Riku vs Supergirl

Suggested by Destroyer Riku has mastered both the powers of light and dark. He’s certainly one of the strongest keyblade Masters out there. That being said, his stats aren’t as off the walls as some Final Fantasy leads. He’s a little more standard in comparison at least when it comes to speed and power. As a result it’s hard to see him being able to match Supergirl. At her best she can keep up with Superman and bust through planets. She’s not going to go down easily and will win this match more often than not. Supergirl wins.

Casca vs Supergirl

Suggested by iKnowledge It’s time for Casca to make her debut! Unlike Guts and Griffith she doesn’t have a big super form to amp her up, but she is not a fighter who should be underestimated. Casca is quite agile and is talented with the sword. Of course, that isn’t enough to keep up with Supergirl. This DC heroine can easily fly rings around her and end the match with a powerful blast of heat vision. Casca has no real way of defending herself for long. Supergirl wins.

Supergirl vs Mary Marvel

Mary Marvel is one of the stronger DC heroines and definitely shouldn’t be underestimated in a fight. She will give the Battle her all but the same can be said for Supergirl. I’d give her the edge in strength as well as speed. Not to mention that Supergirl has more combat experience as well. In a battle of heavyweights like this one, every slight edge is massive. Supergirl wins.

Wonder Woman vs Supergirl

Suggested by Destroyer This is a pretty intense fight as Supergirl and Wonder Woman are known as two of the strongest heroines in all of comics. That being said, I would give Supergirl the edge here. Her speed and power are just a little better than WW’s. Wonder Woman has the better hand to hand skills to combat that but she is still at a disadvantage. Supergirl is no slouch in that department after all and will manage to come out on top in the end. She has earned her spot as the strongest comic book heroine. Supergirl wins.

Superman Adventures Volume 3 Review

It’s time for the next volume in the Superman Adventures series! The last one was pretty great and this volume continues to operate on that high level. It’s hard to say which volume is actually better. This one may claim a slight edge but it’s pretty much neck and neck. I’m gonna miss these Superman stories, but coming up I’ll be reviewing some Batman comics so those should also be pretty cool. The DCAU lives on!

The first story has Jimmy show a new intern around as he tries to get a story. Unfortunately, this kid isn’t very good at anything so he holds Jimmy back the entire time and even embarrasses him in front of Superman. I thought the story was a little mean spirited towards Jimmy. I didn’t like the new kid at all and he was a little over the top with how quiet he was and how he constantly kept getting in Jimmy’s way. There was a twist at the end which you could probably have guessed from the start, but it couldn’t save him. Not a bad story, but probably the weakest of the batch since Superman didn’t really get to appear much.

Another story has Bruce Wayne get kidnapped by the Mad Hatter. He won’t be released unless Batman shows up but the problem is that Bruce Wayne actually is Batman! Superman decides to lend a helping hand and teams up with Batgirl to find him. This leads to Superman showing her how he deals with criminals in Metropolis like buying them a coffee. It was a pretty interesting scene and reminds you that above all else, Superman’s always a stand up guy. Batman even had to thank him in the end. It was a fun crossover story and probably one of the only times we’ll see Superman and Batgirl team up.

Next up we have a Clark Kent story. He’s been spending so much time as Superman that he has been neglecting his reporter duties. It’s hardly his fault as he can’t let someone get mugged just because he wanted to write an article. Still, Clark’s in hot water so he has to find a way out of this predicament. He learns of a suspicious rail road and decides to crack the case. The issue lightly deals with the classic topic of whether or not he should really be Clark Kent. The comic can’t get into that much as it’s way too deep of a topic for a single issue, but it’s always an interesting question. If he were to become Superman 24/7, where would it stop? He could eventually become a dictator or society would start to rely on him too much. I do think it would be for the best if he wasn’t Clark Kent much at all, but I suppose if he never took time to relax he’d go crazy. It’s a tough call for sure.

The Parasite comic is more of a standard Superman action story. It’s one of the only comics in this batch where Superman could fight an opponent at his level so I was certainly all for that. Superman does fall for his tricks a little too easily and I think his power shouldn’t leave quite so quickly but that’s what makes Parasite such a dangerous opponent. His fight with Superman is fun and I’m glad that Superman decided to get in on the action so quickly. Letting the cops try to deal with Parasite seemed like a reeeeally bad idea from the start. No offense to Metropolis’ finest, but they’re not ready for this. I always liked Parasite quite a bit as well. He just has a really cool design and great powers.

The action got dialed up further in the Supergirl adventure though. With Superman busy on a Justice League mission, it’s up to Supergirl to protect Metropolis. It won’t be easy though as General Zod and two other Kryptonians escape from the Phantom Zone. Taking on all 3 of them is pretty difficult even for Supergirl. What helps is that she’s immune to kryptonite but so is General Zod. This was pretty interesting and it goes against Justice League Unlimited, but I suppose they couldn’t have known there would be an episode like that. I don’t really see why Supergirl would be immune to Kryptonite and didn’t quite buy into the explanation. Still, it is an incredibly useful ability to have without a doubt. She’ll always have the edge as long as she carried a chunk around with her. It would have been fun to see Superman show up so it’d be 2 against 3, but Supergirl really did a nice job of out thinking the villains.

Brainiac returned in another comic as he started messing with everyone’s electronics. Professor Hamilton is around so he’s as annoying as ever, but Superman has to do all of the hard work. While Hamilton is busy destroying Superman’s precious memories, Superman stands up to Brainiac. The intellectual villain has always been one of Superman’s iconic foes and it’s nice to see him here. I think Superman’s massive speed advantage makes it so that he should always win the fight with ease, but we shouldn’t discount a genius intellect too quickly eh?

One unique story had a group of kids decide to outwit Superman. They got a prototype suit from Lex that could teleport so they’d use it to steal sneakers and other such stuff. They would each take turns in the suit which made them all act really differently. This made it difficult for Superman to actually pinpoint a motive or track them at all. He would need science for this mission and even then he had to find a way to apprehend the kids without actually hurting them. Fortunately, the suit is a prototype so it’s not completely perfect yet. It wasn’t my favorite story in the batch but it was all right.

A much better story involves an assasination attempt. Someone is after the President’s life so Superman decides to act as a bodyguard until an important meeting is over. The Assassin shows up and is strangely confident despite Superman being around. It’s a pretty tense issue and the villain was pretty fun. You may not feel too much of a threat since it’s a guy with a gun trying to get past Superman, but he is resourceful I’ll give him that. It’s also nice to see the President and the army teaming up with Superman. It always makes for a pretty fun dynamic.

As always, the art is pretty good. It captures that nice DCAU feel the whole time. Sometimes the artist will even have a lot of fun and make Superman look serious all of a sudden. A good example is when he broke into the White House. There’s a twist about that of course, but it made for a pretty intense moment. The fight scenes are all on point as well. It’s certainly not the streamlined masterpiece that you see from today’s comics, but it has that retro hand drawn feel to it. I’d personally say that it works quite well.

What really helps these issues shine is the high writing quality. Superman always acts like himself, a peerless hero who always makes the right calls. He doesn’t waver in the line of good and evil or doubt himself, he just makes the hero calls. The supporting cast is very fun. They all have personality and aren’t portrayed as caricatures of themselves. The stories balance humor and being serious with great results. There are really no negatives with the comic once again and you’ll find yourself reading it cover to cover in one sitting. It’s not too short either so don’t worry about that. The collection has 9 issues I believe.

Overall, Superman continues to have a lot of great stories. The actual series had over 60 issues, but for some reason this is the last main graphic novel collection. After this they started reprinting the comics or throwing random ones into a collection. I hope the rest of them are nearly packed at some point because I want to check out the rest. It’d be a shame to see them just end like that. I highly recommend checking out this collection. As a Superman fan you’ll definitely appreciate it and you’ll certainly enjoy it even if you just like comics in general. It’s a must buy!

Overall 8/10

FCBD 2017 DC SuperHero Girls Review

I got to read one of the novels for the SuperHero Girls series so I’m finally a little more familiar with it than I used to be. It’s a fun concept and a good way to get more people to read comics. I can certainly get behind the series. It’s also impressive how it expanded so far in such a short amount of time. It appears to be going strong.

Well, the comic starts off with Wonder Woman and her pals dealing with a pair of rhyming villains. They had a lot of good burns even if they naturally lost to the Amazon warrior. After that, Wonder Woman is invited to spend the summer with her father Zeus, but is a little intimidated at this prospect. Fortunately, she is allowed to bring her friends. Nobody wants to go so Wonder Woman ends up settling for Bumble Bee. Upon her arrival, a gust of air assaults the heroes and Wonder Woman wonders if this was really a good idea!

There’s not a whole lot of action of course, but it’s a fun read that you’ll be able to blast through. It’s also very interesting whenever you see a villain since most of the characters who are usually villains in the mainstream comics are now heroes. I wonder how the writers decide which villains to keep as villains. Originally I would have thought that every character would be a hero, but I suppose that wouldn’t make sense and would take away any sense of danger.

The story isn’t quite as engaging as the one from last year’s event, but it’s still pretty fun. The friends all came across as rather unsympathetic to Wonder Woman’s plight and I’d call them mean spirited if I didn’t realize that it wasn’t intentional. They just already had plans. The artwork looks pretty solid. It’s not absolutely top of the line the way that a lot of DC comics look. It is going after the My Little Pony/Strawberry Shortcake crowd with brighter colors and more abstract designs. Maybe “simple” is a better way to describe it. It’s not all that intricate or detailed, but it makes it easier to read. All of the character models look right so I’m definitely on board with this.

Overall, SuperHero Girls continues to be a fun comic series to follow. It even had Supergirl catch the villain instead of Wonder Woman which lightly hints that Supergirl is still the faster heroine. It’s always a fun matchup to think about. The Zeus arc should be pretty fun, especially since it seems as if at least one god is against Wonder Woman. My money’s on Ares personally, that guy always did have a bit of a grudge.

Overall 7/10

Thailog vs Supergirl

Suggested by IKnowledge Thailog is a pretty powerful clone. He has a good amount of super strength and is great at combat in general. That’s not quite enough to deal with a Kryptonian though. Supergirl can easily destroy whole planets and her speed is on a different level. Thailog won’t be able to land a hit on her and that also means that he won’t be able to keep the fight close. Supergirl could stun him with a quick blast of heat vision and then speed in for the win. Thailog has no way to defend himself in any reasonable scenario against Supergirl. His debut didn’t go too well. Supergirl wins.

Green Lantern Volume 5 Test of Wills Review

It’s time for one of the newer Green Lantern volumes. Hal’s had a rough time, but the last volume saw him taking over the Corps. He definitely didn’t really want this to happen, but now that it has, he might as well make the best of it! His decision to limit the use of the Power Rings really heats things up here and the villain groups aren’t afraid to use this to their advantage!

The main plot of this graphic novel involves a group of shapeshifters who infiltrate Mogo. They manage to knock Hal Jordan out and go on Galaxy TV to declare (While posing as Hal) that the Green Lanterns will hunt down anyone who uses the Lantern energy as it all comes from a supply at the end of the universe and if it runs out, everyone dies. (At least their emotions will) Technically, this story is true aside from the Green Lanterns all being extremists, but the universe quickly panics. The Lanterns must die now! Just about every planet turns against the Green Lanterns and this seems like it could be the status quo for quite a while. It’ll be hard to get people to forget this.

The shapeshifter problem isn’t over yet either. There lies a planet very much like Krypton in the universe and its citizens gain incredible amounts of super strength and speed when exposed to the sun. The shape shifters want to copy their forms and then bathe in this legendary sun liquid on a planet that will complete the transformation. These shapeshifters are really hard to detect because the transformation is just about 100% authentic. Hal needs to figure it out quickly though because having a lot of Evil Supermen in the universe would definitely not be a good idea.

Shapeshifting plots are always interesting because it’s very hard to stop those guys without plot hax or a lot of specific scenarios. Let’s just say that the heroes are not successful here and the shape shifter has her way for quite a while and even gains the Superman abilities, which was interesting to see. The Green Lanterns are powerful, but they are out of their league against someone like this. The group had a pretty good plan for dealing with the villain though and while I think they probably should have gotten owned, it didn’t feel to plot hax’d and their plan was a good one. I didn’t care for the villains aside from the one that got the cool super powers, but it’s always intriguing to see more alien species. I currently know of more Marvel kinds than DC ones so this helps to even the odds.

Another plot during this collection involved the Red Lanterns as the Green Lanterns find an enraged Supergirl while in space. Since when is she a Red Lantern? Well, in the comics it felt like that happened for a while, but to the characters it probably seemed random. Even worse is the fact that nobody knew who she was. Man, Hal Jordan’s seriously out of the loop right now and it just shows that he needs to get back on Earth. Too bad he’s effectively banned from going there since it’s Red Lantern territory now. Yeah…long story. It was great to see the Kryptonians get so much hype here though. Hal implies that Superman would completely wreck the Green Lantern core if something happened to Supergirl and he’s right. As it stands, I could easily see Superman decimating all of the Green and Red Lanterns teaming up. They’re simply not ready to fight him just yet.

The Red Lanterns got their own issue in this collection since it dealt with the Supergirl situation. It was interesting to see an issue from their series. I don’t think it’ll be nearly as good as Green Lantern since the cast isn’t quite as good and aside from Guy Gardner (Who’s not exactly the greatest main character) I can’t think of any real notable players. The fight against the Shadow Thief was neat, but Red Lantern abilities never look as good as Green ones. Seriously, those guys are always coughing. Atrocitus is coming closer to Guy’s faction though so it’ll be interesting when they fight again. That guy was always a big threat so having him return would definitely up the stakes.

Hal Jordan is still my favorite Green Lantern and he does a good job of keeping everyone in check in this volume. You can tell that he’s more experienced and in control than he was in the old comics. Let’s ignore the Justice League issues in the New 52 since he lost all of his development and the whole thing is one big plot hole anyway. Hal realizes that he needs to listen to other opinions now that he’s the leader and he does that ASAP. He’s no longer the space flirt that he used to be and he’s only worried about Carol, not even to get back together with her, but because Kyle died so right now things are rough for her. I’m expecting them to fight though since the Star Sapphires are antagonistic towards the Greens. (For good reasons, since the Green Lanterns want to control the universe’s levels of light) We even get to see some of Hal’s family like his brother and nephews. They’re neat and it’s always good to see that a hero has someone that he can talk too.

For a while Spider Man had Aunt May and Superman typically has Lois. With his family around, Hal can spitball ideas and also get a grounded perspective. I definitely haven’t heard of his bro or nephews before, but they seemed pretty decent even if they were pretty mean to Simon Baz. Poor Baz, he never quite hit it off in the comics, but I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of him. He is the last Green Lantern on Earth after all. John Stewart was also around and he’ll be having his own subplot for future issues as he needs to find someone who was replaced by the Shapeshifter a while back. The whole thing is super embarrassing for Stewart and it’s why I say you should always be careful where romance is involved. Still, what’s done is done and hopefully he’s able to find her quickly since the universe is a big place.

There’s a fairly big cliffhanger at the end here as the New Gods are finally making a move. They want the Anti Life Equation and they seem pretty shady so for the Darkseid War I wouldn’t be surprised if both sides end up being villains. It’ll be fun seeing the Green Lanterns take these guys on and I’m assuming that it’ll tie into why Green Lantern headed for Earth in one of the Justice League volumes that I read. Is it time to call in the Calvary? The Justice League can certainly tip the scales of any fight after all.

As always, the art is very good for this graphic novel. The fights are very eye catching and I never tire of the beam wars. I’m hoping that Hal completely forgets about trying to conceal light since that would mean the fight scenes can’t be as grand. He’s already starting to move away from that idea, which is definitely a good start. It’s always very easy to read through the comics since the art is so exceptional. It was also neat to see Batman on a few of the covers even if he didn’t actually get to appear in the issues. Ah well, I suppose that will have to do for now.

Finally, I’ve also got to note that it was impressive as always to see Hal hold his own in a fist fight against an opponent who by all accounts is stronger and faster. Note that this is without the Power Ring. Hal’s always had the most will power out of any Green Lantern and he always looks very skilled in his comic series. It’s one of the reasons why the Green Lantern franchise is one of the best parts of DC. Hal makes for a consistent main character and the plots are always interesting. This current plot about how everyone is dealing with the concept of limited energy is a good one and the universe is so big that there are so many plots to keep up with. We thought that Earth was a big place, but when you compare that to a universe, it makes sense that there are so many things happening. The Lanterns just have to tackle one problem at a time. Next problem on the list? Saint Walker. His refusal to help the others out is coming dangerously close to forfeiting innocent lives and that’s where you’ve got to draw the line between a cautious fighter and a bad character.

Overall, This is another solid Green Lantern comic. There’s a lot of action and the plot is very interesting. There are really no big negatives to speak of here. Hal Jordan definitely shouldn’t get one shotted from any blunt weapon and I still consider him to be one of DC’s power houses so that was a moment of plot hax, but it was a rare one. For the most part, Hal takes care of business and beats up anyone who gets in his way. I’m also glad that he keeps on springing into action instead of staying at the base like a leader is supposed too. That kind of thing has hurt many good characters and I don’t want to see that happen to Hal. An active main character is a good one! I’ll be reading the next volume very soon so stay tuned!

Overall 8/10

Superman Krypton Returns Review

It’s time to look at yet another Superman comic! I have to say that I feel a little bad for the casual comic enthusiast who may be trying to keep up with the Superman trades. DC certainly didn’t make it easy as you have the Superman Action Comic volumes, Superman volumes, and then the unnumbered Superman volumes like this one and Doomed. It makes it kind of tricky for fans to know when they all take place. This one only has 1 actual Superman issue along with a .3 in there somewhere, a few zero issues, and then issues from the other members of the Super family. I guess you could say that this is actually Superman volume 4.5. We temporarily get a break from the Psy War plot, which is certainly a good thing!

Superman was just minding his own business when he bumps into Supergirl and Superboy in space. For reasons unknown to them, they have been summoned to that area! After a little wondering, a cosmic being appears and his herald lets the heroes know that H’el has begun his latest assault on the universe. If he succeeds, everything dies! Each hero is given a task to complete to save the timestream. Superboy must go to the past and make sure that Supergirl gets onto the rocket. Supergirl must defeat the clones in one of the battles of Krypton’s past. Finally, Superman needs to make sure that Krypton actually blows up since H’el wants to stop that! It’s a race against time, but the heroes are ready!

Unlike the first arc where H’el showed up, this is a very small event. It’s so small that technically, the heroes aren’t even on screen together for almost the entire adventure. I thought that was a bit of a cop-out as some more team fights would have been a lot of fun. Each comic is a stand alone adventure for the heroes like in the classic DC/Marvel comics of old, but there are some cutaways so they aren’t completely isolated.

Before the plot began though, we got to see the 0 issues for Superman, Superboy, Supergirl, and H’el. It’s interesting because I’d already read Superman’s and Supergirl’s in the past thanks to their respective collections, but Superboy and H’el’s were new. Origin stories are always intriguing. The Superboy one definitely had some interesting plot points that would probably come into play in his series. The main villain certainly has a cool design at any rate. It’s also neat how Superman’s actually foreshadowed an event that happened in this collection as he witnessed Krypton explode in person. It’s impressive since the issue came out way before this arc began.

H’el’s is a little tragic for the character even if he seriously overreacted. It turns out that everything he has ever known was basically fake so his life was a lie. Now, he doesn’t want to save Krypton so much as he just wants to rule it and destroy everyone who gets in his way. Any sense of heroism is gone now and only the villain remains. He looks a lot weaker than he was in hte original event, which is a good thing since the fights won’t be so lopsided now. He didn’t really get to fight anyone though so it’s hard to say if his true ability was really lowered or not, but that’s just how it goes.

Supergirl’s adventure was likely the most straight forward. As she was under a red sun, she needed to use her hand to hand moves to defeat the clones. She does know some close combat skills thanks to an old friend of hers so she manages to hold her own. After that, she has a quick rematch with H’el as he tries to fight the heroes across time and space. The issue was good although I wish that she had maintained her super abilities since a high speed fight with H’el would have been cool.

Superboy’s issue was surprisingly the best one as it easily had the most action. He got to fight the actual essence of Krypton when it wanted to explode. It turns out in a neat twist that all planets have a hidden life form that makes sure that the planet will die when it is supposed too. It’s one of those random things that will likely never be mentioned again, but this also gave Superboy a good opponent to fight so I am certainly fine with that. The design for the villain was cool and Superboy even got to get along with Supergirl for a change. Their rivalry is certainly very intense on Earth so their’s no shot of getting along there.

Still, they put aside their differences when necessary. I like all three of the Super characters and I assume that they can patch things up eventually. As for the Superman story, not much happened there for a while, but eventually he got to meet up with H’el and have a fight. Granted, H’el was super weakened from fighting Superboy and Supergirl while also having most of his body melt thanks to Superman’s father, but Superman still took a decisive victory in this match. It was a decent climax and while H’el’s end in the first arc was probably better for him as a character, at least this one cemented him as a villain.

As expected, the art is solid. The weakest issue in that regard would likely be Superman 0, but they’re all quite good and live up to DC’s strong reputation for having well drawn comics. The fight scenes are good and the character models stand out as usual. The art would have likely been even more impressive if the collection had only had some more action. Alas, it was simply not to be!

As for the writing, it’s certainly a step up over the last two Superman volumes. This time, Superman actually acts like his typical heroic self for the most part. Even at the very end of the comic where his father tries to destroy H’el, Superman quickly stops him. Destroying the guy simply isn’t right and Superman took a stand. That being said, Superman’s father actually managing to get into space and go across the timelines was a little iffy. I think that the comic went a little too far trying to show how much of a genius he was in that scene. It’s also very intriguing that he would create H’el in the first place as it seems a little out of character to do such morally dubious acts.

If there’s just one issue that I had with this event, it’s that it just felt like filler. I feel like DC only half heartedly brought H’el back and just used him as a time waster. As I explained earlier, it doesn’t feel like much of an event because of how isolated all of the heroes were. Some plot elements also feel random like Superman’s father arriving and Superboy fighting the essence of Krypton. As a result, the collection was also decently light on the action angle. I think that a few more issues for the event would have helped it out a lot. As it stands, half of the collection was made up of origin issues.

Overall, Krypton Returns is still a fun collection. It’s certainly a big step up from the last Superman volume that I read! The action scenes that we got here were much better than the Psy War’s and the writing has also improved. It’s always nice to see Supergirl and Superboy as well. Especially Superboy as I never see him anywhere else and he seems like a fairly good character in the New 52. I prefer this streamlined version to his Young Justice counterpart. H’el was not as impressive as last time, but that’s probably a good thing. Maybe he will return again someday and the cosmic being will have to call Superman to action. If so, I’ll be ready for that! I’m afraid that the Superman reviews will likely stop here for a while, but no worries. Soon I shall have a Marvel one up to counter this! If you’re a comic fan who likes some action, then I definitely recommend this trade paperback to you!

Overall 7/10

Superman Volume 3 Fury at World’s End Review

It’s been a while since I reviewed a Superman comic and I believe that this is the first trade paperback of the Superman series that I’ve checked out. I read the first two volumes of Action Comics earlier though. It’s cool how Superman had two series at once for a while like how Batman has his Detective Comics alongside his main title. This volume is an immediate upgrade over the Action Comic titles when it comes to the fights as Superman finally gets to deal with some serious threats, but the portrayals and writing may not be as good.

Superman is starting to realize that the Daily Planet isn’t the paper that he thought it was. They don’t really print the news anymore and Superman blows up at the staff and is effectively fired. He’s also venting because he found out that Lois is now seeing someone. He decides to head home and thinks about what to do when Supergirl arrives along with a Kryptonian monster (Which Superman destroyed) and a mysterious figure known as H’el. H’el plans to eradicate the solar system in order to go back in time and save the Kryptonian race, but Superman can’t let that happen! Along with Superboy and the Justice League, Superman must convince Supergirl to leave H’el’s side or defeat her if necessary!

I definitely enjoyed the fact that this volume has a lot of nonstop action. Superman’s fights against H’el are quite good and even his generic action scenes like fighting the large monster was neat. The rest of the Justice League doesn’t get much action although they fight some minions and Wonder Woman deflects one of H’el’s shots. The stakes are definitely really high the whole time and it’s good to see the League come in to help since the solar system being in danger is certainly something that should capture their attention.

That being said, this volume did have a few weak points, which likely relate to The New 52 status. For starters, Superman is a little out of character. The whole first issue makes him look really bad as he’s very petty in his jealously about Lois moving on. Worse was how he blew up at everyone. He may have had a point, but completely went about it the wrong way. The old Superman would have tried to calmly talk with the managers about getting in some credible articles. Superman is also very rude and condescending to Superboy the entire time, but not in a campy/enjoyable way. He even threatens a scientist depending on how you read the line. To his defense, he didn’t realize it until he was flying away, but he just disregarded the thought as quickly as it came.

He even antagonized H’el a lot before they actually started fighting like turning his back while the character was still talking. Superman essentially showed a lot of characters no respect here. The bright side is that Superman is portrayed as the super genius like he is supposed to be. In an instant, Superman put together all the pieces of H’el’s plan and he may have done it even faster than Lex Luthor although both of their intelligence are roughly on the same level. It’s always good to see Superman be portrayed as more than the stereotypical powerhouse. Of course, Superman’s raw strength also looks good like it should.

It was cool to see Superboy here since his comics have always looked interesting. I like the new neon suit that he has and his version of the Teen Titans also looked cool. Superman isn’t impressed here, but those comics always sounded fun. I also think that Superboy looked fairly decent even if he was a hostage for a little while. (Probably Superman’s best scene though since he immediately rammed H’el to save the kid) He apparently started out evil as we get a quick origin story as well as a new one for Superman, but Superboy is certainly trying to be a hero now. His abilities seem to be far weaker than Superman’s or Supergirl’s, but he’s a clone so that makes sense. Hopefully he is able to destroy whatever code inside of him that gives Luthor the current edge over him.

Lex Luthor’s portrayal was a little on the odd side. The New 52 has always had a lot of continuity issues and I would count Lex as one of them. It’s not totally a plot hole, but his personality is insanely different from any of the other titles. Lex basically tells Superman what the Man of Steel already knows and explains what Superman’s thinking to the audience. The problem is that instead of sounding logical and calculated, he’s a little on the crazy side. He threatens to destroy Superboy for talking to him and the whole plot of Superman tricking him into building a prison was also odd.

Some parts of the New 52 still feel odd and not canon at times, but it’s something that probably won’t be leaving anytime soon. The bright side is that the Justice League as a whole looks good and H’el makes for a good villain. H’el is overpowered though so I’m going to have to take another shot at the comic. H’el is shown to be powerful enough to basically shut Superman down without any effort in their first encounter. Superman bounces back for the final showdown and puts up a decent fight, but he is still outmatched the entire time. Authors love bringing in new characters who are randomly stronger than Superman, but this is still pushing it. H’el is also a Kryptonian, but due to sun exposure while in the ship, he’s far stronger than Superman. It’s not terrible logic I suppose, but Superman’s been fighting for ages so he’s still been exposed to the Sun while also getting combat experience. H’el also has the ability to teleport objects and people, which definitely makes him overpowered since he could just teleport everyone to the sun while they’re in a room or something like that. He doesn’t because the plot demands it, but that’s why a villain should never be given that kind of ability unless the writer has a clear plan for his defeat.

In the end, there is an appeal to his emotional side by Supergirl and his X-Ray vision wasn’t working properly so he didn’t notice that she was holding something. Just his detailed vision should have been enough for that. As for Supergirl, she doesn’t look very good here. We get more insight into the whole thing in her comic series (Which I already read from this arc) but it still doesn’t excuse how gullible she looks. This takes place towards the beginning of her career, but common sense should have still been enough to guide her away from working for H’el. The guy acts openly evil from the start.

The art is solid as I’ve come to expect from DC. The fight scenes transition into each other very nicely and all of the characters look good. It’s been one of the best parts of the New 52 as all of the mainstream DC titles have looked great with the exception of the Batman series, where I have not cared for the art so much. Particularly the Eternal series, but the main ones don’t look great either. The vibrant colors here suit Superman.

I definitely seemed to grab a lot of negatives in this review, but they really all boil down to the writing angle. I don’t think that the writer really understands the characters too well and Superman snapping and blowing up at everyone just doesn’t feel right. The drama between him and Lois is even worse when you consider the fact that Superman had just gotten together with Wonder Woman an issue or two ago. Makes him look even more petty right? That’s still the only real negative here though as besides the portrayals, the rest of the comic was solid. We still had good art and a lot of solid fights with high stakes.

Overall, This is a solid comic to check out. I’m always happy to see another Kryptonian on board even if H’el ends up being just another guy for Superman to fight. He doesn’t really do anything for me on the personality front and his romance with Supergirl isn’t handled well, but at least he knows how to throw a punch. With the solar system in danger, the threat is certainly real. While some plots like the Lex Luthor one weren’t really needed, they weren’t terrible. The writing will never make you cringe, you’ll just shake your head in skepticism at times. I’m looking forward to seeing how the next two volumes handle these issues as I’ve already got them on the shelf. I expect Superman to look better in those even if the action scenes drop a little there. Seeing the Justice League have a cameo was certainly enjoyable and if they fought H’el, I like to think that they could have done a good stopping him. It should be noted that this comic does jump all over the place as DC doesn’t even try to make the comics transition into each other. If you want to really see what’s happening here, you’ll have to buy 2-3 other graphic novels. It’s odd as collections usually try to include everything, but there have been exceptions like Supergirl and New Avengers. It’s not a big deal though as you can still follow what’s happening and enjoy the fight scenes. Of course, if you want to check out a Superman comic that really hits it out of the park, check out Superman Unchained. That’s still the greatest comic book of all time!

Overall 7/10