Can I go back to football now?
Oh dear God. These are the days that test my will to live, much less write.
I wanted a challenge when I started this blog. Truth is, I wanted to write something every day. I already missed two days this week. So, without any real idea for my next article, I decided I’d write about the next issue I got my hands on.
It was Superboy #25. Heaven help me.
Even worse, I’m surrendering valuable Sunday football time to write this, while my Jets trail the Bills 20-0. Think I’m in a mood to be charitable, maybe even positive? Why no. No, I am not. I only hope I can find the words to adequately convey the horror of this misbegotten piece of garbage.
DC Comics is in serious trouble. I think that much is now obvious. They took a man who can barely write 24 pages of coherent dialogue and tapped him as the mastermind of the entire Super corner of the DC Universe. Scott Lobdell is to comics what Scott Stapp is to music. An overhyped, overplayed relic of the 90s who somehow keeps making comebacks.
You bring in someone like Lobdell for a one-issue fill in while you search for a full-time creator. You don’t give him the keys to the damn Fortress of Solitude and let him run wild on your signature property.
But can you really be surprised, the way that DC has mishandled Superman for at least the past five years? If you’ve been reading since the One Year Later promotional stunt, you’ve been treated to:
- Kurt Busiek’s horribly misguided, often-delayed Camelot Falls fiasco
- The plodding, anti-climactic, year-long World of New Krypton
- J. Michael Straczynski’s much-ridiculed (and rightfully so) storyline in which Superman walks cross-country for no discernible reason
- George Perez quitting three issues into his tone-deaf run, ending in a hail of metaphorical gunfire with DC’s editorial staff
- Andy Diggle’s epic one-issue tenure
- Grant Morrison’s stint on Action Comics, which started as a tribute to Superman’s Golden Age origins until it devolved into an incomprehensible (entertaining yes, but still incomprehensible) mess.
Which is how we got to where we are today. Lobdell was one of the principal writers on X-Men in the 90s, and got more than enough opportunity to write convoluted, nonsensical Cable stories, from which he’s learned a valuable lesson. When you’re backed into a corner, or don’t know what you’re doing, needlessly complicate things to the point where nobody notices anyway.
Krypton’s back, returned to existence as a slave planet by H’El, a clone who went back in time to kill Jor-El. Apparently Jor-El recovered in time to put Kal-El in the rocket and shoot him to Earth.
Standing between H’El and his dreams of a Krypton ground beneath his boot are Superman, Supergirl, and the titular Kon-El, aka Superboy. Superboy is a clone of Jon Lane Kent, the future son of Lois and Clark, who was kidnapped by an anti-superhuman zealot named Harvest and turned to murdering superheroes. Seriously.
It’s all incredibly and needlessly convoluted, and ruins what might have made a decent, middle-of-the-road crossover story. The idea of Krypton coming back as a conquered world has potential, especially if DC had long-term designs for it. But this Krypton will last as long as the typical superhero death, and will impact the DC Universe about as much.
This is all giving me a migraine, and Geno Smith just got picked off again. I’m done. Peace out.
- NYCC: Lobdell Announces Death of Superboy (comicbookresources.com)
- Superboy Is Dead! All Hail Superboy! (bwmedia.wordpress.com)
- NYCC: DC Comics’ Superman Panel (comicbookresources.com)
- NYCC ’13: Farewell Superboy – Hello Lois Lane? (comicsbeat.com)