SUPERMAN 29 AND RED LANTERNS 29

Superman #29 written by Scott Lobdell with art by Ed Benes

and

Red Lanterns #29 written by Charles Soule with art by Alessandro Vitti

Review by baudyhallee

This week the Man of Steel, or the new 52 version at any rate, showed up in his namesake book written by Scott Lobdell and in Red Lanterns, now being written by Charles Soule who also authors the fauxmance book. Since taking over Superman in October, 2012, Lobdell has brought its order numbers down 34% and Soule after taking over Red Lanterns in June, 2013 has brought its order numbers down 34%. Coincidence? Also Soule with his new book of fauxmance, which is mentioned in this issue of Red Lanterns, has dropped 52.7% since its first issue in October, 2013, five short months ago. Considering this double icon namesake book did less than 100,000 with its initial issue, this does not bode well.

In Red Lantern #29, Charles Soule wrote Superman like every other writer who uses Supes in their books outside the Superman group proper. Like that true blue boy scout, people can depend on.

RL29pal

Soule has Kara/Supergirl joining the Red Lanterns, who are a bunch of angerballs who derive their willful power from . . . anger. Still going for the darker, edgier Supergirl, I guess. The Red Lanterns decide to contact Superman to see if he can speak with the newly ‘indoctrinated’ pissed-off-one to get her to see some semblance of reason. The boy scout lasts until Guy Gardner mentions the power twin hookup and then he disappears.

RL29fauxmance
Why does he suspect Barry? Is this before the world found out about the couple which was just before Christmas? And does this mean that Red Lanterns takes place before the Trinity War as does most of Superman’s books? You remember the Trinity War, the big first event of the new 52 that supposedly happened in July and August, last summer. Or was that the start of it? Or has it just moved into being Forever Evil (as if the new 52 wasn’t forever evil from the very beginning)? Forever Evil is the phase that might not ever end either because that book like more than a dozen others have been pushed back from April to May. These divergent timelines are killing me not to mention sales.

Superman is justifiably angry about what has happened to his cousin. But then Kara finds out her new status is FOREVER. She goes beyond angerball (whatever that is) and Superman talks to her.

rl29cntbringback

 

rl29chosetobe

rl29hope
Did Superman just say hope? [faints]

Soule gets points for having actual Superman in this issue. Will this be an indication we will see him in the fauxmance pre-Doomed crossover? Not hoping anymore when it comes to that storyline. It was born out of desperation (and editorial mandate) and that means hopelessness for Superman fans and sales.

Speaking to the ‘old’ readers of the new 52 now. The new readers DCE is going after wouldn’t understand or probably even care. I can’t imagine what they thought of Scott Lobdell’s Superman #29.

Back in the olden days of the new 52, like 2012. There was a Superman Annual #1 plotted, but not scripted, by Scott Lobdell. This replaced the annual that Keith Giffen, who was writing the Superman book at the time along with Dan Jurgens who finished their run out in issue #12.

In Superman Annual #1, a whole bunch of Wildstorm characters showed up, including Mr. Majestic’s foe, Helspont. Mr. M was Jim Lee’s Wildstorm version of Superman who wore a collar, disregarded humans and had a super girlfriend, Zealot. Sound familiar? Neither Mr. Majestic nor Zealot were introduced amongst the pantheon of Wildstorm characters for the new 52. Psst. That’s because they were disguised as Superman and Wonder Woman. Get it?

Published in October, 2012 just before Lobdell’s run on the Superman book,
this story also included Starfire and Martian Manhunter from the DC Universe. Which brings us to the current issue, Superman #29, where both Starfire and Helspont appear. Nearly 1.5 years later. Tying up loose ends before Lobdell is booted from the Man of Steel by starpower Geoff Johns and John Romita, Jr.? Not really. It’s Lobdell, remember? Minion of Bob Harras, who is Jim Lee’s Consigliori.

Suicide Slum is not the place to be. It apparently doesn’t have any normal people meaning even common criminals or evildoers. In the Lois Lane book last month, peeps were taking a special drug to make them monsters. In this issue, people become Daemonites (a Helspont/Wildstorm thang) not against their will but voluntarily by handling weapons. It seems people are tired of Superman lording it over them. Obviously this attitude is preparation for the Doomy crossover. Since we’ve never seen Superman accepted as a hero in the new 52 since September, 2011, this is not exactly a huge surprise. It’s rather ho-hum.

Superman doesn’t believe in ending the lives of the people who voluntarily became Daemonites. And he takes some of them to STAR labs to see if they can be reverted back to human. “There’s always a way”, which is good Superman. And having Starfire explain the Daemonites are using Superman’s “love for all things human” against him is something that hasn’t appeared in the new 52 much at all. It seems like preparation for the second phase reset that Johns will be doing – or an attempt to make us care when Superman gets doomyfied. But they can’t have it both ways – making us not know who Superman is other than a douche, but wanting us to remember the pre-52 Superman so we’ll have some kind of emotional response when he becomes his own Doomsday monster is . . . pathetic. Especially not at the last minute. The new 52, as far as Superman is concerned, has been very poorly executed and that is an UNDERSTATEMENT of apocalyptic proportions. Evidence: order numbers.

Cat Grant (sole member of Superman’s supporting cast in the S/WW book) and Lois Lane (yet to grace either S/WW or Action (the book where she was born) since Soule and Pak took over) each have one page in this book. Cat is given an ominous warning by Morgan Edge about not selling their blog to him. I wonder if Cat with her bubble brain will understand it was a threat. And Lois, who still has her psionic powers courtesy of Brainiac visiting five years before, is not necessarily talking to herself.

JonathOn Carroll, Lois’ boyfriend – the reason for the power twin hookup because of Clark’s despondency (even though he was with Lois for four years before she met JonathOn) – tells Lois of Superman’s behavior and attitude regarding the Parasite taking away some of her power.

s29lois
Lois seems to have the ability (Brainiac green letters) to make her boyfriend forget the whole thing? Define whole. The brain encodes related thoughts, emotions and experiences and to remove one, could remove a whole series of those codes. It’s Lobdell, so who knows? Lois will be ‘transformed’ if the cover of Superman 30 is any indication, which could be a red herring as most covers and solicits have been in the new 52 – especially during the months leading to the ‘second phase’ and the ‘reset’ of Superman. Not to mention the ‘ending’ of Forever Evil (which we don’t believe for even a minute – cause that would mean the end of the Trinity War, which is the event that never ends).

Starfire’s sister, Blackfire, is a minion of Helspont now, shown on the last two pages of this issue. If there is any justice within the walls of DCE, this will be addressed in Lobdell’s Red Hood and the Outlaws – and never to grace a Superman issue ever again.

Ratings: Can we get some stories that are NOT dictated by editorial?

Red Lanterns 2.5

Good to see Soule actually can write Superman when the hookup isn’t involved. I guess the new 52 wanted a darker edgier character from the Superman family, so Kara was the candidate. Outright evil went to Jonathan Lane Kent now Superboy. Will there be hope for Kara and redemption for Jon Kent?

Superman 2.0

Too little, too late. Lame duck writing before a collaborative crossover event and a second phase reset by star team Johns/Romita, Jr.. It’s not as if we ever got much coherent characterization or plotline from Lobdell anyway.

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March 31, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Baudy's Reviews, BaudyBlahBlahBlah, Lois Lane, Superman.

2 Comments

  1. Bob replied:

    Nice that they confirmed that ww is basically just a prize for superman to have (to look cool) instead of a actual person. Guy might as well have asked if they had “done it” yet

    • baudyhallee replied:

      If memory serves, the time where Barry would be in the know would have been when Diana wanted to give Clark an early Christmas gift. Her. (shudder) She told the Justice League they wanted some time together. So the guys (because she’s the token female on the team) who didn’t know, knew then. Why pick on Barry?

      Well, it is Guy. He’s not exactly known for his finesse. But having Guy say that just as Johns had Hal and Barry call ‘dibs’ is truly horrific. The new 52 has not been kind to Diana or Superman. By putting them together has only cheapened and destroyed their mythologies and characterizations.

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