Saturday, 9 May 2015

Adventures of Superman, Volume 1 Review (Jeff Parker, Chris Samnee)


Like Batman’s Legends of the Dark Knight, Adventures of Superman is the digital series of shorts where you can see these iconic characters wearing those famous shorts (their new 52 outfits are sans outside-pants)!

And while this first collection has many recognisable names contributing pieces, the stories are almost entirely a forgettable and uninteresting bunch. 

Jeff Lemire writes about some kids pretending they’re Superman and one of his villains, Lex, Brainiac, whoever; it’s cute but that’s it. Jeff Parker writes a classic Superman v Lex story that’s very blah though Chris Samnee’s art is lovely. Justin Jordan writes a perfectly ok Bizarro short that’s Bizarro being Bizarro, no surprises there. Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning write an ok story about Lex’s average day. 

Matt Kindt supplies the worst story here which unfortunately turns out to be the longest. It’s about what Superman does in a single hour before Clark gets up at 7 to walk with Lois to work. Superman saves the universe over and over, beats alien bad guys, etc. and still has time to save Lois' life from Lex too. It’s a one-idea story streeeetched for way too many pages and becomes boring after three. 

Tom DeFalco writes the stupidest story about a couple of blue-collar dudes, one of whom doesn’t believe in Superman! If you lived in the DC universe, that would be just ridiculously asinine. How many stories - with photos! - and interviews with the man himself has one Lois Lane published in the Daily Planet? And you still don’t believe in him!? Utterly thoughtless storytelling. 

I kinda liked Joshua Hale Fialkov and Joelle Jones’ Slow News Day, about Clark and Lois racing each other to find a noteworthy news piece somewhere in the city and Clark being distracted because he has to do Superman stuff. 

The best story here (though that’s not saying much) was Kyle Killen and Pia Guerra’s, which looks at what happens when someone believes Superman will save them - and doesn’t. Because what Matt Kindt failed to note in his tedious tale was that while Superman does a ton of stuff in one hour, he’s been asleep for several hours before - and how many people died that he could’ve saved in that time across the universe? Killen asks that question and brilliantly ties it into Lex’s goals. 

I’d like to say this collection of Superman short stories was good but there are just too many duds that fail to interest. Rob Williams and Chris Weston do something about Clark going back to Smallville for dinner with his mum? Nathan Edmondson and Yildiray Cinar have a story about an alien baby Superman has to save? Michael Avon Oeming and Bryan JL Glass do some time travel nonsense? Whaaaatever. 

It’s nice to see Superman look like Superman again but the stories in Adventures of Superman, Volume 1 are very sub-par to recommend to fans of the character.

Adventures of Superman, Volume 1

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