Review: Earth 2, Vol. 5: The Kryptonian by Tom Taylor

Earth 2, Vol. 5: The KryptonianEarth 2, Vol. 5: The Kryptonian by Tom Taylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

 

 

Other than the weird-ass issue at the end with Mr. Terrific in the future, I really enjoyed volume 5!

Spoilers Ahead, you Crybabies!
Like, for real, I’m spoiling everything.
Unless you’ve already read this turn back now.

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In the last volume we met Val-Zod, a Kryptonian who had been hidden away by the government, after his spaceship landed on Earth.

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He an agoraphobic pacifist, originally raised by Superman’s parents on Krypton, after his parents were killed by the government for trying to warn people the planet’s doom (or something like that). He was much older than Clark when he was shot into space, and had a strong bond with Supes parent’s, who taught him to believe violence was never the answer.

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But that doesn’t seem to be very helpful in the current situation!
Batman, who we learned in the previous volume was really Thomas Wayne, is especially enraged over Val’s refusal to fight.

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Jimmy Olsen (techopath with photographic memory) & Lois Lane (revived as the new Red Tornado) have both befriended Val, and are working with him to try to figure out a way to use his abilities, without compromising his principles. Because he may the only one on the planet strong enough to defeat Darkseid’s newest minion…Superman!

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Meanwhile, Hawkgirl & Green Lantern (brought back to life by the Earth’s energies) execute a daring rescue mission to save Flash from Beguiler (lackey of Darkseid, with the power of a god).

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Without backup, even Green Lantern can’t hold her off when she comes for Garrick. And neither Alan or Kendra trusted the World Army enough to tell them about their plan to save Flash.
But who needs an army when you’ve got Aquawoman?!

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Oh, hell yeah! Best part of the whole book! My liver-spotted hand made a fist, and I pumped it in the air when she popped outta the water like a banshee!
Suck it, Aquafamily haters!
*does awkward shimmy, throws back out, hobbles off stage*

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OK, ok. Back to the story.
When Red Tornado & this dark version of Superman finally meet up, she tries to talk some sense into Clark, and it works. Sort of.

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Lois is desperately trying to figure out what the hell happened, or if this thing is even actually her husband.
After a trip to Smallville backfires spectacularly, Val is left with no choice but to face him head on.

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Except..STILL A PACIFIST!
Again, not entirely helpful. right?
Well, it seems if you stand still and let someone beat themselves against you till they crumble to dust, it doesn’t count as violence.
Huh.
Whatever works!

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Nice little reference to Bizaro Superman in this, by the way.
I was impressed with this entire storyline, and I’m excited to see what happens next. There is a next, right?
Someone please tell me there’s more!
Because I’m obviously too lazy to Google the answer to that…

Even if you didn’t care for this one when it first came out, I’d still say these last few volumes are cool enough to warrant you giving it another shot.

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Review: Superman: Doomed by Greg Pak

Superman: DoomedSuperman: Doomed by Greg Pak

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you’re a fan of Big Blue, then I think you’ll enjoy this one.
I’m sort of surprised that this played out as well as it did, to be honest. I was sort of expecting more flashbacks to Krypton or something.
But they kept this about Clark, and the story was pretty darn good!

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Wonder Woman & her relationship with Superman plays a Huge role in this one, and if you were planning on reading Superman/Wonder Woman, Vol. 2don’t. Everything but a Future’s End issue is already packed into Doomed, and it makes a hellava lot more sense when you read it all together.

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Doomsday gets loose, turns into some kind of a Doomsday-Prime beast, and starts rampaging across the planet. Superman is forced to do the One Thing he doesn’t want to do, and…kttttk!
But there’s a problem! Of course!

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To save everyone, Superman inhales all of the spores that puffed out of Doomsday when Supes blasted him. And now…
{cue dramatic music}
He’s turning into Doomsday!

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The rest of the story is all about how to save the planet from Brainiac, and save Superman from himself. It’s a catch-22, because they need Superman to take out Brainiac’s fleet of ships, but every time he enters Earth’s atmosphere he loses control of himself and Hulks-out…thanks to the government blanketing the planet in Kryptonite.

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What I loved?
Diana & Clark have a pretty interesting relationship. I love that she’s the only one who is strong enough take him out if he totally loses control, and she’s willing to do it. But she also never gives up on him, even when he’s acting like an asshole. She doesn’t do that angry girlfriend thing, and stomp off with her feelings hurt.

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And speaking of never giving up, can I get a round of applause for Batman?! He’s another one who refuses to throw in the towel on Clark.
He’s Diana’s biggest ally in saving the Man of Steel, and I love how much this showcases his (very deeply buried) feelings for his friend.

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John Steel & Lana! Loved these two! Again, you get to see how much Clark means to the people in his life, and how deep their loyalty to him goes.
*sniff, sniff* Do I smell romance in the air for these guys?

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Another cool tidbit is the BFF status between Lois & Clark. They genuinely care about each other as people this time around! Instead of Lois pining after Superman because he always saves her life, and ignoring the dorky reporter next to her? Well, Lois may still (secretly) harbor the hots for the man in the cape, but she also has some conflicted feelings for her friend.
And Superman’s feelings for her seems to go a bit farther than just friends, as well. When he argues with the monster in his head, Doomsday keeps referencing ‘her‘ as the reason Clark won’t give up.
Hmmm? Why not just say Diana if that’s who he’s talking about? I think this is a teaser for things to come…

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I have to admit I wasn’t crazy about Lois (once again) getting superpowers. It doesn’t sit right with me, and it’s sort of annoying that it’s turning into the go-to plot device for this title. We all want Lois to play a big role in the stories, but there has to be a way to do it without turning her into a Power. Maybe I’m wrong?

Overall, this was an excellent story, though.
Recommended for Fans of Superman!

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Review: Batman/Superman, Vol. 3: Second Chance by Greg Pak, Jae Lee (Illustrations)

Batman/Superman, Vol. 3: Second ChanceBatman/Superman, Vol. 3: Second Chance by Greg Pak

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

3.5 stars

I don’t know if it was because I expected to not like this or what, but this volume didn’t disappoint me as much as the other two. The stories weren’t connected at all, or if they were, only loosely. And instead of growling at each other, they were back to being friends. So…a bit more fun.

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That’s not to say this was perfect.
The first issue was some weird story about a spaceship full of microscopic aliens that Batman accidentally sucked up his nose. Ray Palmer (The Atom), who is a scientist working for S.H.A.D.E (Frankenstein’s old organization), shrinks himself and Superman down, and they take a trip inside Batman to save the day.
I shit you not!

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Doomed crossover event.
Already read it, so nothing new there.
Batman, Wonder Woman, Steel, & even Krypto search through the Phantom Zone for a cure for Superman. It’s good stuff, but it won’t make much sense unless you’ve already read Superman: Doomed.

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Second Chance is the next up, and it takes place on Earth 2. That wacky little chaos demon from before is back, and it gives them a chance to change the lives of their counterparts on the alternate Earth.

{Spoilery things happen}

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Then the demon makes a deal with some giant devil-thing, who lives in a devil-dimension. They erase both of their memories, and shoot them back on to Earth…naked.
*cough*
Things get a bit mixed up, and the boys sort of end up with the wrong women.
So to speak…

Clark falls into Selina’s lap, and (of course) she can’t resist playing a few tricks on the Man of Steel.

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Meanwhile, Lois partners up with Bruce, and brings out his flirty side.

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Eventually, the boys shape up, fight back, remember who they are, and (naturally) save the day.
The End.

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Review: Superman – Earth One, Vol. 3 by J. Michael Straczynski

Superman: Earth One, Vol. 3Superman: Earth One, Vol. 3 by J. Michael Straczynski
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First off, thanks to NetGalley for an ARC! It took forever for me to FINALLY get approved by one of the majors!

Luckily, I’d already read the first 2 volumes, so I wasn’t going in blind.

In this story, we find out that a certain Kryptonian isn’t the last survivor…there’s another, and he’s seeking out Kal.

The real basis for the story is still a combo of Clark growing as a human, and Superman being looked at with mistrust and suspicion by the militaries and governments of the world.

Lex Luthor, who appeared at the end of volume 2, appears again here, though in a somewhat different mindset than you might be used to. He also doesn’t appear alone…

Lois 100% steals an idea from Jim Gordon, and wisely, Superman points out how bad an idea it is in addition to being what she thinks is a good one.

However, when the second Kryptonian arrives, he disarms Kal with kindness, while convincing the global powers that perhaps Kal isn’t all he claims to be…this is some good villainous duplicity.

The art is strong, just as it was in the first two volumes, though a new artist has taken over, the style remains similar, and still very enjoyable.

When everyone turns their back on Superman, he is tested beyond his abilities, and it will be from two very unlikely sources that he draws strength and support. One of them for sure was a welcome twist in the Superman mythos for sure, and the other was a fitting way to move an important subplot forward in a very agreeable way.

Without any spoilers, I’ll just say that there’s new twists on old favourites and parts of the Superman Origin/Story, and for the most part, I find they work very well. That being said, other than the one reversal of character, there’s not much majorly different here from the regular Superman, though I do enjoy this one.

Straczynski has written another solid volume to this series, but it’s not quite as WOW as the other two were…however, it’s stil a good Superman story that really emphasizes his young nature striving to embrace and learn even more from humanity. This Superman (and Clark) are both growing in leaps and bounds, and I do look forward to seeing where this will go from here.

Thanks again to NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy (digital).


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