Thursday, April 19, 2012

80-Page Thursdays: Superman 80-Page Giant #1!

I kind of hope DC continues doing 80-pagers in the new, post-52 continuity. They're a useful way to give tryouts to new artists and writers, or to let a bigger name do a story without facing a monthly deadline. ("We need your eight-page Superman story in...2013.") And they give an opportunity to touch in with supporting cast members or odd bits of continuity that might not have the room to breathe in a regular title. Today's book seems like it exemplifies those ideas, although that may well be do more to happenstance than anything: Superman 80-Page Giant #1, featuring stories from Mike W. Barr, Dan Jurgens, John Rozum, Garth Ennis and more; with art by Norm Breyfogle, Bob McLeod, John McCrea, and more.

Barr has two stories this issue, but the first with Norm Breyfogle is the best. (Brett Breeding inks this one, and two others here.) In "Big Name," a Russian immigrant working for the mob becomes a laughingstock after an encounter with Superman, and swears to kill him. His first attempt, with a cement mixer, makes him more of a mockery; so he goes with evil Russian nesting dolls. Seems reasonable...
Stay in school, kids! And monsters.
Next, Clark Kent is concerned when a new newspaper strip, "Captain Tomorrow," seems to read a little too closely to his and Lois's own life. Then, there's a short Scorn tale. Scorn was an alien monster from the then-current version of Kandor; a big, blue bruiser; living in Metropolis with a blind girl. I can't remember the nature of their relationship, if it was platonic or they were a couple, but Scorn was a decent guy mostly due to her. Still, I may have gotten the wrong message from his stories: that Metropolis is chock-full of jerks. It's a fish out of water story where the fish is a shark that somehow refrains from just eating everyone, and the other fish push him on it.

There's a trippy John Rozum/John McCrea story with "the Utopian," a nutter who expanded his mind and wants to do the same for everyone else. McCrea goes crazier on the art than Graham Higgins on the following Mxyzptk one. Then, we get to visit Noonan's Bar, as Garth Ennis and Nelson show us "How to be a Superhero!" Featuring Sixpack from Hitman! Ennis only wrote Superman a couple of times, but man, he does it well.
Superman doesn't just do good, he wants to give everyone else the chance to do good as well. Ennis gets it, and his story alone might be worth this one for some readers.


Dale Bagwell said...

The Ennis story seems like he's not bashing/shitting on superheroes like he usually does. Good for him.

SallyP said...

Ennis did such terrible terrible things to poor Kyle, but yes, he sure does do a wonderful Superman.