New Comics Wednesday (7/20/11) & Superman News

Fun fact: the moon landing happened on this day 42 years ago. Guess how old I am? See? I just blew your mind, yeah? ;) What does this have to do with the new comics coming out this week? Nothing.

  • Alpha Flight #2
  • Batman: Gates of Gotham #3
  • Daredevil #1–Pick of the week for me. Mark Waid writing one of my all-time favorite superheroes!
  • Flashpoint: Deadman & the Flying Graysons #2
  • Flashpoint: Wonder Woman & the Furies #2
  • JLA #59
  • LSH #15
  • War of the Green Lanterns: Aftermath #1
  • Zatanna #15

Ok, so this: The New Man of Tomorrow. I hate it. When DC announced they were scrapping all of their ongoing titles and starting over with 52 new number ones and starting their continuity over again, I barely batted an eye. Change, after all, is the one constant in comics. But this announcement made me . . . more than mildly irritated. One of things that came out of the post-Crisis relaunch was John Byrne’s Man of Steel mini-series and then the monthly Superman title. I loved the hell out of that run, particularly Byrne’s (and by extension, DC’s) take on the character. Post-Crisis, Superman was more Clark Kent who dressed up as Superman to save the world (which was a nice contrast to Batman who dressed up as Bruce Wayne to deal with the daylight world), and he had his adoptive parents who helped ground him, make him human, despite his heritage. Then there was Lois, who fell in love with Clark Kent, and eventually married him.

Now, DC is taking it all away with the relaunch. Superman will be more alien, and brooding (isn’t that why we have Batman?). Ma & Pa Kent? They’re dead, like they were pre-Crisis, and Lois and Clark are no longer, and never have been, married. The latter I fully expected when the relaunch was announced, but the former is just unfortunate. I don’t understand the reason for making Superman feel more separated from humanity than he already does. I never really cared about the Superman that was the overpowered space alien, but when he became Clark Kent, adoptive son of a farm couple? That intrigued me, and made me buy several years’ worth of Superman comics. And if they play up the “oh, poor me, I’m the only survivor of a doomed planet and different from all these humans” I will be severely irritated. That portrayal of Superman always struck me as the rich kid who bitched about how terrible his/her life is.

I should have expected these changes, though. After all, the last few years have brought us the death of Pa Kent, the introduction of elements from the Donner films (and the almost deification of Christopher Reeve), and the appearance of more and more Silver Age tropes (Krypto, Supergirl, etc.). Of course, it all comes down to execution. I may end up liking these changes, as I did the Byrne revamp, but man, it rankles for me right now. I know I sound like the old coot who complains about those darned kids and their rock-n-roll music, but all I can say is that I loved Byrne’s Superman and hate to see that character go away. So, I guess I’ll go pull out the Man of Steel mini and my Superman: For All Seasons trade and bask in the goodness that was my favorite take on Superman. It was super while it lasted.

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