Comics Anonymous


SUPERMAN #13 – PRELUDE TO H’EL ON EARTH by G-Man

I’d sort of given up on DC’s Superman titles in the New52 reboot around issue #6 but I thought I’d jump back on-board for the H’El on Earth arc kicking of with this prelude.

We open in a lab near the centre of the Earth where the complex relationship between Clark/Kal-El and Dr Veritas is evident as they search for the limits of his abilities.  Days of tests has left Kal-El more than a little drained – a quick shower, stop-off at the Sun to recharge and we’re soon back in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the Daily Planet office.  Perry, Lois and Clark all catch-up on his lack of reporting the news before he settles at his desk ready to search for that next big story.  Unfortunately for Clark Perry’s boss and owner of the Daily Planet, Morgan Edge is paying close attention to Clark and his lack of work…….this tips Clark over the edge and with what can only be described as his “Jerry MacGuire” moment – he’s quit his job in pursuit of the real news without the shackles of the Daily Planet.

Out of work as Clark but called upon pretty quickly as Superman we see him take on a three-headed serpent slap bang in the middle of Metropolis……only thing is, he struggles to make any impact on the invader.  A quick chase/battle later and we have Kal-El having to outthink the monster and wipe him out with an explosion triggered by his heat vision.  As the dust settles we have a Supergirl/Superman face-off as she claims Kal-El is a liar about who survived the doomed Krypton.  Cue strange floaty figure that neither of them can see and there IS a feeling of something big starting as the issue closes out with more questions than answers.

Scott Lobdell manages to keep things moving along quite quickly but I’m still not 100% sold on the decision to have Clark leave the Daily Planet in the way he did…….his place at the heart of the newsroom makes more sense as a viewpoint for the saves he may have to make.  Could be the future issues will correct that or even convince it’s what was needed for the story but only time will tell on that I guess.  The thing that really brought me back though was the artwork.  Kenneth Rocafort brings some highly detailed art to life as both human and otherworldy characters co-exist.  All polished off with some impressive colour work from Sunny Gho and even with my doubts for Lobdell/Clarks decision there’s still a lot in this issue that I really like.  I’ll be interested to see how this plays out as it crosses the next few issues of Superman, Supergirl & Superboy in what seems to be the latest in the New52 approach from DC…..the crossover.

7/10

G-Man


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