Friday, October 5, 2012

Battle of the Super-Origins: Other Supporting Characters

Today’s post is going to look at the rest of the supporting characters that show up in these books. These are pretty much the friends and co-workers that appeared in some books and didn’t appear in others.

The supporting characters in MoS that are of some sort of importance are Perry White,  Lucy Lane and Lana Lang. Lucy shows up during the fifth issue and you can read more on that HERE. To sum it all up, Lucy was pretty much a damsel in distress. With Lana, it’s much more different and more personal to Clark.  She is pretty much the girl Clark left behind in Smallville. I talked about this in my look at MoS. This, as well as other things that happen in the book, makes Clark wonder about his place in the world and about whether he could have a future with Lois or not. 

Perry only appears twice in the origin. He appears at the beginning of the second issue where Superman is starting his first day in Metropolis. He tells Lois to go out there and get the story of the century. Later, he appears at the end of the issue where he tells Lois that Clark Kent has the story of the century by getting the interview with Superman….If he only knew…

In Birthright, the characters that show up here are Kobe Asuru, Abena Asuru, Lana, and Perry White. Kobe and Abena are brother and sister and they lead protests against the government that’s in power in some part of Africa. Clark befriends the two when he saves Kobe from getting shot and. Over time, Kobe and Clark form a bit of a bond.  Abena is wary of Clark though. After another hit on their lives, it’s decided that Kobe and his group will head to the government capital to make a speech. It’s there where Clark finds out from Abena that their village is being attacked. Clark reveals his powers to Abena by flying back to the village to lay some “Wrath of Zod” on the attackers. During this, Kobe is assassinated and Clark and Abena don’t make it in time. After Kobe’s buried, Clark and Abena say their goodbyes.  .
Clark: Mine aren't that bad actually...and what's up with the scuba suit?

Perry White in Birthright does have more of a role here that in the others. In Birthright, we see the interview between Clark and Perry. Wow. Glad my interviews go a little better! Perry is shocked that Clark was able to get all of those stories from around the world and almost doesn't hire him. He pretty much changes his mind when Clark saves him from a robotic helicopter that went amuck. Perry is then seen doing his thing: barking at Clark, Lois, and Jimmy, contemplating firing (and killing?!?) Lois, and dealing with a horrible publisher. With Lana, we only see her in flashbacks with Clark pining for her.

In Secret Origin, we get a few supporting characters that show up on Clark’s journey through life. There’s Pete Ross, Lana Lang, and the Daily Planet staff (Cat Grant, Ron Troupe, and Steve Lombard). Pete and Lana are pretty much seen during the high school years. While playing football, Clark accidently breaks Pete’s arm although Pete doesn’t mind. It’s also here that Lana knows that Clark has powers and the two like each other. Lana even accidentally sets off Clark’s heat vision by kissing him—twice. Upon realizing he’s an alien, Clark pushes the two away which leads him the Legion of Superheroes.

Clark, I think she can accept the fact that you're an alien. She knows everything else!

In Metropolis, we see the rest of the Daily Planet Staff, but they’re pretty much cameos. I guess they’re here to remind us that Geoff Johns and Gary Frank is writing this thing. Perry’s role in Secret Origin is about the same as his time in Birthright. Unfortunately, we get no hilarious interview.

In Nu52, we have Ms. Nxyly, Pete Ross, and Lana Lang . Ms. Nxyly is Clark’s landlord and is the only one who knows about his dual identity. She finds out when Sergeant Casey comes by Clark’s apartment. She hides his cape that was lying on the floor. Who knew Clark was a slob? Anyway, there is also something else about her that’s revealed later, but I won’t say (notice the name). We also see Pete and Lana in some flashbacks during the backup story that talks about Clark’s last day in Smallville. We get a couple of good moments with the two. They also help him pack and leave Kent Farm.

So with all that being said, which  of these are the best?  Well, it is a little tough so let’s see since there are different kinds of characters here. Kobe from Birthright does add a little something to the table but not too much. Clark writes to Ma and tells her that seeing Kobe use his normal abilities for a righteous cause puts Clark to shame in that he isn't doing the same with his abilities. In a way, Kobe inspires Clark to embrace his heritage and take on two identities. Abena doesn't add too much though. Perry though is hilarious, but he can be a little too “J. Jonah Jameson” at times.

 With Nu52, these supporting characters are okay. Ms. Nxyly is alright for who she is. She doesn’t do much for the plot though. Seeing Pete and Lana for a short time doesn’t do much as well, but it’s cool to see them.

MoS’s other supporting characters are okay. Perry only shows up twice which sucks a little. Seeing Lucy here was okay, but the whole blind thing was a little weird. It also ended in a cheesy way. On the other hand, Lana was somewhat interesting. Her backstory was pretty sad. For Clark to become the man he is supposed to become, he has to leave Smallville and a girl who loves him behind. What’s worse is the fact that this Clark wasn't in love with Lana.
Wow! Lana is getting dissed by Clark everywhere.

Then, we get a Young Pete, a Young Lana, Perry, and the Daily Planet staff in Secret Origin. Pete, Lana and Perry  something while the staff is treated as decoration. Pete and Lana represent the life Clark wants to have but can’t because of his secret. He hurts Pete and almost fries Lana. He pushes them away so he won’t accidentally hurt them. Unfortunately, doing that still hurts them, especially Lana. Unfortunately, we get no follow-up to this scene which sucks. Perry has the same role here as he does in Birthright and it’s pretty good.  

As for which book gets the point, it’s gonna be Secret Origin. One reason is because we get a lot of characters that show up from Superman mythos. They’re updated in a decent way and interact with Clark in a way that’s pretty different from what has come before. As I said before, my only complaint is that we don’t get to follow up on Pete and Lana…wow, Johns did take a lot from Smallville!

Score tally:
Man of Steel (MoS): 2
Superman Birthright : 1
Superman Secret Origin : 3
Superman and the Men of Steel (...Nu52): 2

Well, now that I have gotten this somewhat boring part out of the way, it’s time to move to the main guy…


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