Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Adventure Comics #11

Just this one review on tap for tonight. I was going to review Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1 tonight, but that comic was SO bad that I'm actually going to attempt to read it AGAIN later on tonight to see if I can possibly glean anything positive from it... But let's not go there just yet(there'll be plenty of Return of Bruce Wayne bashing on Thursday I figure), tonight I'll be looking at Adventure Comics #11, which contains two stories, one being an epilogue to Brainiac's attack on New Krypton, while the other is the conclusion to the long-running Mon-El storyline that had been taking place in the Superman title for the past year or so. Why am I talking about that here in the intro though? Let's get to the review!

Adventure Comics #11: Writers: James Robinson and Sterling Gates. Pencils: Travis Moore and Bernard Chang.
Last Issue: 9 out of 10.

Review: Our first story is the Brainiac one, so that's where I'll start. After being defeated by General Zod on New Krypton, Brainiac was abducted by Brainiac 5(of the OLD Legion of Super-Heroes), just prior to Zod blowing Brainiac's head off. Instead of allowing Brainiac to be killed by Zod, Brainiac 5 intends to turn Brainiac over to the authorities on Brainiac's homeworld of Colu. Before Brainiac 5 can get to Colu though, Brainiac manages to break free from his shackles and attacks Brainiac 5. The two Brainiacs fight, and Brainiac manages to get the upper-hand on his descendant, and is about to tear the secrets of time-travel from Brainiac 5's mind when Vril Dox(or Brainiac 2 since we seem to be on a Brainiac kick right now)arrives on the scene and takes Brainiac down with a well placed taser blast. It seems that Brainiac 5 had contacted Dox earlier and was intending to hand the elder Brainiac over to Dox all along so he wouldn't have to head to Colu and explain to the authorities who he was. With Brainiac now destined to be returned to Colu, Brainiac 5 returns to the future where he receives a hero's welcome, ending the first story. Next up is the Mon-El story, which also spins out of the Last Stand storyline. Mon has been taking all of the bottled cities he rescued from Brainiac's ship(with some help from the OLD Legion Espionage Squad)and placing them on planets where they would be able to grow(literally!)and thrive. Mon eventually completes his task, but returns to Earth greatly diminished thanks to the return of his fatal lead sickness. Mon says his good-byes to Jimmy Olsen, finds and defeats the talking monkey that had experimented on him, and in doing so rescues a young Daxamite female who the monkey was also experimenting on. Mon then takes the woman to the Fortress of Solitude where Superboy and a spacecraft was waiting. Mon escorts the woman onto the spacecraft so she can get off of Earth before she also begins to suffer from the deadly lead poisoning that Mon was suffering from. Once the woman is safely headed off of Earth, Mon begins to collapse. Chameleon Boy(from the aforementioned Legion Espionage Squad)teleports over to Superboy and the stricken Mon and offers him a chance to live by returning to the newly fixed Phantom Zone. Mon decides he'd rather die then spend forever drifting as a phantom, but Chameleon Boy guilts Mon, telling him that he still has more to do one day down the road. Mon agrees to go back to the Phantom Zone and drifts aimlessly for untold years, until Superman and the Legion pull him out of the Phantom Zone in the future, where the apparent cycle of Mon-El's life begins all over again, ending this issue.

What I Thought: I actually liked both stories. The first story had Vril Dox in it, and as far as I'm concerned, a Dox appearance can make ANY comic better! The second story felt somewhat rushed, but was a satisfying end to Mon-El's story. I will say that I'm sad that Mon's story(in the present day DCU at least)has ended, I always felt he had some great potential. I did like the way James Robinson pretty much completed the apparent circle that is Mon-El's life, with him returning to the Phantom Zone where he would eventually be rescued thanks to a young, time traveling Clark Kent in the future, so that his life story could begin anew. As I said in the intro, I did find it strange that Mon's story was completed here in Adventure Comics as opposed to Superman(where Mon has been starring for over a year now), but I've given up trying to figure out the way the DC brain-trust thinks... I'll just shrug my shoulders and say, whatever, and move on to the next comic.

Score: 8 out of 10.If Vril Dox appeared in every DC comic, I'd have nothing to complain about!


  1. I didn't really know who Mon-El was until yesterday, when I read his first appearance in the first Legion of Super Heroes Archives collection. He seems like a really interesting character, and I'm looking forward to reading more about him. I think the cyclical nature of the character which you talked about in your review is really cool.

    I'm going to try and read Return of Bruce Wayne #1 later today, so I should be able to comment on your review. Hopefully it won't be as bad on your second read as you initially thought!

  2. I've read a few things about Mon before he took over the Superman title(he was in the first few issues of the awesome LEGION title), and I've always liked him, which is why I'm sad to see him head back to the future. I think James did the best he could with what he had, although the Mon-El storyline ended very abruptly. I guess with Superman #600 on the horizon, DC wanted Big Blue back in his title for #600.

    I just finished my first draft of the Return of Bruce Wayne comic, and I should have it up for tomorrow. I am DYING to hear your thoughts on it Marc, because if anybody can translate Grant's writing to me, I think you're the man to do it! :-)

  3. I'm not if Mon-El's deal is the same post-Crisis, but pre-Crisis the whole lead poisoning thing is actually Superman's fault, which I thought that was pretty interesting. In fact, I'd be pretty pissed off at Superman if I were him.

    Ha, I'll see what I can do about the Bruce Wayne comic. I take it the second reading didn't go much better than the first!

  4. Knowing the way DC's has gone fully retro lately, I'd guess that as of now, Mon's origin probably is the pre-Crisis one. And yeah, young Supes really wound up screwing poor Mon over, didn't he!