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Supergirl Comic Box Commentary Reviews: @DCComics Supergirl, Superman, Batman/Superman



Here are today's Guest Reviews by Anj from Supergirl Comic Box Commentary for DC's; Supergirl #23, Superman Unchained #3, Batman/Superman #3, and Superman #23. I have also added my rating after each review. If you have any questions about my rating or want to discuss anything just leave me a comment.


See the Review Rating Overview page for more information on how I rate each comic.


Supergirl #23 - Out of the Past


Supergirl struggles to survive against one of the most dangerous villains in the entire universe – Cyborg Superman! But what could superman’s robotic doppleganger want with Supergirl? The answer will blow your mind—and set the stage for a massive story this fall!

Preview


The Living Horror of Cyborg Superman


Supergirl #23 came out this week and after reading it  was crestfallen. It is as if DC simply doesn't know how to handle this character. Every time I start to see the fainest glimmer of something positive happening in this book, every time I feel the slightest bit of optimism about this book, it is squelched and I slide back to pessimism.

You see, in the prior issues of this title I thought that writer Michael Alan Nelson was building towards something good, that the book was going to turn the corner. It felt like Supergirl was going to put all the angst and loneliness and pain and put it behind her, re-establishing herself as a hero on Earth. But after reading this issue, after the 'shocking' ending, I feel as if we aren't turning a corner at all. Instead we are barreling down the wrong course at breakneck speed. After reading this I thought we were back to square one. Heck, I thought we were back to 2005, as one of the more detestable storylines by Loeb/Kelly is rehashed.

That's right, in the never-ending battle to make Supergirl dark and gritty, in an effort to differentiate and separate her from Superman, Nelson gives us a retread. I keep trying to understand why DC feels they have to force fit Supergirl into this style book. But I don't think I will ever understand it.

The art here is fine. The book has a really fabulous cover by former artist Mahmud Asrar. It has the feel of Dave Johnson with a wonder art deco patina. It really is visually engaging with the red angular cape standing out from the grimy background. Interior art is split between Diogenes Neves and Chad Hardin.

Read the rest of Anj's review on Supergirl Comic Box Commentary

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 3.9
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Superman Unchained #3 - Answered Prayers


Superman’s found out the secret the U.S. Army tried desperately to keep from him—or more specifically, that secret’s found him! But with hijacked drone aircraft tearing Tokyo apart, there’s not much time for mystery…and with Lois Lane on the case as well, what’s in the darkness will come to the light!

Preview



Unchained


Superman Unchained #3 came out last week and continued to be a very engaging story with multiple plotlines moving forward. It is only a matter of time before all of them come together, threads weaving a tapestry.

One thing that I like about this first arc is the scope of the story. This is Superman writ big, looking at what the world would be like if there was a pro-active military-based super-power working for America. This is hardly the first time we have seen something like this but usually those stories have the Superman character being raised differently. Here it is another super-being and Superman has to deal with his existence. How can this end? Hopefully not the same way the Man of Steel movie did.

Writer Scott Snyder continues moves that action pretty briskly, working in a classic comic book device of two heroes initially fighting and then teaming up. But action alone can't carry a book for me. I need characterization. Snyder has the right voice for Superman and Lois, both playing major roles in this arc. But he also makes Wraith interesting. And he also makes General Lane a more three-dimensional character, and less of a caricature. That alone is a great feat!

Jim Lee's art is solid enough if less detailed than I am used to seeing from him. That said, the big moments have big art which is always key. And the page layouts vary nicely with a mix of both splash pages and small inset panels as well.

But I have to say, I am wondering how all these plotlines will end up intersecting. And when I am puzzled, I am more invested reader.

Read the rest of Anj's review on Supergirl Comic Box Commentary

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 4 
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Batman/Superman #3 - Split Screen



It’s a showdown that could shatter two worlds when Batman and Superman battle the Superman and Batman of Earth 2!

Preview



Earth 2?


Batman Superman #3 came out last week and the book remained an absolute delight, a visual treat with solid story-writing. I really have to tip my hat to the creative team on this book.

Greg Pak is writing a very good story, contrasting the solid friendship of the Earth-2 World's Finest to the more measured slightly paranoid relationship of the younger versions. From delightful flashbacks to a sort of Silver Age feel of innocence at times, the Earth 2 versions are great role models for the Earth 1 crew.

But the story wouldn't be any where near as interesting as it is without the stunning art on the book. Jae Lee continues to put together some incredibly beautiful art. I have been trying to describe it to friends and I end up saying it is a mix of surreal and classic comic art. And, of course, that makes absolutely no sense. But there is a grandeur to his pages which is very appealing.

And the flashback pages of a school age meeting between the Earth 2 Clark and Bruce is rendered very differently but just as wonderfully by Yildiray Cinar. Those pages really feel romanticized and bucolic.

Put it all together and you have a book that is one of my favorite DC books right now. I almost didn't add it to my pull list and was not thinking of reviewing it here. Glad I decided to pick it up.

Read the rest of Anj's review on Supergirl Comic Box Commentary

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 4
 - (Buy Batman/Superman #3) SAVE 10%


Superman #23 - Psi War, Part One



The “Psi-War” epic begins! Psi-War erupts as Hector Hammond tries to take control of H.I.V.E. from its queen, but there are other forces in play as well, as a new Psycho Pirate emerges, and Superman is caught in the middle, unable to protect those closest to him.

Preview




Psi War: Anarchy


Superman #23 came out this week, the latest chapter in the Psi-War. Psi-War has been the most interesting and entertaining arc of the Scott Lobdell era on the book with a lot of moving parts and a formidable number of foes aimed at taking out the Man of Steel.

This issue moves the arc forward by adding another faction to the war, bringing in another player that needs to be dealt with. And while that makes this story that much more complicated, it also made me ask a couple of questions about the future of some of these characters. And Superman is almost a spectator in this issue, thrust into the background of the psionic maneuvers of the combatants.

The book also seems something of a substitute special. Old Supergirl scribe Mike Johnson is listed as writer. I can't believe he wrote this issue de novo; I have to believe this was plotted by Lobdell. But there is no plotting credit to be found. I was glad to see Johnson's name because I thought he was moving things in the right direction on Supergirl before H'El on Earth derailed all the progress he made with the character.

And art on the book is done by Jesus Merino over thumbnails by Eddy Barrows. I am not surprised to see that Barrows can't finish the book. He never seems to be able to put even 2 issues in a row on a title. Merino has a rougher style than Merino. But you can feel the Barrows-ness of the art throughout.

I do like the Kenneth Rocafort cover here, a sort of classic montage character piece. In particular I liked the 'army in silhouette' on the left upper corner, adding just a hint of action to the piece.

Read the rest of Anj's review on Supergirl Comic Box Commentary

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 4
 - (Buy Superman #23) SAVE 10%

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Anj is a blogger at http://comicboxcommentary.blogspot.com/The use of these reviews has been authorized by the original author.

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