Archive | Superman RSS feed for this section

A Big Halloween Treat: An Interview with How It Should Have Ended

30 Oct
Since most everyone who reads Comic Addicts is too old to go trick or treating we decided to give a big ol’ treat anyway. We were able to have a chat with the folks at How It Should Have Ended (HISHE). They were really cool folks who were happy to chat with us.
For those unfamiliar with HISHE it’s a couple of guys, and a gal, who decided that movies didn’t always end the way they felt they should have. So they started doing their own parody endings much to the amusement of many people. We here at Comic Addicts were curious about some of the things over at HISHE and here is what they had to say:

How do you make your movies?

Each cartoon takes at least 3 weeks. We usually spend one week on script writing and primary art (characters we know we are going to use despite the script). Then one week on all the rest of the art and depending on the scope, we would start animating this week as well. It is also during the second week that we do our voice recording, which has to happen before animating so that we have a timeline. Week 3 is final animation, sound editing, and music score. Plus all the graphics. A lot of times this 3 week schedule requires late nights and weekends, so it’s a lot of work.


Is there a storyboard involved?

Yes, we storyboard after we have finalized a script so that we know exactly what art we need to make.



What program (s) do you use?

Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter, Adobe After Effects, Final Cut



How much planning goes into a movie?

Definitely depends on the movie. There are some cartoons where we know months in advance that we are going to tackle it, so the conversations on scripts start early. Others (like recent theater releases– Avatar, Thor, etc.) we only have a short period of time so there are a lot of late nights.



Are there any audio outtakes from you guys goofing around?

Ha-ha. Sure, there are definitely some funny voice recordings as you might imagine.



Any plans to post the outtakes?

Now that we’ve committed to releasing a new video every Thursday on Youtube, you will definitely be seeing some more behind the scenes stuff. We will probably compile some outtakes. It’s tough since we are not necessarily accustomed to being on camera. J



Now that you’re a web sensation is there more pressure than before when you were doing it just for fun?

Um, YES.



Is it difficult sometimes to be funny?

Yes. The nature of what we do makes it tough sometimes because finding a logical flaw in a film is not always hilarious too. We go through a LOT of re-writes and ultimately we do our best. Different cartoons will lean one way or another sometimes as a result (between logic and silliness).



Are there arguments over how the movie should be?

LOL. What an insightful question. Yes, we definitely disagree sometimes, but ultimately some of our best writing comes from wrestling through different opinions.



Do you sit on pins and needles after a movie gets put up to see how people will react to it?

It’s like you’ve spied on us!! Absolutely. We’re our worst critics. Comments are sometimes really harsh and it’s difficult not to be affected by them. Seeing how a new release does is a big deal around here.



We notice there are a lot of comic book parodies on there, granted there are a lot of comic book movies, but honestly, how big of comic geeks are you?

Truthfully we’re a little late to the party when it comes to comics and ultimately we’re spoofing the movies not the books. But we started going to the San Diego Comic Con 4 years ago and each year we pick up a little more. We’re definitely not experts, but we’re becoming fans for sure.



Has there ever been an issue with copyright over the movies?

No, we definitely fall into parody law. All our art and music is original and meant to be a spoof or a parody.



Has any of the movie studios gotten on your back for what you do?

Not at all. We’ve even received some fun feedback. We have a few friends at Pixar and found out our Toy Story HISHE circulated the building there and the director for Toy Story 3 even tweeted about it!



How big is your fan base?

It’s hard to be exact. As of today (Oct. 11, 11) we have 480,000 subscribers on youtube.



Were you ever inspired by Mystery Science Theater 3000?

Of course! I would say lots of forms of skit and parody comedy have influenced us. Daniel watched Mystery Science Theater 3000 in college and he and his friends definitely laughed at the way they heckled films. I’d say our style is very much influenced by that form of comedy.



What has been the craziest moment or thing to happen at HISHE?

Winning the Streamy Award in 2010 was pretty crazy for us. We were shocked and honored to be among the other nominees.



Any plans for the future for HISHE? Hints maybe?

Hmmm… a hint. Well, we’ll definitely finish off the original Star Wars trilogy. And I imagine we’ll also tackle at least one of the major comic book films coming out next summer.

Thanks a lot for the chat! It’s been fun talking with you folks and keep up the good work!

Visit How It Should Have Ended’s website and suscribe to them on YouTube for the latest videos as well as favorites.
Advertisements

The Con is on!

1 Oct

Hello everybody and welcome to Mumbai’s first ever Comic Con. Not exactly, though, that’s a better part of the month away but for me, it can’t come soon enough. And now, let me explain why.

When I was a seven year old kid, somewhere in streets of Mumbai, I read in a newspaper about Superman’s death. Now, I wasn’t deluded — I knew that Superman is a fictional character; I wasn’t deluded into thinking that a real person had died. But he was real enough to mean something to people; so real that his death was news. And why not, if a man can fly, evade speeding bullets and melt lead with his eyes, doesn’t that make him human? Well, at least the papers thought so.
A year later, at a second hand book store, I found two issues of that storyline. I was elated! Inside that issue was a subscription form. Not knowing what a dollar is, I gingerly filled out the subscription form in that issue, and gave it to my father, who then told me about America, dollars, old subscription forms and shipping. There was another ad – for something called Chicago Comic Con (to the best of my memory) which advertised itself as the largest comic convention in the country. Whatever hopes I had of attending one of those were promptly crushed.
Now, a little less than twenty years later, India has already had it’s first major comic con – and the second one is coming in tow. Not only that, it has been so successful that it has been made an annual event, with another event being held across other major indian cities mid year. And this time it’s in Mumbai.
Oh. I understand we might not get to see international talent, I might never get my Jim Starlin & Marv Wolfman comics autographed, and I’m not deluding myself thinking that this is a worthy competitior to Chicago Comic con, Seattle Comic Con or the grand daddy of them all – San Diego Comic Con (or SDCC). But look! Look towards the comic scene in India. For a country still being tagged as a developing nation, we do have a lot of talent with these publications roaring:
India Book House
Diamond Comics
Raj Comics
Vimanika Comics
Random Magazine
Level 10 Comics
Pop Culture publications
And the newest entrée to this esteemed group, helmed by avant garde artist Vivek Goel,
Holy Cow Comics.
So, are people going to be worried about the lack of international talent? No way! Our pantheon of comic stars will be there in full attendance. We have our very own cosplayers, proud to strut around in attire which, on a road would attract attention, frowns and maybe whistles. What more could we ask for? And then there’s the recent announcement (I’m sure all of you here know about it) that Disney and Marvel are officially coming here! Seriously, you could have knocked me down with a feather!
And we’ve already had a lot of talent showcasing every month in the meetings and workshops with Leaping Windows, a library only for Graphic Novels. 
Ten years ago, this would have been called insane. Today, this is innovative…with a lot of takers. This is your chance to meet the virtual powerhouses of talent, both latent and in full technicolour.
So, enough about why you should attend. Rather, let’s just say….see you soon!

Aalok deciphers DC – Superman: Birthright

11 Jun

Writer: Mark Waid

Artist: Leinil Francis Yu

Collects: SUPERMAN: BIRTHRIGHT issues 1-12

With the massive revamp of the DCU coming in September, I thought that this origin is already written over (SUPERMAN: SECRET ORIGIN, by Geoff Johns & Gary Frank) let me get around to it before it goes off the map completely.

Mark Waid is famous for his love of the Superman franchise, and reading this, it’s obvious that he loves Superman. This one, though it adds a lot of new elements to the popular franchise, doesn’t deviate too much from the source material, wherein it’s beauty lies – preserving continuity while adding to it.

Continue reading

It’s a Bird…

28 May



Today, we take a break from the ‘chronological’ DCU & delve into a daringly different iconic treatment of Superman.
/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

IT’S A BIRD…

Writer: Steven T. Seagle

Artist: Teddy Kristiansen

Sat down to arranging my trades & singles of…..um, the “World’s Greatest Superhero” in proper order…….and came a lot of different iconic interpretations of the World’s first superhero….THE KENTS, a western history of the ancestors of the Kent family by John Ostrander, Timothy Truman & Tom Mandrake, SECRET IDENTITY, the story of a young man from the normal world who just happens to be named Clark Kent by Kurt Busiek & Stuart Immonen, BIRTHRIGHT, a re-interpretation of the origin of Superman by Mark Waid & Leinil Francis Yu, and this little ditty called IT’S A BIRD by Steven T. Seagle & Teddy Kristiansen.

Jokes apart, when he was created, way back in 1938, by two Jewish Immigrants, he wasn’t the all powerful, oh so tough character he is built up to be nowadays. He couldn’t fly, just leap really high. He couldn’t fly faster than light, sound or time (Note: Even today, what Superman’s powers are is really open to interpretation by the writer of the current story)

But what makes him tick? How can a man be so goody good all the time? These aren’t just questions in the mind of the popular public, but also in one of the writers of the title, Steven T. Seagle (Not to be confused with the movie star)

When departing writer Joe Allen (meant to be “Joe Kelly”, one of the stalwarts who brought about the new look of Superman) gives Steven T. Seagle the opportunity of writing the Man Of Steel in one of his flaship titles. Unforeseen by any of us, Steven refuses as he cannot identify with the character. This is where the story actually begins.

What follows is a romp through the life of writer Steven as he reminisces what makes him have unpleasant memories of the ‘S’ on Superman’s shirt, struggles relationships with his girlfriend, brother and father, and thinks about what would actually make Superman a hero. At one point in time, he even belts the erstwhile writer of Superman over a disagreement. How he eventually comes to terms with his life and Superman is what forms the crux of this story.

The specific things that I liked here are Steven Seagle’s memoirs…..he seems to be so honest, so unashamed, it actually hurts. Steven’s father has been diagnosed with Huntington’s disease (also called Huntington’s chorea or St. Vitus’ dance) and the chances of it being passed down to him and even further make him wrestle with his life. Being from the medical profession myself, I appreciate how easily the writer explains the disease so that the readers are not left bewildered. The art is wonderfully simplistic. Teddy makes the use of simple images to convey the bleak aspects therein. The charm here lies in knowing where to stop….the minimalist pallette employed actually suits the story. Just check out this image as a quick sample.

Writer Steven shows considerable depth here, in contrast to his actual Superman run with artist Scott McDaniel. Steven wrote this book based on how he felt when actually offered the title. Also, most of Steven’s other work is pretty funny, like AMERICAN VIRGIN; in contrast this book has pretty serious overtones.

On top of everything, this is a VERTIGO book. I love the fact that only the idea of Superman is the topic of a mature readers imprint. Just shows how deep you can go with comics, generally called “kiddie books”. If that’s what you can do with Superman, think of how lengthy volumes written simply on the ideas behind THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, THE INCREDIBLE HULK & UNCANNY X-MEN can be.

Highly recommended.

Rating: 10 out of 10 points

Published as a graphic novel, 17.95 US$

Aalok deciphers DC – Superman: The Man of Steel Volumes 2 to 6

30 Apr



DC decided some time in the early 2000s to collect the Superman stories by John Byrne after MAN OF STEEL miniseries, which introduced Superman post Crisis on Infinite Earths. They ended up collecting all titles featuring Superman, for the span of one year (12 issues of each, with an annual) with additional issues of other titles, over 5 trade paperback collections, comprising SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL VOLS 2-6. You can find a review of SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL VOL 1 here
/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

The titles, with the creative teams (for most part) were:
ACTION COMICS (issues 584-595, annual 1) – John Byrne (writes, pencils), Dick Giordano (inks regular issues and annual), Art Adams (pencils annual)
SUPERMAN (issues 1-12, annual 1) – John Byrne (writes, pencils), Terry Austin (inks), Ron Frenz (pencils annual), Brett Breeding (inks annual)

JOHN BYRNE

ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN (issues 424-435, annual 1) – Marv Wolfman (writes), Jerry Ordway (pencils), Mike Machlan (inks), Jim Starlin (writes annual), Dan Jurgens (pencils annual), Steve Montano (inks annual)

MARV WOLFMAN

Additional issues: LEGION OF SUPER HEROES (issues 37, 38) – Paul Levitz (writes), Greg LaRocque (pencils), Mike DeCarlo (inks), BOOSTER GOLD (issue 23) – Dan Jurgens (writes, pencils), Roy Richardson (inks)
SUPERMAN was supposed to be the flagship title, ACTION COMICS would show his interactions with other characters of the DC Universe while ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN…I don’t really know what was it’s intended purpose, but it seems to be the best title amongst them. ACTION COMICS continued it’s old numbering from before the Crisis, ADVENTURES took over the old numbering of the original SUPERMAN (1939) book, while SUPERMAN [usually referred to as SUPERMAN V2 or SUPERMAN (1987)] had an all new numbering. Here, reviewing the issues title wise gives a better perspective.

SUPERMAN (V2, 1987):

Issues 1 and 2 form an interesting Metallo / Luthor story. We see the revamped origin of Metallo, wherein John Corben is saved from a near fatal accident by a scientist, Vale Emmett who believes that Superman is the first of a wave of Kryptonian invaders, after translating the message from Jor El to Superman. He replaces Corben’s heart with Kryptonite. Later, Metallo kills Vale and in the course of his robberies comes into contact with Superman. Incapacitated by Kryptonite, just when Corben is about to deliver the killing blow to Superman, he is whisked away by Lex Luthor. Lex subsequently captures Metallo, tearing out his Kryptonian heart and fashions a ring from it, captures and tortures Lana, all to find out the connection between Clark Kent & Superman. However, when his computers figure out that Clark Kent is Superman, he dismisses it as he believes that Superman could never be content to walk hidden as a man. Luthor reappears to bedevil Superman in issue 10 where he plays havoc with Superman’s senses, making him appear a veritable force of destruction.
Issue 4 – Introduces the original Bloodsport, who with the assistance of Lex Luthor starts massacring innocents and eventually is uncovered to be a guilt addled mental patient called Robert Dubois.
Issues 5 & 6 – Superman encounters a race of aliens capable of taking over human bodies housed in the body of a huge mechanized construct over the years, wrapped in bandages like a mummy.
Issue 7 – Introduces Dr Thomas Moyers and Rampage, aka Dr Kitty Faulkner who is injured in a Fusion reactor explosion and gets converted into a large woman with minimal intellect.
Issue 9 – The Joker takes on Metropolis, facing Superman for the 1st time.
Issue 11 – Features the debut of Mxyzptlk, where we see that Mxy’s fifth dimension name is something which is undecipherable to humans, so he creates his name using random letters typed on a giant typewriter.
Issue 12 – Features a eulogy to Superman’s first love, Lori Lemaris who died during the Crisis.
Annual 1 – Introduces Titano, the Super Ape as an animal who has been used for experimental purposes and testing. An interesting animal rights story, featuring Dr Thomas Moyers as the bad guy of the piece.

ACTION COMICS:

The guest appearances are generally by other co-stars creating an atmosphere similar to DC COMICS PRESENTS. Most are one shots.
Issue 584 – An unknown adversary takes over Superman’s body & the TEEN TITANS try to stop him.
Issue 585 – THE PHANTOM STRANGER & Superman try to stop an animated prison graveyard risen due to some mystical power.
Issue 587 – Superman travels back in time with THE DEMON to face Morgaine Le Fey and disrupt a spell which would transform modern day Metropolis inhabitants into part of the city spires.
Issue 588 – HAWKMAN & HAWKGIRL are helped by Superman while fighting their Shadow War.
Issue 589 – Superman & the GREEN LANTERN CORPS stop an outer space menace, created by Superman himself during his previous adventure with THE PHANTOM STRANGER, and in the process create a home planet for an intelligent race.
Issue 590 – Superman & the Metal Men take on Chemo, who now has the powers of Superman by cming into contact with his body cells.
Issue 592 & 593 – Superman, with MR MIRACLE & BIG BARDA face the menace of Sleeze, originally a native of Apokolips till ousted by Darkseid, who takes control of Barda & Superman, and of all things uses them to make a video.
Issue 594, Booster Gold issue 23 – Superman & BOOSTER GOLD fight a duplicate Booster, courtesy Lex Luthor.
Issue 595 – Superman faces the Silver Banshee for the 1st time, with an assist by MARTIAN MANHUNTER
Annual 1 – Superman & Batman versus a Vampire plague in a small town.
ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN:

This title was the best of them, with solid plots, classic characterisation, and introduction of new charcters like CATHERINE GRANT, EMIL HAMILTON, BIBBO BIBBOWSKI and JOSE DELGADO / GANGBUSTER. Also, the world view portrayed is excellent. In contrast to the clean Byrne style romps thru the DCU, this title presents a darker, edgier look.
Issue 424 & 425 – Introduces DR EMIL HAMILTON. This is a guy who’s been cheated by Luthor not once, twice in the span of these issues. He appears using his weapons against Superman, proving they work. He also tries to save the public using his inventions but somehow Luthor happens to walk away with the cake.
Issue 427 – Superman attacks Qurac & comes in contact with the Circle, a union of aliens who believe Superman is their long lost member.
Issue 428 – Jerry White is kidnapped & Perry is asked to kill a story. The moral compunctions he faces are tremendous, and by the time he decides, Superman actually saves Jerry, but this ruins their father son dynamic forever. Probably one of the best stories I have ever read.
Issue 429 – Clark discovers Cat Grant has a son, who his father doesn’t allow to see his mother. Superman walks the thin line muddling the Clark Kent / Superman dynamic, when he is attacked by another member of The Circle.
Issue 430 – Personal issues and defeats at the hands of The Fearsome Five force Superman to take a breather and head to Smallville.
Issue 431- Introducing Doctor Stratos, who can control the weather, and may or may not be a God. Nice issue, a villain with potential, wonder why he was hardly heard of again. Of note, this issue was pencilled by Erik Larsen.
Issue 432, 433, 434 – Luthor starts a gang war in the streets and Jerry White, Jimmy Olsen & Gangbuster are right in the middle of it. Introducing Jose Delgado as Gangbuster.
Issue 435 – The end of the Circle storyline.
Annual 1 – Hfuhhrr the word bringer fuses all the bodies of the population of a small town village and harnesses their minds and the knowledge therein for personal gain.
LEGENDS CROSSOVER – SUPERMAN issue 3, ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN issue 426 and ACTION COMICS issue 586 – DARKSEID plans to destroy Earth’s legends, explained in detail in the previous review of the trade paperback LEGENDS, fall on Superman when he transports him to Apokolips and uses him against the Dregs to control them, ending in a climactic fight with ORION, son of Darkseid. You can see our take on LEGENDS here
SUPERBOY CROSSOVER – SUPERMAN issue 8, LEGION OF SUPER HEROES issues 37, 38 and ACTION COMICS issue 591 – In the new continuity, Clark Kent was never Superboy. The Time Trapper notes that the Legion is still inspired by a Superboy, so he creates a pocket dimension where the Legion goes, unbeknownst to them; when they think they are travelling to the past to visit Superboy. The Time Trapper recruits the Superboy of that dimension, in a plot against Superman & the Legion, holding Superboy’s universe at ransom.
There. That’s it. 42 issues in a single bound. The issues are divided more or less evenly amongst the collections:
Vol 2: ACTION 584-586, SUPERMAN 1-3, ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN 424-426
My Rating: 9 on 10
Vol 3: ACTION 587-589, SUPERMAN 4-6, ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN 427-429
My Rating: 10 on 10
Vol 4: ACTION 590, 591, SUPERMAN 7, 8, ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN 430, 431, LEGION OF SUPER HEROES 37, 38

My Rating: 9 on 10
Vol 5: ACTION 592, 593, SUPERMAN 9-11, ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN 432-435
My Rating: 8.5 on 10
Vol 6: SUPERMAN 12, ACTION COMICS 594,595, BOOSTER GOLD 23, all annuals
My rating: 8 on 10
All trades are priced at 20 US$. Worth it any day.
We’ve followed Superman through 1987. The next collection to come is SUPERMAN: EXILE covering the 1989-1990 period. But before that, we’ll be going through JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL & SUICIDE SQUAD, the teams arising from LEGENDS, followed by some other goodies.
Next Week: May 1st to 7th is Batman week. What defines a man, more often than his friends, are his foes. Where does Ra;s fall, really? We take a look at Ra’s Al Ghul through the ages. Stay connected.

Aalok Deciphers DC: Review of Man of Steel Vol 1

8 Jan

Through this column we plan to review and analyze every major event and comic series within DCU since COIE, in the hopes that this becomes a  road map of sorts to the continuity laden streets of DCU. 
If you are an old fan, come enjoy reminiscing with us through the good and the bad DC had to offer.
If you are an old fan getting back into comics , let us help you get upto date sequentially 
If you are a new fan you will get our help in unraveling the mysteries of current DCU
If you are not reading DC comics, let us tell you why you should be.

We started with COIE ( here and here )




SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL VOL 1

Writer: John Byrne
Artists: John Byrne & Dick Giordano
Collects: miniseries MAN OF STEEL 1-6

In Crisis on Infinite Earths, Marv Wolfman & George Perez said goodbye to the Superman of Earth – 2. Subsequently, Alan Moore and Curt Swan in their quintessential WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE MAN OF TOMORROW? said goodbye to the Superman of Earth – 1, serialized in 2 issues of the monthly Superman titles, SUPERMAN & ACTION COMICS.

But the task of handling and defining the NEW Superman was given to John Byrne. He wrote and pencilled a 6 issue mini series called MAN OF STEEL. The inks were provided by Dick Giordano, longtime Batman penciller. In those 6 issues he completely revamped Superman for a larger audience.

In these 6 issues, he introduced the new Clark Kent, Ma & Pa Kent, Lana Lang, Lois Lane, Batman, Lex Luthor and Bizarro. He made the characters slightly different from the classic iterations.

Let me explain in detail. The story starts with a 8 page look at the sterile world New Krypton has become. Jor El claims that the planet is in danger of getting destroyed only due to the tampering of Nature by the Kryptonians. He tells Lara that there is no other option but to send their child to Earth. Lara expresses her discontent as in how primitive Earth is but agrees when Jor El tells her that he will have amazing powers under the yellow sun. The craft is sent as Krypton explodes.
Cut to a scene of a Smallville football game which Clark wins almost single handedly and Pa Kent expresses his disappointment at that. It is then that Pa Kent reveals that he came to Earth in a spaceship and shows him the craft. What follows is a summary of how his powers manifest, one by one and how he gradually learns to control them. he finally makes the decision of leaving Smallville and go out into the world to see how his powers can help other people. 
He returns once when he is “outed” in Metropolis while saving a Space plane from crashing. Lois happens to be aboard that plane and thus we see the briefest first encounter between Lois & Clark. Clark doesn’t have a costume, yet. When everybody swarms him with offers, he becomes so disillusioned that he returns to Smallville to his parents for advice. Pa & Ma Kent then design a costume for him, along with a secret identity. 

And this was just the 1st issue. This is the origin of Superman, complete in one issue! The rest describe his first encounters with people who will subsequently form an integral part of his life. 

Next comes Lois Lane. we see an account of how Lois chases Superman around the city just to miss him every time until she performs a stunt – drives her car off the pier in hope that Superman will come to help her  (she had an air bag ready in her car in case she doesn’t). The issue ends with her being scooped by Clark Kent and this makes her furious. 

The Third issue is the supposed first interaction between the world’s finest. Superman doesn’t like Batman’s methods which brings him into conflict with him. When Superman tries to bring Batman in, he states that he has built a field around him which would send out a signal to a detonator planted on an innocent person. If Superman would breach the field. that person would die. Thus begins a reluctant partnership, to capture a female called Magpie who is responsible for a rash of robberies and murders in museums, exhibitions and jewelery stores. How they deduce Magpie’s identity and Superman learns that Gotham is not Metropolis and requires a different approach is worth reading.

The next issue sees Lois coming to Clark Kent’s place to pick him up for a yacht party hosted by the billionaire Lex Luthor. suddenly, the party is interrupted by Brazilian mercenaries until Clark turns into Superman to save the day, which is when Luthor tears him a check and offers to put him on retainer. It is then we learn that the mercenaries were hired by Luthor himself in the hopes of attracting and testing Superman. The mayor orders superman to arrest Lex Luthor. Thus is born the eternal conflict between Luthor & Superman.

BIZARRO is an imperfect clone of superman, commissioned by Lex Luthor and created by Sydney Happersen in a laboratory. It is junked when the odd creature is far too imperfect for Luthor’s requirements. Bizarro knows Superman’s secret identity and shows up dressed as Clark Kent at the Daily Planet. Lois’ sister, Lucy Lane is shown as being blind from an accident. Only when her eyes come into contact with some “strange dust” from Bizarro is she able to have “flashes” of sight. the issue ends with her sight being totally restored when Bizarro explodes at the end of his battle with Superman.


In the final issue, Superman returns to Smallville and courtesy a holo simulation learns about his true Kryptonian heritage and sees his biological parents for the first time and has a reunion of sorts with Lana Lang, his childhood sweetheart who always had pinned her hopes on being Mrs Clark Kent. In the end Superman realizes that while he was born in Krypton , it is Earth that makes him human.

Comments:


Some differences from Pre-Crisis stories:

-This one skips all the action of Jor El learning about Krypton’s imminent destruction and visiting the Science Council and his pleas to make plans for the relocation of all Kryptonians. It begins just before the death tremors of Krypton.
-Clark Kent was never Superboy. He started using the costume as an adult.
-Ma & Pa Kent are alive when Superman is an adult.
-Byrne made it pretty clear where he was going with Lois and Lana and that he intends for Lois to be his sweet heart.
-Lex Luthor is a businessman, not a mad scientist.
-No Bizarro World.
-We see the Kent scrapbook for the first time when Ma Kent collects the newspaper articles of Clark’s feats when he wasn’t Superman but still helping the world in the best way possible.

Upside:
-Byrne’s clean art is gorgeous, the Giordano inks also help. The storytelling represents a fresh take, also we see where decompressed storylines began, not so much here as in Batman Year one.
-Ma & Pa Kent are alive. I think he makes a better Superman with his parents to help out.
-Lex Luthor becomes more realistic here. He has the potential to become much more than a common crook.
-The portrayal of Batman here and in Batman: Year One is one that made him return to his grim n gritty roots. That has given us many great stories subsequently.

Flipside:
-No Bizarro World
-Lucy Lane regaining her sight from exposure to some “strange dust” is a stretch. No explanations given.

Rating: 8 stars out of 10
Contains full covers, 14.99 $


Next up: A Roadmap of sorts for DCU !!