Wednesday, July 11, 2007

... And Out the Other Side

What a long strange trip that was...

Sorry about that. One long week in DC and suddenly out of posts, meaning I missed a few news stories and a few memes, including my own Monday Morning Macking (for those of you who posted in understandable expectation, I'll link to you next Monday).

For now, I'd like to talk about Action Comics #851, the Phantom Zone issue, in glorious 3-D!

Now, I'm a comics reader, not a collector, so usually gimmicks don't do it for me. But there's something about 3-D, with the goofy cardboard glasses and promises of action leaping off the page, that has a nostalgic charm for me, like something out of the '50s.

And for Action #851, it worked. It worked because they limited it to the Phantom Zone, where the disorienting effect of 3-D glasses reflected Superman's own altered state, as if we ourselves were drawn into another, twilight world. It worked because Richard Donner's phantom zone is full of planes rotating towards the reader, flat people turning in a three dimensional space, which is exactly the effect of 3-D. And it worked because after so long a wait, it was nice that the payoff had a little extra goose to it.

As for the story itself, I side with those that say, if only this book had come out on time, it would considered a Superman storyline to remember. I reread the issues leading up to this and the Annual (but not the fill-ins) and the story really moves and surprises.

Annual #10, LOTS of exposition and beautiful art, some of which ties directly into this storyline...

Issue #844, Kryptonian kid lands on Earth and Superman kidnaps him to save him from the government!

Issue #845, Superman tries to work with the government, but some underhanded dealings and a Bizarro rampage convince him to adopt the kid himself. Except he's actually the son of General Zod and Ursa!

Issue #846, Zod attacks, releasing an entire army of criminal Kryptonians and trapping Superman in the Phantom Zone!

Issue #851, While Zod's army runs roughshod over the Justice League and the kid starts fighting back, Superman has a heartbreaking encounter with a childhood friend, escapes from the Phantom Zone barely, and teams up with his deadliest enemies to take down over a thousand supermen!

That's some fun, exciting stuff. However, instead of coming out over the course of four months, it instead took almost nine. And that the next part won't be out until October at the earliest!

That's just frustrating! That's the kind of thing that drives people to the trades, where you know you're getting the end of the story the day you bought the beginning.

(For the most part.)

1 comment:


I think the slow down is affecting Kurt on Superman proper.

All the delays have stretched him thin on fill ins and extending his own plot to compensate and include ambiguous elements like Chris Kent.