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I’ve seen you before, how many more?: Graeme reads Geoff from 10/31.

Graeme McMillan

One of the problems with JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #10 is that having an older Superman from an alternate reality appear, complete with the issues that come from having a simpler – and somewhat compromised – moral view to confront today’s superheroes really doesn’t have the punch it should have, coming two years after Infinite Crisis, which started with an older Superman from an alternate reality appearing, complete with issues that came from having a simpler, and somewhat compromised… oh, you get what I’m talking about already. The fact that characters are referring to the similarity between the events is, hopefully, a sign that writers Geoff Johns and Alex Ross are aware of the familiarity and will take the story in a direction that justifies the duplication (What, it couldn’t have been Kingdom Come Batman that appeared, at least?).

Another problem with the issue is that it doesn’t do anything to convince me that there’s a need for a sequel to Kingdom Come, or to continue playing with those versions of the characters. One of the things that that series accomplished, whether or not you subscribe to the view that Alex Ross is an artistic genius whose superheroes with bellies is a massive step forward for the medium or not, was that it had a beginning, middle and, most importantly, an ending. Beyond the sales boost, what is there to be gained by bringing back that world, or those particular takes on the characters? Based on this issue, very little other than being surprised by how good Dale Eaglesham’s take on Alex Ross’s Superman is. Here’s hoping that the following parts of this storyline are more than just Okay.

Meanwhile, over on Geoff Johns’ other big book of the week, things are looking much better. Despite the choppiness of the storytelling (prologue, fightscene, flashback, flashforward!), there’s a lot to be enjoyed in ACTION COMICS #858, even for those of you who don’t dig the Legion of Super-Heroes as much as I do. From the iconic opening to, let’s face it, pretty equally iconic cliffhanger, Johns has a lot of fun getting his Superman The Movie fix even without Richard Donner’s help. Of course, Gary Frank’s impressive art, with a strong Christopher Reeve likeness (and wonderfully thin Superman; it’s good to see him less bulky than usual), takes up a lot of that strain; keeping the over-rendering to a minimum, it’s an attractive-looking book that matches the openness of the writing. If they can keep up this kind of Very Good quality on a monthly basis, then I may just have a new favorite Superbook…

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