Saturday, February 15, 2014

Tales From the 50 Cent Bin! - Superman #1

Well, it looks like I’m stepping back into the world of Superman. Since Robocop is coming out this week, I thought I would try to see if I had an issue that featured a cyborg. While Vic Stone (Cyborg from the Teen Titans) was too obvious, I thought I would go with another cyborg: Metallo. For those who don’t know, Metallo is one of Superman’s deadliest foes. He’s a cyborg who carries a heart of kryptonite, a substance that’s deadly to Superman. Today’s issue is Superman #1, and no, it’s not the Perez/Merino one. This is the Post-Crisis Superman fresh off of Man of Steel from 1986. Hey, I’m looking at a reboot when another reboot’s coming out… Cool!

The writer and penciller is John Byrne. If you don’t know already by looking at this blog, you can tell that Byrne is one of my favorite classic artists. I don’t know about his current stuff, but his classic stuff from Marvel and DC is pretty awesome. The inker is Terry Austin who is one of Byrne’s regular inkers. He’s inked with Byrne on books like Uncanny X-Men and this book. He’s also inked a lot of stuff for DC over the years. Well, let’s see what happens to Superman as he goes up against this terrible-dressing robot for the first time

Superman #1
Writer: John Byrne
Penciller: John Byrne
Inker: Terry Austin
Colorist: Tom Ziuko
Letterer: John Costanza
Editor: Andrew Helfer

The issue starts out with Superman doing his best Kool-Aid Man impression on a laboratory. It turns out that he is looking for clues as to who took the ship that brought him to Earth. By the way, this issue takes places a few weeks after the end of the Man of Steel miniseries. Superman looks around and finds out that someone has been gathering information on him. He looks around some more and finds a dead scientist as well as human remains in an acid vat… Ew. Instead of leaving this building for the authorities to find, Superman does the implausible by digging under the building and lifting the whole thing into space. Well, I guess hiding evidence to a death is okay when your personal information is in danger.
How the heck is that… oh yeah, I forgot that Superman is an expert in doing the implausible.

After he hinders police investigation, he comes back to Earth in order to jog with Lois. While jogging, they see that a bank is being robbed. They run into the robber who has enhanced strength and he starts to manhandle Lois. Clark steps in to help and gets knocked behind the bank’s counter. He uses this chance to change into uniform. Superman shows up to stop the robber known as Metallo who wanted this fight to happen. As they fight, Superman begins to feel really weak. As Metallo tries to choke Superman, the police come in and shoot Metallo in the chest.
Superman: And another thing... what in the heck are you wearing? Will we have to break-dance after we fight?

As Superman starts to recuperate, Metallo gets back up like he’s the Terminator and starts to wail on Superman again. Their fight trashes the bank. Through a flashback, we find out that the dead scientist was the one who stole the ship. The scientist believed Superman was a danger, so he created Metallo and used the kryptonite for a source since it could kill Superman. Metallo then killed the scientist since he’s apparently crazy.

In the present, the fight makes the bank collapse. At Lex Towers, Lex Luthor hears about the fight and decides to end it somehow since he wants to be the one who ends Superman’s life. In the bank’s rubble, Metallo comes out with his cyborg parts showing. Superman also comes out of the rubble hurt. Metallo decides to unleash the kryptonite radiation on Superman when a hovercraft takes Metallo away from the fight. Lois comes over to Superman and tells him what happened. She also heard Metallo say that Superman’s an alien. The issue ends with Superman admitting that he’s an alien and that he might know who took Metallo.


This was a fun, simple issue. The story is well-told and I like how it ties back into the Man of Steel miniseries. One big plot point at the end of the miniseries was that Superman’s ship was taken by someone. We now know who it was. We also get to see Superman deal with kryptonite for the first time. This is also a fight he really doesn’t get to win since Metallo pulls a Houdini at the end. While Metallo isn’t my favorite villain, I did like that he posed a challenge to Superman. It does suck that Superman doesn't get to trounce him in the end though. I also loved Luthor’s part in this. Lastly, I liked the dialogue even though it did feel verbose at times.

The artwork was pretty good. A lot of things look pretty detailed. The action towards the end is pretty nuts. We see Superman get wailed on big time. His costume gets torn, his hair’s out of place, and he’s got bruises on his face. I guess that's one way to start a new era. Metallo himself looked a little goofy in his Breakin’2: Electric Boogaloo gear, but that changed at the end when we see his cybernetic body. It’s all freaky-looking and cool. You can tell that his look was based off Arnold's robotic form from The Terminator. The pencils, inks, and colors create something really good to look at.

Overall, it’s a good issue that keeps it simple and to the point. Check it out if you haven’t already. Well, I hope the new rebooted Robocop is at least decent or good. I know it won’t be like the original, but I don’t care what they do as long as it’s a good movie. Well, I’m out. Peace, God Bless, and watch out for weird weather if you live in the southeast.

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