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  • Superman #702 (I'm confused)

    Hi,

    This might seem a bit strange but JMSNews is actually the forum where I hang out / lurk / and post the most on the internet. That only happened because of yon B5 site I was doing.

    In other words IÆm not a regular viewer/poster on the web and tends to drift into, or maybe that should read, onto subjects. One of those is the thing about jms creating stories for Wonder Woman and Superman. I found the reviews of Superman 701 quite interesting and basically confirmed what I suspected about such things. Completely pointless horse hockey, as theyÆre just the musings and expression of personal opinions from, what I can gather, are mostly fans who are no more qualified than anyone else to provide an informed critique. One loves the story but thinks the art is crap. Another loves the art but thinks the story is crap û that sort of thing.

    What I wanted to ask was, as someone who lives outside the States and hasnÆt looked at a comic (or graphical novel) in over 30 years. WhatÆs the big deal about them.

    I just stumbled upon this mini review and sneak preview of Superman 702.
    http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/2010/08...he-motor-city/

    The comments beneath it are relatively mixed but the general tone is not overly enthusiastic. The use of his powers during this grounded things seems a bit at odds with the idea, and there's no point of really going into the whole U.S. centric nature to things as well.

    I know this will come over the wrong way. But IÆm not ægetting itÆ.

    Is this a typical/good/bad example of jmsÆs story telling in comic form. Moreover is this a typical/good/bad example of how stories are told in comics in general. Trust me, IÆm not trying to make some sort of intellectually smug elitist or any other type of dip shit driven comment. But it seems a pretty uncomplicated and frankly boring way of telling a story û with all the subtly of a 2 by 4. But then again, I never grew up with the format so I fully acknowledge IÆm probably missing things left right and centre, and jumping into to it (unfamiliar with the characters, history and even social references) at this relatively late point isnÆt helping.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Triple F View Post
    Hi,

    This might seem a bit strange but JMSNews is actually the forum where I hang out / lurk / and post the most on the internet. That only happened because of yon B5 site I was doing.

    In other words IÆm not a regular viewer/poster on the web and tends to drift into, or maybe that should read, onto subjects. One of those is the thing about jms creating stories for Wonder Woman and Superman. I found the reviews of Superman 701 quite interesting and basically confirmed what I suspected about such things. Completely pointless horse hockey, as theyÆre just the musings and expression of personal opinions from, what I can gather, are mostly fans who are no more qualified than anyone else to provide an informed critique. One loves the story but thinks the art is crap. Another loves the art but thinks the story is crap û that sort of thing.
    Isn't that what most reviews/criticism are? What it all comes down to is a matter of taste.

    What I wanted to ask was, as someone who lives outside the States and hasnÆt looked at a comic (or graphical novel) in over 30 years. WhatÆs the big deal about them.
    The big deal about Superman and Wonder Woman or the big deal about what JMS is doing?

    It's a combination of both, really. Superman and Wonder Woman are particularly American archetypes. Yes, Superman has bled over and become a recognized figure worldwide, but he was raised in the US and his main base of operations remains in the US. USians tend to be very possessive of both characters but neither is particularly in the forefront of the public conscious these days.

    The big deal about what JMS is doing is that it's different. It's got people paying attention and talking about them again. Love it or hate it, he's definitely got people watching.

    I just stumbled upon this mini review and sneak preview of Superman 702.
    http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/2010/08...he-motor-city/

    The comments beneath it are relatively mixed but the general tone is not overly enthusiastic. The use of his powers during this grounded things seems a bit at odds with the idea, and there's no point of really going into the whole U.S. centric nature to things as well.
    No, there's nothing 'at odds' about his using his powers at all. Why would there be? It's not as if the character said anything like "I've lost touch with the people so I'm foregoing the use of my powers in order to reconnect with them." He didn't. He's just got a lot to think about right now and so he's gone for a walk like lots of other folks might do. Being Superman, though, he happens to make it a long walk.

    I know this will come over the wrong way. But IÆm not ægetting itÆ.

    Is this a typical/good/bad example of jmsÆs story telling in comic form. Moreover is this a typical/good/bad example of how stories are told in comics in general. Trust me, IÆm not trying to make some sort of intellectually smug elitist or any other type of dip shit driven comment. But it seems a pretty uncomplicated and frankly boring way of telling a story û with all the subtly of a 2 by 4. But then again, I never grew up with the format so I fully acknowledge IÆm probably missing things left right and centre, and jumping into to it (unfamiliar with the characters, history and even social references) at this relatively late point isnÆt helping.
    What JMS has done in the past when taking over an iconic character (Spider-Man in particular springs to mind) is to take the character completely away from all of his/her ancilliary friends/relations/buddies and simply write about the character. Take him/her back to explore what makes that character unique. He takes chances with the characters and naturally, not everybody likes what he does. With Spidey, he explored a part of Peter's becoming Spider-Man that people had considered for years but nobody had actually written about.

    He's doing the same thing with both Superman and Wonder Woman, taking them away from everything and exploring the characters. And I wouldn't judge the simplicty or complexity of the story yet. At Comic-Con, JMS mentioned that we'd be learning more about somebody mentioned in #701 that one wouldn't expect.

    Me, I just have fun watching people spout off and yell about what they're certain JMS is doing and then go quiet when it turns out differently and...maybe, even...good. That's already noticable with Wonder Woman when #601 came out.

    One other thing, and I don't know if this pertains to you or not but it's worth mentioning that if you've been away from comics for a long time, it may take you a while to re-learn how to read them with appreciation. I know it did for me. It's not a form that everybody's going to warm to.

    Generally JMS's comics have some kind of moral to them and it's not always going to be subtle in only 22 or so pages for a story. I'd very much recommend his Midnight Nation and or Book of Lost Souls series to anybody looking to find out whether this is a medium they want to continue to explore.

    Jan
    "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

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    • #3
      Thanks for the reply. Interesting.

      I mentioned the superman powers not seeming to fit in with the idea of the grounded story, or to be more accurate what I understand the idea to be, because it doesnÆt really make (believable) sense to me.

      Now remember, IÆm not coming at this as a DC or marvel fan or a preference for one type of story style or another. But how can he connect with your average Joe if he falls back on his powers whenever he feels the need. Your average Joe canÆt do that. He canÆt vaporise a drug dealers stash from the street, for example. I can appreciate itÆs a vehicle to show that action bears results, but having (and using) those powers distances him from the realities of any given situation. Which is why I can see how some folks are coming out with comments about Superman coming across as smug, arrogant, preachy, condescending and behaving like heÆs slumming it.

      I guess what IÆm really curious about is, how can I put this. Are comic book stories normally so closely scrutinised and dissected. IÆm seeing folks talk about things like jms coming across as a bit racist ffs. Astonishing! WhatÆs more astonishing is that IÆM analysing the thing now because they are!!!! And that the analysing is not so much the æmessageÆ or moral of the tale but who and how it is being presented. Curious.

      Maybe itÆs cultural, maybe its just me, but it seems a lot of ho-ha over something which is meant to be light entertainment. But then again, maybe that dissecting of the story and how it is presented, and who is presenting it is a big part of the entertainment value. Some of them do come across as wannabe intellectuals with a corn cob up their arse.

      Comment


      • #4
        It's the nature of fans to disect, discuss, analyse and chew over every teensy thing, remember it, and club any writer over the head for not keeping continuity exactly. And then they complain when the comic companies are forced to re-boot from time to time just so that something fresh can be done.

        Case in point: When fans found out about Superman's plans to walk across the US, it was seemingly only moments before some complained that Green Lantern had done so a mere forty years ago.

        Superman isn't trying to connect with the average person as in becoming like them, he's reminding himself of the day-to-day things that they face because he's been concentrating on world-shattering, universe-enfolding crises for a long time now. (I didn't read it but I gather that he's been completely away from Earth for quite a while, too.) In the preview in issue #700, the point was made that he saw things from high above or moving too fast to see any details. Now he's experiencing the details.

        As for his attitude, I haven't noticed him giving attitude to anybody who doesn't dish it out first (though I may have missed something too).

        Jan
        "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

        Comment


        • #5
          I'll offer my review as a second opinion: http://truebelieverreviews.com/wordpress/?p=312



          I hope JMS writes a comic I don't like soon so I don't have to be so positive. To be fair, I did like 701 better, albeit slightly.
          Flying Sparks Web Comic - A Hero and Villain In Love. Updates on Wednesdays
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