-and-went-there-(into-space)-and-back-again narrative is welcome at this point? No, none at all.

But, so, ok, that probably won't be where that goes. Since the thought did creep across my mind like some kind of silken rat, though, I felt the need to write it down.

(Confront your fears, and all that.)

But writing it down here is about not having a lot to say about Chapter 6.

That's because my overriding impression is that not a heck of a lot actually happened, even though it feels like it did. This was a strong action scene that delivered palpable anticipation of its own resolution in terms of whether or not Superman would indeed save the day, while along the way opening up a bunch of stuff that wasn't resolved.

Which is fine because, well, that works. On the whole, this was a good change of pace where everything that happens is about setting up something to come later. Fair enough.

Sadly, however, I felt no mystery in the concluding sequence of Lex predicting that he is about to have a "very interesting" conversation with Superman and suggest that closing on the panel of Hank Henshaw on the operating table would have been more gripping.

4Art - 4: Look at Chloe's "keyboard" in her scene - it's clearly a touchpad of some unique non-QWERTY design. So, why oh why does it make a "clickety, clickety, clickety" sound? Granted, the keyboard Lois uses back in chapter 2 makes a "clickety clackety, clickety clackety" sound (emphasis mine), but this is too similar for what would really be a completely different sound (maybe "tappity, tappity," for instance - I mean, if you, as a creator, feel it's absolutely necessary to include sound effects here). My point, though, is that sound effects in general are stupidly used in this book. When you show us fingers on the touchpad screen in one panel, we don't need you to show us the sound those fingers are making in the next panel, where in any case it's clear that the fingers are still typing. We don't need you to show the sound of Clark brushing his teeth when you are showing him up close while he's brushing (while from out of the bathroom door where he can't himself be seen would work). This stuff is redundant and, in comics, a sign that one or both of the writer and/or the artist isn't thinking the panels all the way through. What a shame.

(I would just as soon not comment on the "krnkle krunkle" of the paramedic taking of the headpiece of his radiation suit.)

That aside, the art seems generally to be getting better (thus the 4/5), but I'm attributing that more to colorist Chris Becket than to Pere Perez's pencil work.

Cover Art - N/A:

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

January 2012

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