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Reviews and commentary by Tony Isabella
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for Friday, August 14, 2009

Supergirl 35

In my previous column, I wrote about Superman: New Krypton Volume One and said I would be reviewing the entire storyline. I plan to follow through on that, but, from here on in, most "New Krypton" reviews will begin with big honking spoiler warnings. Like this one...


The reason for this is that, on reading the next two parts of this storyline, I was appalled by their developments. These were the kind of developments that have increasingly driven me away from the current DC Universe comics. Their nature is such that I can't review these comic books without discussing the elements I find so disturbing. Perhaps the talented writers of these and subsequent issues will amaze me by addressing and resolving my dismay in brilliant ways. Please forgive me if I don't bet the farm on this. That said, let's get on with today's reviews.

Supergirl #35 [$2.99] accomplishes one positive thing for certain. Writer Sterling Gates gives us a clever explanation and solution for the chaotic characterization of Kara as seen in previous issues of this and other DCU comics. She was poisoned by the kryptonite which surround her spaceship for the thirty years it took said ship to reach Earth.

I'm not thrilled Cat Grant, who has been an interesting tragic character in the past, has "evolved" into a soulless monster, nor am I pleased Alura - Kara's Kryptonian mother - isn't any better, but I initially chalked that up to DC's attempt to make the title more appealing to women readers by adding the kind of uber-bitches seen so often in daytime and prime time TV dramas. In retrospect, it's more indicative of what seems to be DC's insane plan to fill their super-hero titles with incredibly unlikeable characters. I guess the plan is working.

One more positive note on the issue. The Jamal Igle (pencils) and Keith Champagne (inks) art is excellent. The issue gets three out of five Tonys.

Tony Tony Tony

Superman 682

We now move on to Superman #682 ($2.99) where we learn a number of shocking things:

New Krypton has committed multiple acts of war against the United States of America, acts which include the murder of police officers who were trying to carry out their obligations to serve and protect people and uphold the laws of our land.

Supergirl can and should be charged with murder as she was part of the criminal conspiracy which led to the deaths of those officers, assaults on other citizens, the kidnapping and illegal detention of criminals without due process, and what appears to be considerable property damage.

General Sam Lane and Lex Luthor are right. Superman and the rest of the Kryptonians are a threat to mankind. Superman had no right to relocate over a hundred thousand super-powered aliens to our planet and, as a consequence of this action, several police officers have been killed.

James Robinson is one of the very best writers in comics, but it's going to take some downright miraculous storytelling to make things right after the horrific events of this issue. I might be able to excuse Supergirl if it turns out the treatment her folks gave her to cure her of kryptonite poisoning also "brainwashed" her to make her more pliable to their agenda. But how can Superman not be held accountable for the initial action that led to the crimes detailed above? I'm coming up blank on that one.

Does gold kryptonite still exist in the current DCU? If it does, the President should order it used against every Kryptonian who took part in these crimes...and probably against Superman as well. At the least, the Man of Steel's guilty of criminal neglect. Given how powerful he is, he has to receive the most severe penalty allowed by law.

Though Robinson's writing is good, as is the art by Renato Guedes (pencils) and Wilson Magalhaes (inks), I am too horrified by this issue and the direction in which it appears to be taking Superman to give it any Tonys whatsoever.

No Tonys

Nice going, DC.



Subsequent issues of DC's "New Krypton" have addressed some of my concerns, but not all of them. Keep watching TOT for my reviews of this ongoing storyline.

In a recent TOT, I wrote that the only item of interest for me in the animated Superman/Batman: Public Enemies was that, like the comic-book story on which it was based, the direct-to-DVD release would feature Black Lightning and this, in turn, meant that DC would have to cut me a check. Since then, I have learned of a second item of interest:

LaVar Burton will be voicing my creation. He's a terrific actor whose work I've admired since I first saw him in Roots and I look/listen forward to seeing/hearing him in the feature. I assume DC will be sending me a copy of Public Enemies when the DVD is released on September 29.

Thanks for spending a part of your day with me. I'll be back on Monday with more stuff.

Tony Isabella

<< 08/13/2009 | 08/14/2009 | 08/17/2009 >>

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Zero Tonys
ZERO: Burn your money before buying any comic receiving this rating. It doesn't *necessarily* mean there's absolutely nothing of value here - though it *could* - but whatever value it might possess shrinks into insignificance before its overall awfulness.

ONE: Buy something else. Maybe I found something which wasn't completely dreadful in the item, but not enough for me to recommend it when there are better comics available. I only want what's best for you, my children.

TWO: Basic judgment call. I found some value, but not enough to recommend it. My review should give you enough info to decide if you want to take a chance on it. Are you feeling lucky today, punk? Well, are you?

THREE: This denotes something I find perfectly respectable. There are better books out there, but I wouldn't regret buying this item. Based on my review, you should be able to determine if it's of interest to you. Let the Force guide you.

FOUR: I recommend anything earning this rating. Unless you don't like the genre, subject matter, or past work of the creators, I believe you'll enjoy this item. Isn't it uncanny how I can look right into your soul that way?

FIVE: Anything getting this rating is among the best comicdom has to offer. You should buy/read this, even if the genre/subject matter doesn't appeal to you. It's for your own good. Me, I live for comics and books this good...but not in a pathetic "Comic-Book Guy" sort of way.

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