FCBD: What About The Books? Part Five
WAR OF THE SUPERMEN FCBD #0 (DC):
"War Of The Supermen Prologue" written by James Robinson & Sterling Gates; art by Eddy Barrows
"Filling In The Blanks" written by Sterling Gates; with various artists
For my money, Batman has always been a more interesting character than Superman. Batman has no super-powers but relies on his intelligence and wits, physical conditioning and skills; while Superman is just the opposite = all-powerful and seemingly indestructible with just a few weaknesses (kryptonite first among them). Because of that, I've had a hard time getting excited about the Superman character. I've read a fair share of Superman issues here and there and rarely are they memorable, one remembered exception being "The Death Of Superman" story lines.
So if you're like me and don't feel the urge to read any Superman titles, here's one to make a good effort at changing your mind = the four issue War Of The Supermen min-series that begins this month. It's also a decent jumping-on point if you've never explored any Superman works before (I know it sounds impossible, but I bet there are some new-comers out there who may be reading this).
Superman (Ka-El) is up against huge odds this time and though he is depicted throughout with a grim look of determination on his face and acts tough-minded you can sense the desperation within (thanks to the skill of the writers and artist). New Krypton exists on the other side of the sun, with an enormous population that all possess the same super-abilities and powers of Ka-El. Under the leadership of the scheming General Zod, they've just declared war on Earth.
The story moves quickly with lots of suspense. At the same time, it fills in the back-story as it moves along, allowing a new reader to follow without confusion. The art by Eddy Barrows is outstanding and rivals the fantastic work currently being done by Ivan Reis (also for DC).
The back-up story featuring Lois Lane fills in even more of the back-story, and makes a further connection between Lois Lane and her family that looks to be a very interesting sub-plot. And, a former associate turns up to help her.
COVER APPEAL = 3 POINTS. A perfect combination of resolve and concern on Superman's face and features. STORY = 3 POINTS. Very engaging. A great place to start. ART = 3 POINTS. Gorgeous and perfect for the tone of this story. YOUTH APPEAL = 2.5 POINTS Superman is a recognizable icon to all age groups. NEW READER APPEAL = 3 POINTS. Things are explained simply and clearly. PROMOTIONAL CONSIDERATIONS = 2 POINTS Lots of ads for DC books, including this mini-series, but no links or text directing new readers to those great DC web pages. EXTRA BONUS = 2 POINTS. Finally, a Superman book I have no qualms about recommending.
TOTAL GRADING = 18.5 . . . HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. It makes the short list.