Sunday, June 14, 2009

Superman #688

On tonight's agenda we have the most recent issue of Superman. This series stars Supes pal, Mon-El and is written by the awesome James Robinson. Now that James is back at DC full time, I for one would love if he'd revisit Starman or the Shade(THE greatest supporting character in ANY comic book). Well, enough of that, here's the review.

-This comic opens by following up on the events of last issue(makes sense, right?), with Mon-El falling from the sky into the Bay in Metropolis. It seems that Mon's powers have mysteriously left him and he doesn't know how to swim. Luckily for Mon, Guardian was in the area and saves Mon from his watery grave.

-Upon reaching the surface of the water, Mon's powers return as mysteriously as they left him. As Mon and Guardian decide what to do about the sudden loss of power, the Squad K losers show up and are subsequently defeated.

-Guardian takes Mon to STAR Labs and after an examination from Dr. Light, Mon finds out that the elixir from the future that he drank, the one that is holding his lead poisoning at bay, is being attacked by his super-powers, which think the elixir is a dangerous foreign entity plaguing his body. In return, the elixir is attacking his super-powers, which explains why his powers momentarily left him. Whew. The bottom line here is that due to the turmoil within his body Dr. Light gives Mon 12 to 18 months to live.

-After leaving, Guardian asks Mon what he's going to do now, and Mon states that he promised Supes he would look after Metropolis, and that's exactly what he intends on doing, to the bitter end.

-Later in the day, Mon(in his other identity of Jon Kent)and Guardian, along with some other members of the Science Police, break that weird creature, the telepathic one with the Legion flight ring, out of the facility that was holding it captive. As they are leaving with the creature, they come across Codename: Assassin. Assassin tries to get into Guardian's head, but the creature prevents it and Guardian and Mon leave an upset Assassin behind.

-Assassin reports what happened to Gen. Lane, who tells Assassin to let the situation alone for now. Lane does tell Assassin that he will get his shot at Guardian down the road, as well as making cryptic threats about Guardian's "daughter".

-This issue ends with Mon visiting Paris and realizing that there is still a lot he wants to do with his life, and that he isn't ready to die yet.

What a wonderful comic this was. THIS is why I love James' work. I'm not sure that any other comic writer(maybe Ed Brubaker)can develop characters as brilliantly as James can. After reading this comic, how can you not like Mon-El? Although he is dying, through no fault of his own, he still insists on carrying out with the promise he made to Supes. Besides that, James also played up the stranger in a strange land aspect of Mon's character with great success.

The subplot with Guardian and the creature is interesting, mainly due to the fact that the creature is wearing a Legion ring. I'm not sure if that creature has appeared before(it may have, my knowledge of the DCU isn't complete yet), but I for one can't wait to find out more about it.

This comic was practically perfect... With the exception of the pseudo-showdown between Guardian and Assassin. After reading the "Superman's Pal Jimmy Olson Special" I was really expecting a LOT more between these two considering it was Assassin who killed the original Guardian at Project Cadmus. I guess the stare down will build anticipation for the next time these two meet, but you'd think Guardian would want to tear Assassin apart, or that Assassin would make a move to stop Guardian from stealing the creature... I guess not.

For a score this comic gets a very easy 9 1/2 out of 10. I was toying with giving this book a perfect score, but the lack of action between Assassin and Guardian really bothered me. This comic gets my very highest recommendation though.

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