Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Superman, Volume 2: Return to Glory Review (Gene Luen Yang, Howard Porter)

After being blackmailed by social media villain Hordr, the world knows Superman is Clark Kent who is now on the run and depowered. Which of course means he has to become a wrestler! Oh man… 

Gene Luen Yang’s first Superman book wasn’t amazing but it was ok - unfortunately his follow-up is so, so bad! This book is a cavalcade of boring storylines that don’t mesh. The unremarkable Hordr story concludes with Superman bizarrely becoming an underground wrestler, which goes on for way too long, and segues into the Savage Dawn storyline where Superman fights Vandal Savage. This is also the part of the book where the story starts skipping like a broken record. 

I think Savage Dawn was a sort-of event storyline that crossed over with other titles because there are gaps between issues with blocks of text in between to inform the reader what happened elsewhere. I hate it when DC does this. Choppy narratives are horrible to read. 

Then somehow Superman’s powered up again, there’s an alternate Krypton/Justice League, then there’s another Superman, then he’s dying, and then ANOTHER SUPERMAN appears! Yeah, this is one hot mess! 

It’s a minor quibble but I really dislike how DC’s remodelling all of their characters that don’t look like they’re cut from wood. They made oldies Deathstroke and Leslie Thompkins (Bruce Wayne’s doctor friend who knows he’s Batman) both younger and more attractive, and now it’s Etta Candy’s turn, the large white lady friend of Wonder Woman, who’s reintroduced here as a thin black girl. No idea why either! Equality bullshit probably. The pun-name doesn’t work now and she doesn’t even play a big part in the story. Why not just create a new character?! 

Superman, Volume 2: Return to Crappiness is one helluva slooooow read! It took me two weeks to slog through its 260 pages because no part of it grabbed me and I kept wanting to put it down. It wasn’t worth it - don’t do it guys! 

Congrats anyway to Gene Luen Yang for being among those awarded the MacArthur “genius grant” this year (which comes with a whopping $625k windfall!). I guess the MacArthur Foundation is impressed with garbage like this and wants him to keep making bad Superman comics?! If only Scott Lobdell or Dan Jurgens weren’t white guys because by that measure they’d both be in line for next year’s prize too!

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