I’ve had a tumultuous relationship with this series so far. At first I enjoyed the campy nature of the story and dialogue, then began to question if this campy story was intentional, and finally grew to flat out hate what the book was doing. This series plays by its own rules, and by that I mean there are no rules. Can issue #4 get any better (or worse)? Is it good?
Superman: The Coming of the Supermen #4 (DC Comics)
Since it’s becoming ever harder to understand what is happening in this book, what does the official DC Comics summary say?
Fry, Superman, fry! The battle between Kalibak and Superman rages on as the denizens of Apokolips cheer. And Darkseid’s homeworld unleashes a weapon that will permanently transmute the terran solar system!
Why does this book matter?
Neal Adams is an artistic genius and is drawing in a classic way that can’t be found anywhere else. He’s also writing this comic and has forced Superman to say “Wassup.” Much like a car crash, we must continue to watch and see what has happened in this accident!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
I threw out anything I’ve ever learned or cared about comics and said “screw it” with this comic. You know what happened when I did? I laughed out loud. I’m positively stunned at how bad some of this dialogue is, but it’s so damn bad it’s good. Take for instance a scene where Superman is eyeballing a mote in the sky. He asks Orion what it is and the answer is it’s a, “red sun mote.” Instead of asking further what the hell that is he asks, “A mote from what?” What? Is that a logical next question? Literally two panels later Superman says, “And where is it to go?” Why are you speaking like this Superman!?
At this point I gave up and was perfectly fine with Lex Luthor telling Darkseid that, “…your men simply suck.” and an old witch woman telling a small boy, “No more softness, you little dickens.” In another panel Lois Lane grabs a magical staff and shouts, “Wow, righteous! Bring it on!” It’s absurd to the highest degree and at this point I figure we should all just roll with it. It’ll keep your sanity in check.
I’m done questioning if Neal Adams is writing this to be serious or purposefully outrageous and funny. It’s safe to say we know what kind of product we’re getting and it’s not like anything else on the shelf today.
Characters continue to act in one scene as if they didn’t say or do something in the previous. Things simply happen to further the plot as if Neal Adams was making this up as he went along. Superman is punching and laughing as he does so which is incredibly out of character too. At one point he throws himself into the dreaded mote mentioned earlier and we cut to a double page spread of a sun seemingly killing Superman. Much like the erratic nature of the characters the comic switches to captions–which did not pop up before and only pop up once more after–that explain what we’re seeing. Two of these captions contain one sentence, and it’s at this point if you haven’t stopped trying you finally will.
The art continues to look good though! Nobody ever said Neal Adams was bad at drawing and there’s plenty to enjoy here. It’s so good I kind of hope DC releases this book without dialogue or captions so that the reader might make up the story on their own. It’d probably end up better and make more sense! Whether or not Adams is delivering his best or or his worst doesn’t matter much to me because his style is so darn unique and in your face it’s a treat to experience.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Um, did you read everything I wrote above?
Is It Good?
At this point I’m not even sure what is bad and what is good, this comic is such a trainwreck. If you stop trying and just let this comic do its thing you might just find yourself laughing out loud as I did. I honestly can’t remember the last time I had this much fun reading a comic–it’s just that different. This is the Freddy Got Fingered of comics.