Friday, June 23, 2017

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #1 (2008)


Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #1 (October, 2008)
"Legion of 3 Worlds, Book One"
Writer - Geoff Johns
Penciller - George Perez
Inker - Scott Koblish
Colorist - Hi-Fi
Letterer - Nick Napolitano
Assistant Editor - Adam Schlagman
Editor - Eddie Berganza
Cover Price: $3.99

Methinks I might'a bit off a bit more than I can chew here, you guys.  I'm still very much a Legion of Super-Heroes kindergartner... and this series feels like a rather "advanced" course in Legion-Learnin'.

I keep hearing that this is a series that kinda makes everything "fit"... and lemme tell ya, I'm all about making things fit.  Izzit gonna work?  Am I gonna be left scratchin' my head?  I guess we're about to find out...

--


We open at the end of time with our old friend the Time Trapper.  He laments the fact that the Legion of Super-Heroes are sorta like cockroaches... refusing to die.  He looks into the cosmos and might just have found the answer to all of his problems, a time-lost boy... filled to the brim with angst and rage.  He decides to use this boy, sending him back in time to 31st-century Smallville, right outside the farm of an elderly couple who go by the names of Mara and Jun... we can probably call them the "Kants".


Inside, the Kants are watching the evening news reporting that Legionnaire reject Earth-Man had been found guilty of xenophobic crimes, the result of which is an upcoming Earthgov trial in Metropolis.  While Jun complains about all the "extraterrestrial trash" on Earth (laying it on a bit thick, though thankfully Johns left out the sad and trite "dey turk er jerbs" reference here).  Anyhoo, they hear the boom on their land and go out to check it out.  Unlike Jonathan and Martha Kent who met their bounty with love... Jun and Mara meet theirs'... with a shotgun!  It's here that learn that the troubled Boy the Time Trapper sent was, in fact... Superboy-Prime!


Jun recognizes him as "Superboy", and gets vaporized for his troubles.  From here, Prime heads out to take a look at his new digs.  He is annoyed at all of the "Home of Superman" signage, and actually happens across the Superman Museum!  Hey, we just read about one of those!


Inside, he is greeted by a Jimmy Olsen holographic tour guide.  The first stop on his guided tour is to, well the entirety of Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen from the looks of it.  Does this mean that those wacky Silver Age stories are in continuity?  Eh, maybe I'm getting ahead of myself.


Holo-Jimmy then shares stories of Nightwing and Flamebird in Kandor, before discussing the Secret Origin of Superman... which is still around a year away from being published.  This was a weird time in Super-Fandom.  Post-Infinite Crisis, we sorta had an idea that stuff was changing, but it would take DC Comics like four years before they'd get around to sharing just how!  Then, of course... two years after that, they flushed their entire universe down the toilet... ahem, I probably oughta rein myself in.


It's now that Jimmy introduces Prime to the stars of our story... the Legion of Super-Heroes!  If I'm not mistaken (and I very well might be!), this is the Legion from the Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes story arc in Action Comics.  Prime comments that he likes the Legions' "old costumes" better.  Holo-Olsen is happy to oblige, and gives the gang a decidedly more early-80's flair.


Using his x-ray vision, Prime scans the museum's Hall of Villains.  He sees all the biggies... Lex Luthor, Doomsday, Brainiac... Mxy, Mongul, Cyborg Superman... the list goes on.  The one villain he doesn't see is himself... the Superboy-Prime statue is hidden in a darkened corner!  It turns out that his "legend" has been lost to time.  Holo-Jimmy even comments that the statue should be in storage somewhere, because Prime hadn't been heard of since the Sinestro Corps War (which they were in the middle of around now).


Jimmy continues, giving Prime a very different interpretation of the events of Infinite Crisis... in this version, Conner Kent wins their fight.  Superboy-Prime does what he does best... he loses his cool and throws a temper tantrum!  He destroys all of the villain displays, then turns his attention to the Teen Titans exhibit, featuring that Superboy he knows he'd killed... Kon-El!  He makes a mess of that too.  Then he freezes some guards with his super breath, and blows up the Legion exhibit for good measure.


Which brings us to... the Legion!  We shift to the United Planets Council in Metropolis, where the founding Legionnaires, Lightning Lad, Cosmic Boy, and Saturn Girl are being grilled for their perceived "failure", stuff to do with Earth-Man and his xenophobic crimes, I think.  The Council refers to the Legion as being an outdated concept... which, ya gotta figure might just be some meta-commentary on some fans who "don't get" the Legion... ahem.  They go so far as to comment that, although the Legionnaires are all adults... they still refer to themselves as "Boys" Lads" and "Lasses".  They might just have a point there.


As Lightning Lad's blood begins to boil, we shift over to the Phantom Zone where Legionnaires Phantom Girl, Lightning Lass and Shadow Lass are fleeing from General Zod and his gaggle of goons.  They come across and nab Mon-El before Brainiac 5 is able to free them.


We shift scenes again... now we join Sun Boy and Polar Boy, in a scene that reminds me of that 5YL story we took a look at a few months ago.  Polar Boy is pleading with Sun Boy to get back in the game... but ol' Dirk's burnt out.


Back at the tribunal, the Legion are still being raked over the coals.  The United Planets unanimously decide it would be best for the Legion to disband... when suddenly, a cloaked figure stands up and is revealed to be... Captain Kangaroo!  Er, I mean R.J. Brande.  Little did I know, he was pivotal in the Legion's origin.  He proclaims that the universe needs the Legion... and to the shock of Lightning Lad, the UP decides to give him the floor.


We rejoin Superboy-Prime and Holo-Jimmy as the latter is chatting up the former about Takron-Galtos... hey, that's the prison planet!  Ya know, the one that Star Boy did some stuff on.  Holo-Jimmy continues, and shares the story of the Legion of Super-Villains... including the three baddest of the bads... Lightning Lord, Saturn Queen, and Cosmic King!  And so, Superboy-Prime decides to put together a Legion of his own!


Back at the trial, Brande is pontificating about the importance of the Legion of Super-Heroes.  He points to the founders as each being a piece of Superman's motto... Saturn Girl taught him Truth, Lightning Lad showed him the value of Justice, and Cosmic Boy's inclusivity is indicative of the American Way.  Just when it seems that his point is getting across... the poor goof gets shot in the head!


The sniper is revealed to be Leland McCauley... who, I just learned is/was R.J. Brande's biggest rival.  It's revealed that Brande was never human, but instead a Durlan shape-shifter.  This makes it so McCauley is actually the most successful human industrialist in the galaxy... so, whoop tee doo.  He begins to rapidly age... and ultimately turns to dust.  At this point, we can briefly see the Time Trapper lurking.


As this is going down, the Universe ain't taking it all that well.  Riots are occurring, the Legion is being booted from other planets.  And so, the "core" crew convenes to discuss their future.  They decide that they're going to need... him.  Yup, they're going to call in the biggest gun of 'em all... Superman.


He arrives as the Legion is looking at a live image of Takron-Galtos... which has been scorched with a Superman "S" symbol.  We learn there was a similar one left in Smallville.  They show him an image of Superboy-Prime, and Kal fills them in on his deal.  The chapter concludes with the gang knowing their best bet against a parallel worlder would be... Legions of Parallel Worlds!  Together they will endeavor to... redeeeeeem Superboy-Prime?!


--

Well, damn but that was a whole lotta information!

Not so much where I felt lost... or, completely lost, anyway.  I feel like I'm starting to at least be able to identify a lot of these characters on sight... couldn't tell ya their real names, or their planets of origin... or even their personality quirks, but I can pick (most of 'em) out of a crowd.  Gotta say, I was expecting like hundreds of colorfully clad kids beboppin' around this book... I was pleased that it was left to, I dunno... a dozen?

Being a big fan of comics lore, and trying to make everything "fit" and "matter"... I'm looking forward to getting a better handle on all of this... I think, perhaps naively, that it will actually help me revisit the older stories.  Just knowing that they "matter" might make them more inviting, if ya follow.  Could be talking out my backside here, but who knows...

I really dug the opening here with Superboy-Prime's landing in Smallville echoing Kal-El's own.  I'm also rapidly becoming a sucker for Superhero Museums.  So much fun seeing all of the exhibits and what-not... especially in times of nebulous continuity, knowing what "happened" is really cool.  The last thing I was expecting to see was that ridiculous room of a thousand Olsens, or whatever that was.  Too much fun.

The Legion's tribunal felt, at least to me, a bit on the nose.  Like I said in the synopsis, I really feel like there was a bit of meta-commentary here.  I think there is a contingent of DC Comics fans (and perhaps creators and executives as well) who do think the Legion is an outmoded concept that doesn't quite fit anymore.  Having Captain Kangaroo return to plead their case was akin to having the entire Legion concept interviewing for new readership.  Then again, maybe I'm just thinking too hard.

Let's chat up the art.  I think I can sum it up in a single syllable... "damn".  Perez is the perfect fella for a book this character-dense... and boy howdy did he bring his A-Game.  I gotta definitely give a mention to Hi-Fi's always-amazing colors... really makes Perez's work pop.  Overall, I had a really good time with this and would recommend checking it out.

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

1st Issue Special #3 (1975)


1st Issue Special #3 (June, 1975)
"The Freak and the Billion-Dollar Phantom"
Story - Bob Haney
Art - Ramona Fradon
Cover Price: $0.25

Howsabout s'more 1st Chrissue Special?  We're very nearly done covering the series here... just three to go after this... two of which *grumble grumble* I still need to track down.

Anyhoo, today we're gonna tell the story of the El-e-ment Ma-a-an, ya know... the one that started out in old Egy-pt La-a-and.

Meta-mor-pho
Metamopho!

--


We open with Rex Mason and his main squeeze Sapphire Stagg taking in the sights in Washington D.C., when while standing before the Lincoln Memorial, they hear a strange misquoting of Honest Abe's line from with a decidedly French accent.  They look to their left to find an apparition with a sword-cane turning a guard's gun to "hot jello" (no hyphen, no foul).  Before Rex can leap into action, the phantom vanishes.


Rex and Sapph head down to check in with Sapphire's dad Simon and his caffeinated Cro-Magnon manservant Java.  They explain the situation, and Rex suggests they stay put so he can follow up.  As Rex and Sapph head over to a hippie protest, Simon insists Java keep an eye on them both.  At the protest, the Earth splits open and flames fire out from the hole.  Rex decides to Meta-morph-up.


He rescues the protesters by filling the hole with... well, himself, in the form of fire foam.  He then scoops the flower children up in a metamorphed magnesium net.  It's pretty weird, the art shows the hippies actually in the flaming hole... that hadta hurt.  Before Rex can pat himself on the back for a job well done, he notices that the Washington Monument is teetering on the brink!


Sapphire can see that this is all a result of that Phantom they met at the Lincoln Memorial... duh.  Rex shifts into a bulldozer, and keeps the obelisk upright.  While Rex and Sapphire celebrate by... making out, the just arrived Simon notices something weird going on at the Capitol Building.  That dome's a'rockin'!


Metamorpho arrives and once again faces off with the Phantom.  It's here we learn that his real name is Dr. Achille Destinee... so, Dr. Destiny then... but not that one, ya dig?  He nails Rex with a bolt of lightning... and claims that he learned that trick from his old mentor, Benjamin Franklin!  Whaaaa...?


As we enter Part Two Secret of the Capitol, Rex recalls reading in his Tourist Guide-Book (c'mon, nobody reads those) that the dome is made of cast iron, and so he wallops it with a kick to stop it from dancing.  Amid the kung-fu commotion, Doc D flies the coop... in the form of a black bird.  Rex returns to the Stagg Syndicate to check in... and we all get to learn a bit more about the Phantom of Washington from a television news report.  Apparently, the Phantom has appeared to a few Presidents during times of War (this issue hit the stands just as the Vietnam War was "ending", but I'd wager was probably written during the thick of it).  We see Dr. D. meeting with Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, Woodrow Wilson during the first World War and Franklin Delano Roosevelt during World War II.  The reporter than states that the Phantom is no more than mere myth.  B-b-b-but, they've got footage of him on television!  Hell, televised footage of Abraham Lincoln to boot!  This is one helluva news network!


Simon Stagg rubs his chin, plotting the way jerk-asses do.  He suggests to Rex that together, they might be able to overcome the Phantom and use his powers for their own.  Rex says "no dice" and heads off with Sapphire to do some digging (in the form of a tricycle!).  Simon, naturally, sends his Ape-Like Attendant to tail the trike.


We catch up with Rex while he peruses some ancient government files... and Sapphire reapplies her makeup.  Gotta say, I only know the Staggs from the Batman and the Outsiders series, I really wasn't expecting them to be so cartoony.  Anyhoo, Rex comes across some information about the Doc.  The first President he approached was James Madison during the War of 1812 (August of 1814 to be exact-ish).  He suggested that he could save Washington from the invading British, because he found an odd artifact while serving in Egypt under Emperor Napoleon.  Madison politely asks him to leave, while muttering that he's a "crackpot" under his breath.  Rex is enthralled... and a bored Sapphire combs out her hair.


As they leave the records hall, the pair find themselves by a bustling crowd... it's a Presidential Motorcade!  Rex sez it's gotta be the Prez... but, and I don't think he's talkin' Rickard... maybe Richard though.  Either way, Destinee strikes.  Rex metamorphs into a "Cobalt Cobra" to block the Phantom's blast.  Then it's Doc D who transforms into a snake... which flees.  Rex gives chases, following him back to his laboratory.


In the lab, Rex finds a framed picture of the Capitol... with the dome circled.  Wait, weren't we just there?  Anyways, Metamorpho concludes that Doc D must have stashed the Egyptian device in the dome... which, again... weren't we just there?  I don't get it.  Suffice it to say, Rex and Sapph are Capitol bound (... again).  As they speed off, we find Java hiding in a sewer... he dutifully reports his findings to Stagg.  Ol' Simon's pleased... but will he be too late to reap the reward?


This brings us to Part 3: The Lake of Gold, which opens with Rex being approached by a military vehicle.  Someone has called in a Phantom sighting, at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier!  Rex doesn't take threats like this lightly... so, he checks into it.  Turns out to be a false alarm (hmm...).  Later on at the Capitol, he... and Destinee, find that they've arrived too late to nab the device.


Sapphire mentions that up to this point, she's noticed Java following them around... which probably isn't something you wanna keep to yourself when your father seems evil and appears to want your boyfriend dead.  Rex puts two-and-two together, and concludes that Simon's got the device... duh.  In a cute scene, Rex metamorphs his right index finger into a dime so he can make a phone call.  He learns that Simon Stagg's private jet has already taken off... headed west.


It doesn't take long for Rex to realize that Stagg's destination is very likely... Fort Knox!  It seems random to me... but whattaya gonna do?  Turns out his hunch was on the money (pun!) as we join Stagg and Java stood before a whole lotta gold.  Java, being a klutz, drops the device... which somehow causes the gold to liquify!  Rex arrives just in the nick of time to rescue them from the gilded tidal wave.


The gold fills up a nearby depression, making a... lake of gold.  Hey, that's what they're calling this part!  The Phantom arrives in search of his device... which now resides at the bottom of this golden pond.  Rex puts, er... two-and-two together again, and suggests that the Phantom has been after the device all along.  What?!  Isn't that the entire point of this story?!  Of course he is, Rex... you yourself said so like six pages ago!  Oh well, from here Doc D shares a bit more of his secret origin.  After Madison sent him away, he returned to D.C. with the device.  Before he could put it into use, he was killed... impaled on a British soldier's bayonet.  Before he died, however, he stashed the Egyptian artifact in the Capitol Dome... and vowed to haunt all those ungrateful to him.


After story time concludes, the Phantom dives into the molten gold... and Rex follows right after.  Sapphire is terrified that her lover is a goner, and Java is licking his chops... knowing that with Rex out of the picture, Sapphire will be all his.  I mean, from what little we know about Sapphire, we can probably conclude that looks aren't all that important to her.


The story ends with Rex bursting from the golden lake... and reporting that the Phantom and the device have been destroyed.  Welp, that was easy.  Later in Washington, D.C. Metamorpho does his best Abe Lincoln impression before asking us... yeah, us... to write in to DC Comics to get him his own ongoing series!


--

This is a strange one... I get the impression that this wasn't originally intended to be a 1st Issue Special.  We're pretty much just thrown into the story here... without any exposition, or origin chatter.  Rex is just the Element Man... and is in a relationship with Sapphire Stagg, whose father is a jerk.  Fair enough, but if you have no context for any of these characters, I'd think you'd find yourself a bit lost... or at the very least, disengaged.

So far, in all the other FIS installments, we've gotten origin stories... or actual origins.  Even in the Return of the New Gods bit, we got some backstory.  So strange that this didn't have one... it was just another Metamorpho adventure.

And what an adventure it was!  Speaking of strange... this issue felt like it folded in on itself a few times throughout the duration.  I'm not sure why we went to the Capitol Dome twice... actually, what I'm really not sure about is why the Phantom spent the early part of the issue drawing attention making the Dome "dance" rather than just taking the Egyptian WMD device?  Maybe I missed something, I suppose I can be quite dense at times.

Also, we see Rex learn about that same Egyptian device... he actually races the Phantom (back) to the Capitol to procure it... and still doesn't realize that the device might be what the Phantom is after all along?  I mean, Rex's revelation at the Lake o' Gold was ridiculous... it couldn't have been that late in the story that he finally realized what the Phantom wanted... right?  Maybe this issue was a dadaist statement in the vein of William S. Burroughs' cut-up technique... where dialogue balloons were all cut out and rearranged before going to press.  Or maybe I'm thinking too hard... that's usually the correct answer.

Speaking of dialogue balloons... I'm never not going to dig Haney-speak, no matter how "far out"... well, actually the more "far out" the better, I suppose.  Though I will say, having Sapphire be a spoiled, vapid privileged type was kinda strange.  Lacking her more mature qualities she would have during the 1980's, I gotta wonder why Rex would want to be with her, besides her looks.  Ramona Fradon's art here was a wonderful treat.  I really enjoyed the mix of cartoony and realistic we get here.  Metamorpho might be a toughie to make work in mundane environments, surrounded by mundane folks.  It works great here though.

Overall, despite my minor quibbles about the storytelling, I'm never going to not recommend an issue of 1st Issue.  Definitely worth picking up if you find it on the cheap.  This is to my knowledge not a part of the SHOWCASE Presents: Metamorpho the Element Man collection, so single issue (not floppy!) is your only bet.

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(Not the) Letters Page:


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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Superman (vol.3) #42 (2015)


Superman (vol.3) #42 (September, 2015)
"Before Truth, Part 2"
Writer - Gene Luen Yang
Penciller - John Romita, Jr.
Inker - Klaus Janson
Colorists - Dean White, Wil Quintana & Tomeu Morey
Letterer - Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor - Andrew Marino
Group Editor - Eddie Berganza
Cover Price: $3.99

DCYou... remember that?  Me neither.

--


We open on the outskirts of Metropolis where Clark, Jimmy, Lois and Condesa are collecting themselves following Clark having been shot.  Oughta mention, this was around the time he discovered his Solar Flare power, which would leave him powerless for 24-hours following use... and boy oh boy did he use it... like every issue.  The group is suddenly ambushed by a group of Techno Ninjas... which Clark just thrashes his way through.


When the techno-dust settles, Lois finally confronts Clark.  She's noticed things ever since he... and Superman... arrived in Metropolis.  He isn't terribly keen on continuing the conversation, and pulls away... unfortunately for him, she won't let go... and his clothes tear.  Welp, that's underwhelming.


Lois is surprised, and rather ticked that he'd been keeping this from her.  She's even less pleased to learn that he'd already let Jimmy in on his secret (a few issues earlier).  And, wouldja look at that, Condesa also knows!  Ya see, she worked with Hordr_Root, who has been sending our man some threatening text messages of late.  Hordr_Root?  Have I said "underwhelming" yet?


Condesa also mentions a top secret campus where Hordr_Root and his, er... followers? students? employees? work.  They need to wear  strange techno facewear in order to enter, as these diet-Dr. Doom masks will serve as their identification cards.  Condesa speaks some binary techno-babble into the mask to program it... is there anything she can't do?  The answer to that is... sigh, probably not.  Oh, she's also flirting with Jimmy, I should probably mention that.


Anyhoo, the gang masks up and waits for a campus-bound bus... which, it would appear, travels the road less traveled.


Along the way, Clark tries to continue his chat with Lois... who despite choosing to sit right next to him, isn't in the mood to talk.  She says that she no longer thinks of him as a friend... or partner.  Condesa tells them to shut their yaps as they're just about to arrive.


After touching down, Clark, the gang, and the entire Hordr_Horde are addressed by a giant holographic image of Hordr_Root.  We learn that their ultimate goal is to "remake the world".  What an original idea!


It isn't long before Clark and company are found out for their bogus facial apparati.  They find themselves surrounded by some armored types... maybe robots, who knows.  Anyhoo, Clark grabs Jimmy and Lois and super-speeds them to safety.  He didn't choose to leave Condesa behind... she had wandered off.  He brings them to a building, and punches a hole in the wall revealing something pretty interesting...


The trio are then greeted by the man himself, Hordr_Root (which hasn't become any less annoying to type).  He brings with him both Condesa and... an offer.  He claims that everything he'd put Clark/Superman through these past few weeks were just a test to see if he was Horde material... and wouldn'tcha know it, he passed!  Clark tells him to pound sand, and a fight with Hordr_Security is on.


While he fights the bots, Superman calls out to Jimmy and Lois, imploring them to chase Hordr_Root, and try to make all of the other employees leave the Hordr_Plex.  Jimmy happens across Condesa (which I keep trying to spell with two S's) and she easily puts him in a hammerlock and presses him, face first, into a wall.  She whispers in his ear that her IQ is 150, and she scored 1580 on her SATs... okay, no she didn't... but she does tell him that she's not really with Hordr_Root, she just sided with him to protect a secret of her own... probably something to do with her perfection.


Back in the monitor room, Lois clocks Hordr_Root in the head with a metal pipe.  He goes down like a sack'a potatahs, and his mask shatters.  It would appear that Root is no more than a child... go figure.  As Lois grabs him by the collar, he digitizes and vanishes, claiming that this body is just a "node".


Elsewhere, Condesa has led Jimmy to the holographic PA system, so his freckly face can take to the skies above the campus and issue a warning.


In the monitor room, the robots are proving to be rather difficult for Superman to take down... and so, this being a DCYou era book, he resorts to the, say it with me... Super Flare.  Toldja it was like every issue.  Even Jimmy says "Oh no... again?!"


The issue wraps with Condesa getting the flying bus started as Lois and Jimmy load Clark's naked, powerless backside on board.


--

Sooooo... hmm.  I do believe I said "underwhelming" a few times during that synopsis.

Now, let's take this discussion piecemeal.  There's a bit to dig through here... we've got the story, the threat, the cast, and the reveal.

Let's start with the reveal.  Like I said, underwhelming.  This entire story is the systematic removal of the secret identity.  Many people, myself included point to the New-52! as DC aping Image in the 1990's.  If you were to ask me, I'd say DCYou is DC aping Marvel around the turn of the century... the Bill Jemas days.  Where things like "secret identities" were just those "comic booky" things that forty year olds who live in their parents' basements cared about.  So many things they were throwing at the wall in hopes that something... anything would stick.

I can't imagine where DC saw this going... and I have a difficult time thinking that Rebirth was already in the works at this point.  Despite claims to the contrary, I still feel that DC licks their finger and holds it up to see which way the wind's blowing on a regular basis... which fuels a bit of my trepidation and affects my level of commitment with the organization's wares.

Keeping with the reveal, let's talk creative team.  Nothing against Gene Yang or JRJR... I've liked most everything Yang has written, and I remain a staunch Romita Jr. supporter, I feel this storyline... being a (would'a/could'a/should'a) DC Universe-altering one, it should have been left to a more seasoned DC Comics storytelling combination... and not a fella writing his third or fourth DC Comic, and one of the biggest and most identifiable Marvel artists of all time.  It just made me feel that DC wasn't making a big enough deal out of something which, in my opinion, should have been huge.  I mean, we're talking almost eighty years of secret identity being flushed away here.

Speaking of flushed away... I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned this here.  I know I've said this a few times, but can't recall if it was here or social media or a podcast or something... there is that bit about not being able to put any genies back in the bottle.  I mean, not completely, anyway.  As of this writing, the secret identity is "back", in that nobody knows Clark and Superman are one in the same... but that doesn't change the fact that we have already read the story in which they did!  We know how Perry, Lex, and the world at large react to learning the secret.  This wasn't meant to be a "What if...?" story or "Imaginary Story" (and I don't subscribe to Alan Moore's "... aren't the all?" line of thinking).  These reactions and the stories that sprung from them were supposed to be the real deal.  It kinda takes any oomph out of any future secret identity-centric stories... and weakens the concept of secret identity as a whole.  Who knows... maybe it's just me.

I think back to Spider-Man's big reveal during Civil War (aka, the book that cured me of my Marvel-Zombitude).  We saw how the world reacted to it... we say Jonah's frustration, anger, and feelings of betrayal... we dealt with all that, we digested it.  So, when Brand New Day happened, they tried putting that genie back in the lamp... but, if you ask me... they couldn't.  We already know how people, good, bad, and indifferent are going to react to the reveal... so, it's not a story we'll be "cautiously looking forward to" ever again.

Back to the issue itself... Hordr_Root.  He's not a bad idea for a villain... I actually quite like the concept.  I don't think he should've been the catalyst behind the reveal... but, then again, a lotta folks thought Doomsday shouldn't have been the one to kill him back in 1992.  I will say however, I'm a bit "over" heroes coming across a bank of monitors which show all of their secrets.  Seems like we're going to that well a bit too often these days.

Let's talk Condesa.  Wow... when they got on the bus, I was half expecting it to break down as they were passing a high school football game... so she could score the winning touchdown, then repair the rig.

Overall... the story isn't a bad one... if we take all the reveal nonsense out of the equation.  I purposely didn't reread the one where Lois sends the magical worldwide "tweet of revelation", because I didn't want my brain to leak out of my ear... but this issue... underwhelming, but not offensively so.

If you wanna read about the first, real, and only marginally less underwhelming "Lois finds out" issue, feel free to check out my coverage by clickin' the cover below:


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