Superman II announced…

Sort of.
Apparently next on the docket will be Superman/Batman, which sounds like it might be borrowing liberally from The Dark Knight Returns.  And the baby steps towards Justice League continue.  Smart move though, since one billion dollar franchise + another billion dollar franchise probably equals a fuck-ton of money.  I will reserve judgment on this idea until it's actually filming and we see footage.

Waiting for the Trade – Final Night


Waiting for the Trade

by Bill Miller


The Final Night
by Karl Kessel and Ron

collects Final Night
1-4 and Parallax Emerald Night 1

Why I Bought This: As
someone who doesn’t read a lot of DC this was an event I was always curious
about and at a recent comic show I attended the trade was being sold for $5. At
that price why not?
The Plot: A
creature called the Sun Eater shows up attempts to eat the Earth’s sun causing
Earth’s heroes and a few villains to unite in an attempt to save the planet.

Chapter 0 – A mysterious alien girl arrives on Tamaria to
warn them of the Sun Eater. The Tamarians are a warlike race and don’t trust
her until its too late. Their sun and world dies but alien chick escapes and
heads to the next planet in the Sun Eater’s path: Earth.

Chapter 1 – Alien chick crashes in Metropolis where she is
greeted by Superman and the Legion of Super Heroes. Saturn Girl uses telepathy
to teach alien chick English and she warns them of the Sun Eater. Earth’s
heroes gather at Star Labs where scientists verify the threat will arrive at
the Sun in six hours. Big Barda suggests using a boom tube to teleport the
creature to the edge of the universe as plan A. Superman gather heroes with
heat-based powers together for Plan B. Batman is put in charge of the more
urban heroes in using them to keep order from the mass panic that will occur if
the other teams fail. Mr. Miracle’s team which includes Captain Atom and Dr.
Polaris along with some heroes I don’t recognize confront the Sun Eater (it
looks a living dark cloud/black hole) first and attempt to create a vortex to
pull it into a boom tube however the boom tube has no effect because the Sun
Eater exists on multiple dimensions. Next up Superman’s team (with Firestorm,
Ray, Fire and a few others) combine their powers to create a second sun that is
held in check by Green Lantern’s (Kyle Raner) power ring in order to decoy Sun
Eater away from the true sun. However it catches their mini-sun and eats it
completely nearly killing all of the heroes in the process. The Sun Eater
envelops the Sun causing the sky to turn black.

Chapter 2 – It’s been 27 hours since the sun went dark. Lex
Luthor arrives in Metropolis to try and save the day with science. Meanwhile
various heroes deal with fires burning out of control or criminals trying to
take advantage of the situation. Superman’s powers are fading without sunlight.
Luthor sends GL into the sun to get readings on what exactly the Sun Eater is
doing, after which he abruptly disappears. The alien who warned everyone, now
named Dusk, is attacked by an irate mob and decides humanity doesn’t deserved
to be saved. She is then saved from the mob by new hero Ferro.

Chapter 3 – Demons from Hell offer to save the Earth if
every inhabitant on the planet sells their souls but humanity turns them down.
Gaea and Spectre are doing their best to keep the planet warm from the inside.
The STAR Labs team realizes the Sun is about to go “hyper nova” in an effort to
ward off the Sun Eater. Phantom Stranger shows Dusk the good side of humanity.
Some of the heat-based heroes aid a village in Africa,
while other heroes like Superman and Alan Scott go home to visit loved ones.
Guy Gardner (currently in his Warrior cyborg identity) is getting drunk when he
is confronted by a green flash.

Chapter 4 – Cyborg (the Superman foe, not the Teen Titan) is
at the edge of the universe running from Parallax (Hal Jordan). Jordan kills him in vengeance for Coast City.
Current GL Kyle Raner arrives and asks Jordan to save the Earth from the
Sun Eater. Jordan
looks in at the situation and realizes it may be beyond even his power. He then
visits Gardener (hence the green flash from last issue) and Jon Stewart to make
amends as well as his civilian supporting cast. He then finds Kyle and agrees
to help.

Chapter 5 – With two hours before the Sun goes nova, Luthor
has a plan to place a field of gizmos around the Sun that will use the energy
of the nova to generate a force field that will contain the explosion and
hopefully kills the Sun Eater. Luthor assigns the task of erecting the force
field generators to Green Lantern but then GL gets teleported away in a green
flash. With GL gone someone will have to manually pilot a ship to place the
devices and that person will likely not come back. Superman volunteers with the
hope that the nova will jumpstart his powers rather than killing him. However
before Supes can leave Ferro steals the ship reasoning the world can’t lose
Superman. Parallax shows up and offers to help. He notes he could jumpstart the
Sun but the resulting melting of all the ice and snow will cause floods that
kill lots of people. Of course he can bend time to avoid those affects too.
This causes Batman to be a douche and accuse Hal of playing God again. So
Parallax instead agrees to just take care of the Sun Eater and restore the
planet’s natural equilibrium but not to save any lives already lost. Meanwhile
Ferro fails to deploy the force fields properly and is killed in a nova blast;
or at least he should be when Parallax freezes time and sends him back to
Earth. Hal then absorbs the Sun Eater into himself and changes the nova energy
into green light described as life force energy that heals the planet at the
cost of his own life. Afterwards Superman and Batman debate whether Hal was
really a hero.


Critical Thoughts:
This is a quick read, so even when parts of the story don’t work it never fully
spoils your enjoyment because you’re not investing a lot of time into it.  I like Hal Jordan a bit more than most of
DC’s A-list and this is a good story of him trying to redeem himself from the
events that preceded Zero Hour—probably
the only other major DC crossover I’ve read and one I always felt Hal was kind
of justified in to begin with, so in that sense I liked this story overall.

I like the idea of Lex Luthor being Earth’s best hope for
salvation before Jordan
shows up. It’s an interesting dynamic that you don’t get in Marvel: with Reed
around the heroes will never have to turn to Dr. Doom for science help, but as
near as I can tell as a casual fan of DC there is no heroic mind on a par with
Luthor’s. I would have liked to see a little more of Luthor’s plan in action
before Jordan
steps in to save the day but with the nature of the Sun Eater (despite its
sentience it is more or less presented as a natural phenomenon throughout the
story) that’s only a minor criticism.

The impersonal nature of the villain also makes this a
bizarre event story. On the one hand you don’t have the sort of big epic cosmic
evil plan you expect in this kind of story, on the other hand the stakes are
certainly high enough and the challenge facing the heroes unique enough to
qualify as a major threat. Still without true villainy this becomes more a tale
of how the heroes (and Luthor) react to a natural disaster than the kind back
and forth rising action you expect in an event story. The human touches with
Superman and the Green Lanterns play out well in this environment; while the
urban riots, African subplot and Dusk learning about humanity don’t ever
achieve what the author wants them to evoke.

I will say I don’t know who the hell Ferro is, or even if he
has super powers, but he seems way out of the place in this story. I assume he
was some new character they were pushing for a solo book at the time because
his debut gets the Chapter 2 cliffhanger spot (prompting an anti-climatic ‘who
the hell is this and why should I care?’ moment) and then of all the heroes on
Earth he’s the one who thinks Superman is too valuable to lose and is left to
deploy (and screw up) Luthor’s plan. If this story was supposed to be his big
push it fails, because after reading it I could care less if I ever saw him in
a comic book again.


Grade: C+. The
Sun Eater is an interesting concept in terms of a global threat for the heroes
to face but the action itself lacks dramatic tension. Still the character work
on Jordan and Luthor is interesting enough to earn this a slightly positive

Waiting for the Trade – Superman

Waiting for the Trade

By Bill Miller


Superman: Reign of

By Paul Cornell

Collects Action Comics


Why I Bought This: I
had read the previous trade (Return of
) in which Doomsday returned to take on all of the Reign of the
Superman characters and that one had ended on a cliffhanger with Doomsday
victorious. While that trade was only okay, I was still likely to pick up the
conclusion once the price dropped online sooner or later.

The Plot: the
Reign of Superman heroes awaken on a space station containing a pocket universe
and Doomsday. Supes goes to mount a rescue mission of the Reign characters only
to be waylaid by a newly omnipotent Lex Luthor.

Chapter 1 – Supes finds out about Doomsday defeating Steel
and heads off to find him. The Reign heroes wake up on a space station that
Steel’s scanners reveal is infinite in size with no escape because it loops in
on itself spatially. Doomsday arrives and attacks the heroes with Cyborg
deciding to work against the other four heroes. In space Luthor has obtained
infinite power and uses it teleport Superman to him. Lex obtained his power
from the Phantom Zone where a heretofore unknown entity has been suffering for
years because it is empathic and the Kryptonian criminals stored there only
have negative emotions. It was on its way to our universe to destroy the source
of negative emotions when Lex found and forcibly merged with it. He tries to
give Superman pain by forcing human emotions on him, which is just an excuse to
have a bunch of flashbacks to key events in the Superman mythos since this
chapter was originally Action Comics 900.
Lex doesn’t understand why his plan isn’t working as he refuses to believe
Superman already has human emotion until he mind-probes him and learns he’s
Clark Kent. Lex doesn’t take the news well, ranting about his own poor
childhood and how Supes being Clark makes a
fool out of him. He tries to kill Supes but the entity begins to exert
influence and holds back the power he needs to do the job. Back on the space
station Doomsday is mimicking Eradicator’s power when the heroes drop down into
a bottomless pit but he just reappears seconds later using Superboy’s powers.
Back with Lex and he merges with the entity more fully to gain access to its
full power and this causes him to unleash a wave of universal bliss. While Lex
is happy now and has plans to use this power to right all of the wrongs in the
universe, the catch is if he uses the power for a single negative act he will
lose it, which in his words means not only can he not kill Superman but
Superman gets to live out his life blissfully happy. Lex finds he can’t abide
that choice and attacks Supes. He immediately begins to power down but the
power lasts long enough for him to trade punches with Supes for a few pages.
Once all the power leaves him, Lex of course has instant amnesia and then gets
sucked into a black hole but not before mentioning that he’s behind the
Doomsday attacks on the Reign characters and letting Supes know where the space
station is. Supes arrives and sees the way in as a one-way event horizon but
dives in anyway to help his friends. Together they find Doomsday’s dead body in
a lab, where Lex has been performing experiments on him. The result of the
experiments is he has in fact cloned Doomsday into four separate entities, each
one mimicking the powers of one specific Reign character.

Chapter 2 – With three Doomsday’s attacking (the fourth is
still falling in the bottomless pit), Supes rips out Cyborg’s heart so they
concentrate on the main threat, which is not as hardcore as it sounds since
Cyborg will come back to life as soon as the heart is put back in his chest. The
heroes run away with the original Doomsday’s body, while a mystery villain
watches the proceedings and begins to pilot the space station. The heroes try
to come up with a plan, while Steel notes that detached from Luthor’s machines
the original Doomsday is beginning to resurrect. The three Doomsday clones
arrive and attack and generally have the heroes on the defensive. The space station
is on a collision course with Earth that if successful will destroy the planet,
and is just 10-minutes away to impact. The heroes become aware of the impending
collision and go looking for a control panel but instead the mystery villain—a
new character by the name of Doomslayer, who looks like Doomsday only with
bigger claws and a metal breastplate. Doomslayer then kills the Eradicator with

Chapter 3 – Doomslayer reveals he’s an evolved Doomsday with
intelligence and awareness of what his origins are. He says Doomsday has killed
millions and must be stopped. His plan therefore is to not only kill Doomsday
but also any world that has ever encountered him so as to erase all knowledge
of him from the universe. Steel hacks the door open and the supermen work on
stopping the space station. Their strength decelerates it enough so the threat
changes from planet-wide to continent-wide to city-wide (and of course it’s
heading for Metropolis), at which point Superman has the others clear out and
flies it into the ocean. It creates a massive tidal wave but the other three
stop that from hitting Metropolis. Doomslayer then unleashes plan B and sets
the Doomsday clones on the Earth.

Chapter 4 – The Reign heroes are making one-on-one stands
across the world while Supes takes the original Doomsday to Star-Labs. Doomsday
wakes up, but with Eradicator’s intelligence is in control of him. Doomslayer
is working on sending his pocket universe into the Earth’s Core as a plan C of
destruction. Meanwhile the Reign heroes have been joined by various Justice
League groupings to face the Doomsday clones while Superman takes the fight to
Doomslayer. We get big brawl of a fight scene and Eradicator kills one of the
Doomsdays but notes the original will soon reassert its intelligence. Superman
meanwhile has made way to the core of the space ship when Doomslayer powers it
up in hopes of killing him.

Chapter 5 – The second Doomsday clone is defeated in the
opening panel, leaving just one more to go. Meanwhile Supes learns the spaceship
is alive: it’s not happy about having been used by Lex and Doomslayer but Supes
gives a rah rah speech and it agrees to help him save the world. Supes now
takes on Doomslayer physically as the ship begins to depart. The JLA’s heavy
hitters put down the last Doomsday and the clones are disposed of in a space
warp by GL. Doomslayer is about to kill Supes when Eradicator arrives (still in
the original Doomsday’s body). Together their combined strength is too much for
Doomslayer. With his last though Eradicator tosses Superman from the space
station, which then seals up and self-destructs to end the threat of Doomsday
and Doomslayer. Afterwards Clark and Lois have dinner and reflect on what
Superman means to America.

Bonus Chapters – A story of how Jor-El sent Clark to Earth. Superman meets a Buddha Hippo Alien and
they compare notes on what it means to be human. Lois and Superman throw a
dinner party for the Legion of Super Heroes in four pages. Superman helps out
protestors in the Mid-East and almost creates an international incident. Plus
pin-ups and a partially illustrated script of Supes racing a former football
player wearing Iron Man style flight suit.


Critical Thoughts: I
have a mixed reaction to this. It’s not that it’s a bad story, it’s just not
the story I wanted. I bought this hoping for a slice of 90’s nostalgia; not
unreasonable when you consider it is playing off the history and characters of
the most famous story of the 90s. Whereas this story, for reasons I completely
understand, is also trying to be much bigger than that with the penultimate
Superman vs. Luthor fight and trying to give Superman and Lois some closure.
Again this is a logical creative choice since this trade encompasses both the
landmark 900th issue of Action Comics and I believe is the last
Superman story before the New 52 reboot; but the result is a jarring a mix of
things that don’t seem to fit together easily. There absolutely should be a
last Superman story focused on Luthor and Lois, but I don’t think that needs to
be in the same story with Doomsday and the Reign characters. As someone who
rarely reads Superman and picked this up because of the prior trade (which was
a crossover in a bunch of spinoff titles and not the main Superman titles) for
this to open with omnipotent Luthor is a really jarring beginning vs. what the
cover promises. That Luthor chapter feels like it needs to be the last chapter
of some other chapter and not the first chapter of this one.

As far as the Luthor stuff goes, I liked Luthor’s choice that
he can create or universal peace or try to kill Superman and being a villain he
gives up the former for the chance of the latter. I will say this is the first
comic I’ve ever read where the hero is okay with universal alteration as
Superman encourages Luthor to let the universal peace wave ride out. Usually
superheroes are a lot more concerned with free will or the integrity of the
timeline or not playing God or whatever. I always think of Zero Hour where the heroes insist Hal Jordan shouldn’t be allowed to
alter time even though his goal was to save millions of people who died in
Coast City and a help a few heroes who came to bad ends like Batgirl as a poor
example of that cliché where they against universal change on the basic
principal rather than the end goal.

I’m also not sure why Luthor is so pissed off when he learns
Superman is Clark Kent
unless the Smallville continuity is
in effect. Since from what I’ve seen of their adult personas Lex seems to be
barely know Clark, when he deals with the
Planet it always seems to be through Lois. That’s my biggest problem with DC.
They change their continuity so often it’s hard to keep track of which one is
in effect at any given moment/story.

As for the actual Doomsday story I bought this for, it’s
okay. I would have liked to have seen Cyborg have a bigger part since he really
is the ultimate big bad of that era. Doomslayer is pretty lame character with
overblown motivations, but in that sense he does fit the 90s nostalgia kick
perfectly: He’s just like Doomsday only bigger and with more metal and a
cheesier name. If he had an over-sized gun he’d hit the 90’s cliché trifecta.
There is a nice sense of action in the last two chapters, but overall the story
just feels like its missing something.

Also for someone who hasn’t seen Steel in decades when did
his tech get so good? In the Reign titles (and the Shaq movie) he had some low
level armor with construction-themed weapons like a sledge hammer and rivet
gun. Now he can instantly scan a universe sized spaceship in seconds, and
reprogram alien technology? I know all comic characters have a tendency to
enjoy power level creep over time but he seems to have gone from street level
to cosmic over the years.


Grade: D+. It’s
not terrible, but it still doesn’t feel coherent. It feels like two stories
crammed together because of an editorial deadline so that ultimately neither
story works as well as it should. I think as much as I bought this for the
Doomsday story, it’s actually the Lex story which suffers more as that some big
ideas that it doesn’t have the time to flesh out; and then the Doomsday stuff
can’t properly follow it.

Waiting for the Trade – JLA New 52

Waiting for the Trade


by Bill Miller

Justice League vol.
1: Origin

by Geoff Johns, Jim
Lee and Scott Williams

collects Justice
League 1-6.


Why I Bought This: Even
though I’m primarily a Marvel reader, like most of the comic-buying public I
was pretty intrigued when DC launched its New 52. This being the flagship title
is the obvious one to sample. Plus Jim Lee’s art in the preview pages looked
fantastic. On Cyber Monday, Midtown Comics put all the volume 1 New 52 trades
on sale at 40-percent off so I finally picked this up (along with Aquaman and JLI).

The Plot: The
Justice League comes together for the first time to deal with the threat of
Darkseid. Your heroes are Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green
Lantern, Flash and Cyborg.

Chapter 1 – Gotham Police are chasing down Batman with a
helicopter as he runs across rooftops in pursuit of an unknown foe. Batman
catches it and finds a non-human cyborg. Batman is on the defensive when Green
Lantern arrives and he and Batman meet for the first time. Police open fire on
the heroes; and while GL’s force field keeps them safe it gives the cyborg time
to counterattack by breathing fire. This results in the heroes having to save
the cops while the cyborg escapes. GL informs Batman the foe is definitely extraterrestrial
as well as filling him in on the whole GL Corps shtick. GL is also agog when he
learns Batman has no powers. They trace their foe to the sewers where it seems
to be planting a bomb. When GL tries to intercede it blows itself up, shouting
“For Darkseid” as it does so. They discover the bomb is actually a Mother Box,
which Batman deduces is an alien computer. This causes GL to suspect Superman,
whom neither he nor Batman has met yet. While Batman advises caution given
Superman’s power levels, GL flies them both to Metropolis. Cut to an interlude
where African-American teen Vic Stone wins a high school football game while
college scouts are watching, but mopes because his dad doesn’t attend. GL and
Bats arrives in Metropolis where Superman has just finished a battle. GL
cockily confronts Supes only to be easily knocked across the city; leaving
Supes and Bats staring each other down.

Chapter 2 – In Central City, Flash is working at his day job
doing CSI stuff while other police officers talk about the need for an
anti-Flash taskforce. In Metropolis Batman is exhausting his utility belt on
Supes to no effect, as we learn Supes off-camera also battled one of the Mother
Box planting aliens. GL recovers and tries to contain Supes with his ring but
Superman is too strong. GL is desperately on the defensive so he uses his ring
to radio Flash for help, as apparently they’ve met, worked together before and
even shared secret identities. Flash arrives instantly and uses his speed to
confuse Superman for a bit, but ultimately Supes is able to move fast enough to
hit Flash with one finger and take the fight out of him. Batman then uses that
interlude to talk sense into everyone, and the heroes band together to
investigate the Mother Boxes. Cut to STAR Labs where they too have a Mother Box
and are trying to decipher what it does. Heading up the project is Vic Stone’s
father. Vic arrives and his dad blows him off, feeling human athletic prowess
is no longer relevant in a world of super-humans. Back with the heroes, who
even with Superman’s X-ray vision and Barry’s CSI background are finding it
difficult to get evidence from the Mother Box. Suddenly all the boxes activate,
opening Boom-tubes to let the Parademon (aka the fire-breathing cyborg alien)
army invade the Earth. At STAR Labs Vic Stone takes a bunch of shrapnel when
the portal opens.

Chapter 3 – in Washington
DC Col.
Steve Trevor is being debriefed about his first meeting with Wonder Woman and
the Amazons of Paradise Island, while Wonder Woman explores DC and has ice
cream for the first time. This new interpretation of Wonder Woman carries a
sword at all times (on her belt, opposite her magic lasso) and also seems to be
extra-eager for combat. When Parademons explode over DC she is happy to engage
them in battle. Back at STAR Labs Dr. Stone reveals he already lost Vic’s mom,
he won’t lose Victor too even though the shrapnel in the youth is emitting
weird energy. In Metropolis, Bats, GL and Flash are holding their own, while
Superman is taking entire squadrons of the Parademon army down with ease. Back
at STAR Labs Dr. Stone gets his son in their safe room where the other sci-fi
tech gizmos are stored and performs emergency surgery with them to save his
son. As more demons pour into Metropolis, Wonder Woman arrives to give Superman
a hand. The heroes drive the demons back as Vic Stone comes online as Cyborg
and is somehow patched into whatever background noise/orders the Mother Boxes
are giving the demons. The demons erect a tower in the ocean (but within sight of
the Metropolis docks/shoreline), which causes Aquaman to arrive on the scene as

Chapter 4 – Cyborg is in a lot of pain, and is trying to
come to terms with what his father did to save his life when the demons break
down the wall to the safe room causing Cyborg’s arm to reform into a laser gun
which vaporizes the demons. (His powers in general seem to be like the villain
in Terminator 3 here). With the threat
at STAR Labs defeated Cyborg runs off into the night feeling his father made
him into a monster. In Metropolis Aquaman meets all the heroes for the first
time, and tries to take the leadership role claiming his experience as King of
Atlantis. GL mocks Aquaman and his powers just as the Parademons mount a new
attack from the ocean and Aquaman has an army of sharks jump out of the ocean
and eat the entire Parademon army, except for one whom Aquaman kills with his
tridents thus shutting GL up. The military arrives and fires on the heroes but
Wonder Woman uses her bracelets to protect everyone. Cut to Cyborg who is
getting flashes of Apokolips in his head. He takes out a few demons and manages
to activate one of their Boom Tubes to teleport to the other heroes in
Metropolis. He warns them of what is coming but it is too late as Darkseid
arrives via Boom Tube.

Chapter 5 – Darkseid takes out the military fighter jets
with one shot of his Omega Beams. Flash and Superman get his attention so he
shoots Omega Beams at them. The beams actually split as the heroes do and keep
pace with their speeds. Flash is able to avoid the beams by getting them to hit
some Parademons but Superman is overtaken, knocked unconscious and kidnapped by
the Parademons into their ocean tower. As the next most powerful hero (and
rashest) GL tries to fight Darkseid one-on-one next. Darkseid keeps breaking
his constructs and eventually grabs GL and breaks his ring hand. To his credit
GL attempts to keep fighting but Batman talks him down by unmasking and telling
him his origin. Batman tells GL to come up with a team-based attack using the
combined superpowers at hand to keep Darkseid busy long enough for Bats to
sneak into the tower and free Superman. Once Bats gets there he realizes it is
going to be tougher than he thought since the inside of the tower is a portal
to Apokolips.

Chapter 6 – Darkseid is incinerating civilians until the JLA
hits him with everything at once. Wonder Woman tries to use her lasso to get
info on why Darkseid is here on Earth, to which he just says “For her,” and
before WW can get him to clarify he decks her. Back on Apokolips Batman finds
Dessad torturing Superman, presumably as part of some brain-washing process. On
Earth Darkseid tries his Omega Beams but her bracelets deflect them and she
counters by stabbing him in the eye with her sword. As he reels from that
Aquaman stabs him in his other eye with his trident. The heroes are dismayed to
see Darkseid is still standing. Cyborg decides to try overriding the Mother
Boxes again to Boom Tube Darkseid back to Apokolips. The Boom Tubes powering up
gets Dessad’s attention on Apokolips thus giving Batman an opportunity to free
Superman. Superman returns to fight Darkseid, but Darkseid proves stronger than
him. The heroes combine to push Darkseid back into the Boom Tube as Cyborg uses
it to teleport Darkseid and his army away. In the aftermath the humans of
Metropolis/the world love the heroes. They then get invited to meet with the
President, who publically embraces them for saving the world, assuming they are
a team. The JLA go along with it for the greater good of human/super-human
relations. They receive their name from a reporter during a second mission,
which we see only in passing press coverage as they fight with Starro
recreating the famous cover of the original first JLA story. Finally we get two
epilogues: first in London
shadowy figures discuss the arrival of superheroes in the world and embrace the
super villain moniker; second Pandora of Greek myth fights with Phantom
Stranger before blackmailing him into leaving her alone while announcing plans
to use the JLA to end her curse.
Critical Thoughts: Let’s
start with the positives, which is the art is absolutely jump off the page
amazing. This is Jim Lee at his very best; reminiscent of the stuff he and
Liefeld were doing when they hit it big in the 90s on the X-books. Every hero
gets a stunning pin-up when they arrive in the story for the first time. I
really like Wonder Woman’s new costume. As an Aquaman fan I have to say he has
never looked cooler, or in the scene where shark army jumps out of the water more
badass, than he does in this book. Furthermore the art works beyond the pin-up
cool to enhance the story. For example, in the first meeting between Batman and
Green Lantern the art visually reinforces that these are two different types of
heroes. The Superman debut fight is rendered (and written) in such a way to
make Superman and his power levels feel fresh and new, which is no easy feet
considering how well we all know Superman. It’s really one of the best fight
scenes I’ve seen in some time, especially once Flash arrives. The sequence
where Superman and Flash try to outrace the Omega Beams is also drawn to really
give a sense momentum and wonder to the action.

In terms of plot and story elements there is both good and
bad here. The dynamic of the heroes’ first meetings and reactions to each other
is handled very well. It’s also interesting to see the heroes of the DC
Universe not being trusted by the public and law enforcement. While I don’t
read as much DC as Marvel, I’ve never seen that before in their
universe—usually each hero has their fictional city they watch over like a
guardian angel and everyone there loves them for it. Of course by the end of
the story the heroes have turned the corner to that more beloved status quo, so
I guess it’s not something they’re going to explore any further.

I thought Green Lantern’s reaction to Batman’s lack of
powers was just great. GL’s portrayal in general is interesting, as he’s
arrogant and rash but we still get to see the determination that powers his
ring and makes him a hero when he fights Darkseid. There’s a funny moment where
he brushes up against Wonder Woman’s lasso and reveals he’s going to be the one
save day because he likes to impress people. All that said I didn’t really buy
the scene where Batman supposedly turns it around for GL to be more of a team
player by unmasking. I think it’s something done more to be dramatic for the
reader than the characters. By which I means as readers we know Batman’s secret
identity is important so seeing him unmask is a big deal. But within the logic
of the story it feels out of characters for Batman to unmask to someone he just
met. More importantly why should GL care, who Batman is? It’s not like they’ve
been fighting alongside each for years and suddenly Batman trusts him with this
big thing. It’s more like, “So uh yea my parents were killed by a mugger when I
was a kid so we better stop this alien invasion, kay?” I think there are easier
ways within the story’s own logic to get to “We need to work as a team for this
one” than jumping to Batman unmasking.

Among the other heroes, I can’t say I like the new Wonder
Woman interpretation. I seem to recall her classical interpretation being that
she’s the emissary of peace into Man’s World. Now she’s the exact opposite of
that as this blood thirsty battle seeking sword wielding demigod. Hell, even
though I didn’t read it, I know I read online that there was a DC event story a
few years ago where the big three’s relationship fractured because Wonder Woman
used a sword to kill Maxwell Lord when he possessed Superman. It sounds like
the whole point of that story was Wonder Woman went too far, and that even she
knew stabbing someone is a big deal with consequences; and yet now we’re going
to make it that she casually stabs people all the time.

Which leads to my next point, I found the scene with Wonder
Woman and Aquaman stabbing Darkseid in eyes far more viscous than I prefer a
mainstream superhero comic to be. Admittedly it is good strategy giving
Darkseid’s eyes are his power source, but I think A-list heroes who appeal to
kids should be presented as morally above such tactics. Actually the eye
stabbing scene is another way this book reminds me of a 90s comic, as I
remember when X-Force launched they had Shatterstar stabbing people in the eyes
to show how grim and gritty they were. Objectively I can see that both Wonder
Woman and Aquaman have roots in Greek myth where viscous things, including
blindings, befall people all the time. So yes, an artistic argument can be made
to portray those two characters in this way; however, I’m not sure personally
it’s what I want to see. I had decided if I liked these first three New 52
trades I probably sample Wonder Woman
and Batgirl next and this
interpretation makes me less likely to buy Wonder Woman’s solo title.

This brings up the next question I can see both sides too,
which is what is Cyborg doing in this book? You have DC’s six most important
well known A-list heroes and then this random C-lister better associated with
the Teen Titans hanging out with them. It doesn’t help that his origin scenes
are probably the least interesting parts of this trade. That said if you are
rebooting your entire universe for the 21st century I can absolutely
see and respect the need include an African-American hero in your A-list
flagship title that younger readers are most likely to read. When you throw in
that this relaunch is also meant to reach out to lapsed comic fans, Cyborg is
probably a better choice than most other African-American heroes to fill thus
role since he was part of the final season of Super Friends that also heavily featured Darkseid. (And this story
even manages to work the “Super Friends” name into the final chapter when the
President introduces the heroes to the public). Then again if the goal is to
make Cyborg an equal of these other heroes, why is he a teenager just getting
his power when everyone else on the team are fully power adults? As I
understand it the next trade jumps ahead five years so by then Cyborg should be
about 23 years-old and on more equal footing with his teammates, so hopefully
that criticism works itself out.

My final criticism, and it’s a big one, is the ending of the
Darkseid fight both makes very little sense and falls flat on a dramatic level.
On the doesn’t make sense front, Cyborg uses the Boom Tubes to teleport
Darkseid back home. So why can’t Darkseid return again, if not immediately then
certainly in a couple of days at most if he wanted to? Didn’t he build these
things to begin with? He can’t fix and repair them on Apokolips, which is
galaxies away from whatever signal Cyborg is generating. It seems the heroes
were not terribly effective against him physically so there’s does not seem to
be a logical reason he wouldn’t return fairly soon once he got tech support on
the phone to fix his Mother Box problem. Fanboy logic nitpicks aside, on
narrative level it’s not a satisfying solution to the fight either, which is a
much bigger problem when your climax doesn’t work. The heroes entire plan is
keep Darkseid busy so Batman can free Superman so that Superman can then kick
some ass, but when Superman is free we don’t get to see any ass-kicking and
after two chapters of working towards that goal, it’s a letdown that Supes
doesn’t get the big cut loose moment at the end.

Grade: The art is an A+; the story is a B-. Story means more
to me than art so let’s call it a B+.

Waiting for the Trade – Superman

Waiting for the Trade

by Bill Miller

Superman: Camelot
Falls – The Weight of the World

by Kurt Busiek, Carlos
Pacheco and Jesus Merino

collects Superman
662-664, 667 and Superman Annual 13


Why I Bought This: This
had been in the discount bin of my favorite local comic store for many months
and I kept considering picking it up because of the Camelot reference on the
cover and Kurt Busiek’s authorship. About two months after Busiek responded to
my Aquaman review on this site, I figured why not when the price dropped again
to $5.


The Plot: Prior
to this trade Superman was informed by an Atlantean sorcerer that the presence
of alien heroes on Earth is disrupting the natural cycle of good and evil that
guides human destiny. The sorcerer claims that when evil finally breaks through
it will be so pent up that it will lead to the extinction of humanity. Thus he
asks Superman to consider leaving the planet for the greater good. Now Superman
has two weeks to decide before the sorcerer returns.

Chapter 1 – An alien by the name of Subjekt 17 is in Tibet
pondering why some humans live in third world conditions while other have
advanced technology as he plots revenge on Superman. (His story seems to be
that like Superman he was an alien infant rocketed to Earth, but unlike him he
was found by evil government types to be experimented on and turned into a
weapon). Meanwhile Superman is at the Fortress of Solitude trying to determine
if Power Girl is a Krytponian since some other alien villain recently told him
there is a third Kryptonian on Earth but the scans are negative. In Metropolis
as Clark Kent, Superman discusses the sorcerer
Arion’s claims with Perry, Jimmy and Lois who apparently were brought with
Superman into the future by Arion to see the death of humanity. They mostly
bring up the good Supes has down while also doubting if the future is fated.
Supes then goes to Zatanna (The JLA’s resident mystic) for advice and she fills
him on Arion’s back-story: he dates back to 45,000 B.C., died at the hands of
Mordu recently then mysteriously returned from the grave for some mystic story
she was a part of. Next Supes flies to Iran since in the future Arion
showed Supes both human civilization and Superman himself were killed by a
villain called Khyber, who was then stopped by an Arab hero named Sirocco.
Based on Arion’s timeline, Sirocco should be active now in the present so
Superman decides to meet him to see if he exists. He does, although it’s in
early in his career and he was using a different codename but likes the one
Superman calls him better and changes his name to Sirocco right on the spot. He
also claims to have killed the man that is supposed to become Khyber already.
When Superman returns to Metropolis there’s a bunch of flying people in the

Chapter 2 – In some magic bar Arion, wearing the costume
Zatanna saw in her recent adventure with him, is getting drunk when he is
confronted by the Arion Superman met two weeks ago. Supes’ Arion claims the one
in the bar is an imposter and takes him prisoner. In Metropolis the flying
people are behaving like amok children causing lots of collateral damage.
Apparently they are members of the New Gods (a group of quasi-immortals who
have something or other to do with Darkseid that I’ve never sufficiently cared
enough to look into). Light Ray (apparently another New God) shows up and
apologizes to Superman as he gets the teens under control and we learn the
random amok flying people were influenced by one of Arion’s spells to show
Superman the dangers of aliens on Earth. Meanwhile fake Arion tries to
apologize to real Arion for impersonating him. The real Arion grills him about
the present since apparently he has traveled forward in time from the past.
Next Supes goes to Lana Lang for advice, who is now the CEO of Lexcorp. She
says even if Arion is right and Clark has to
give up being a superhero she says he could still stay on Earth and help people
in other ways by joining NASA as an example. Supes broods for a few pages until
a little girl falls off a building and he saves her, at which point he realizes
he could never stand back and let people die no matter the surrounding
circumstances. He tells Arion on deadline day and Arion casts a spell to
possess Superman saying he will use him to cause civilization’s downfall.

Chapter 3 – Superman attempts to fight off the mind control
(something he’s been practicing with Martian Manhunter and Zatanna) when he
gets attacked by hi-tech soldiers who have government built tech specifically
for facing Superman when he’s mind-controlled mostly using sonic weapons,
electricity and bright lights. Ironically while they intend for this to disrupt
the mind control it is actually disrupting Superman’s resistance to the spell
which was working. They also attack Arion and he teleports away. Supes scatters
the government agents and tries to fly away to clear his head only to be
attacked by Prankster. Then the JLA arrive but by now Supes is free of the
spell and so they leave. Supes and Lois meanwhile are disappointed that there
is an entire government agency dedicated to stopping him, but that doesn’t stop
Supes from rounding up Prankster and arresting him before vowing to find Arion.

Chapter 4 – Superman and Zatanna are battling Lovecraftian
creatures set upon them by Arion who sends them a telepathic warning that this
humanities future if Supes doesn’t leave. Arion has also taken his case to the
public but both people in the streets and the U.N. vow to support Superman.
Subjekt 17 finds Superman and for some reason knows where Arion is hiding but won’t
tell Superman unless Supes can beat him a fight. Superman tries to be
reasonable but when 17 won’t have it he beats the holy hell out of him until he
agrees to talk and we learn Arion has a castle at the bottom of the Ocean. So
Supes heads there accompanies by some Lex-Corp flying remote cameras Lana built
to show the world the big fight. Arion has a force field that Superman cannot
break on his own so he makes a massive whirlpool and drops the weight of the
ocean upon it and it breaks.

Chapter 5 – We get a flashback of a trip to the future
Superman took with Phantom Stranger to verify if the future Arion showed
Superman is indeed a probable future and the Stranger seems to confirm it;
although he notes the future is fluid as Superman’s adventures with the Legion
of Superheroes show. Back in the present Superman destroys Arion’s castle.
Arion counter attacks but the Stranger had given Supes an anti-magic aura in
preparation for this fight. Arion then sets two monsters on him and while Supes
fights them off he transforms into Chthulu. However even in that form Supes is
stronger than him and the fight proves pretty one-sided. Arion returns to human
form and Supes uses that moment to steal all his magic rings and amulets at
super speed. Without them Arion’s remaining spells collapse destroying what’s
left of his castle. Supes takes Arion to jail but we see the real Arion escaped
to 1659 and left the imposter behind to face the music. With Arion (seemingly)
defeated Superman once again vows to continue to strive to save people despite
the prophecy. Then in the epilogue we see Khyber come back from the dead.

Critical Thoughts
– This is an okay story. It has an intriguing premise and I liked that
Superman’s doesn’t just take Arion’s word on this prophecy but tries to
investigate by contacting other mystics, looking up people from this supposed
future in the present and even time traveling without Arion to verify for
himself. It always nice to see the protagonist written in an intelligent manner
and use some of the tools available to him in an interconnected universe.

That said the fight scenes are not dramatic at all, which is
often a problem in Superman’s comic more than any other hero. Among the
villains Subjekt 17 is not a compelling character with motivations that don’t
make sense; while Prankster’s involvement also feels both random and
unnecessary. Arion is interesting in the early chapters when his motivations
are ambiguous to both Supes and the reader but once the story devolves into
Lovecraftian horrors it loses a lot of steam–although perhaps I’m jaded on the
idea because Marvel’s mostly terrible Realm
of Kings
crossover was heavily influenced by Lovecraft as well. I did like
Arion’s little switcheroo at the end but at the same time I doubt I would bother
to pick up a future trade if he came back to bother Superman again.


Grade C. The
first chapter is very good and there are some interesting ideas here as Busiek
writes good dialogue and supporting characters but ultimately it turns into a
very run of the mill Superman story in the last two chapters.

Superman For All Seasons

I just finished re-reading this the other day, and as a big dc-head, I wanted to ask you about it.  Have you read it?  In my opinion, its a tremendous read and hits the superman character pitch-perfect.  Even though he was born on another planet and has amazing powers, he was raised as an all-american farmboy with humble beginnings.  Its maybe a million times more interesting a character than whatever weirdo loner that Morrison has turned him into.  People love post crisis superman up until Death of Superman.  I just don't understand why DC would allow Morrison to totally regress their second biggest character.  Anyway, I digress.  Have you read Superman For All Seasons and what did you think?

Yes, although All-Star Superman is still by far one of the greatest interpretations of the character ever, I'd say.  And that's Morrison at his best, doing it as a love letter to the Silver Age in 12 issues.  Although really the current run on Action Comics is pretty awesome; it's the revolving door creative teams on Superman that are killing the character for me.  But yeah, For All Seasons was a tremendous read, not doing anything particularly new or exciting with the character but just a damn fine Superman comic.  I'd also recommend the JLA Elseworlds mini The Nail for a similar take on the character.  

Waiting for the Trade – Doomsday, Avengers movie & FCBD

Waiting for the Trade
By Bill Miller
Superman: Return of Doomsday
by James Robinson, Jeff Lemire, Dan Didio and Steve Lyons.
Collects Steel #1, Outsiders #37, JLA #55, Superman/Batman Annual #5 & Superboy #6.
Special Bonus Content: Avengers the movie – So before getting to the review I wanted to weigh in on the Avengers movie. The short review: it’s awesome in all the right ways paying off the anticipation of the five-year wait since Iron Man and Hulk came out in the same summer and we were promised a future Avengers film.
As a lifelong fan of the Avengers comics there was so much to love here. Yea there’s the obvious notes like Cap taking command of the battlefield or Black Widow’s scene with Loki (or really Loki’s entire performance) or the various Hulk jokes at the end—and those things are indeed all fabulous highlights. But I just love that this film exists. After years of super hero movies that had to explain every departure from the ordinary (and rightfully so when you are trying to appeal to a broader audience) you have this film that fully accepts the world these characters live in because it’s already had a five film build-up for audiences to get used to anything goes here. And so we have things I’d never thought I’d see in a movie like Project Pegasus and the Helicarrier and that wonderful post credit scene. And that makes me truly happy. The only thing that could have made me happier was if in Project Pegasus we had a five-second cameo by SHIELD Agent Wendell Vaughn.
If I had to make any type of criticism it’s that I don’t think the new Banner is as nearly as good as Edward Norton, but that’s a minor thing since Hulk isn’t the character I care about in an Avengers film anyway; as a comic fan when I hear Avengers I think Cap-Thor-Iron Man-Hawkeye in that order and those four characters are perfectly cast in this film and given plenty of moments to shine. I particularly loved Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, who is my second favorite Avenger after Cap in the comics. He brings the awesome six ways from Sunday in this film, so much so that I’d love to see him get a spin-off movie.
Is it the best comic book movie ever made? Probably not. Spider-man 2 set that bar impossibly high to where I’d arguably consider it the best of movie of the last decade period. But Avengers is still amazing and worthy of being in the conversation. It works as both a big summer action film (particularly those alien invasion scenes at the end) and as a comic fanboy dream come true and I will be seeing it in theaters again.
Bonus Content 2 – Free Comic Book Day: So I’m lucky enough to live in an area where I have easy access to three different comic shops. I visited all of them Saturday, grabbing about five free books from each shop while also shopping local at each (grabbing trades on cosmic Marvel, Dr. Doom, Psylocke, the Avengers, Heroes for Hire and a Batman/Tarzan team-up so expect reviews on all of that in the next few months.) I’ve read about half the free stuff. Here’s quick one sentence reviews: The New 52 isn’t a comic book so much as a bunch of preview pages and nothing previewed here looks like something I’d want to buy. Finding Gossamyr I grabbed on a whim because of the gorgeous cover and I found I liked what was inside both visually and as set-up for a larger story—this has a good chance of being a future trade in my collection. The Image 20 sampler has the same problem as the DC one, you’re seeing too little of these stories to be grabbed or to feel like you read a story; there’s some more intriguing ideas here than in DC but it’s doubtful I’d follow-up with any of these titles. Hypernaturals was one of the first three books I grabbed because of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s names above the cover. The story was okay, it’s hard to get invested in a new universe off the bat but it’s a decent set-up issue. DnA are my favorite writers currently working in comics so there’s a decent chance I will buy a trade of anything they write eventually. Witchblade was one of my last pick-ups as I’ve never read the character at all before, but as I know she’s a cornerstone of the Image universe I figured why not give her a try. The story was well written and I can see why people would like her, but it’s just not by cup of tea. Voltron was a nice blast from the past. I really liked the art a lot. The story was a little on the simple-side but then again it is an adaptation of children’s cartoon. Still a decent enough set-up that I’ll probably pick-up a trade of this if it hits the discount bin. Avengers: Day of Ultron was also a good set-up story. Perhaps because I’m still high on the Avengers movie I found I didn’t hate Bendis’s writing as much as I usually do in this. If you’re going to insist on basically every active hero in the Marvel Universe being an Avenger, I liked that Cap picked out a specialized team for this mission. I thought the villains were treated shabbily but that happens in every Bendis story unless the villain is Osborn or the Hood. Ultron is a long-standing favorite of mine so there’s a decent chance I’ll grab this story in trade one day.
I still have to read Dinosaurs vs. Aliens, Spider-man Season One, Superman Family, Buffy, Serenity, Mega-Man and some random book with a robot and velociraptor on the cover.
And now without further ado, the Doomsday review
Why I bought this: I read the whole Reign of Superman arc in the 90s and found it to be quite enjoyable. This is a follow-up to that with a fun high-concept premise: Doomsday decides to track down the four imposter supermen from that arc and kill them.
The Plot: Like most Doomsday stories it’s basically just a series of fight scenes as Doomsday tracks down the four imposter supermen and Supergirl with little motivation given beyond his destructive tendencies and hatred of all things Kryptonian. Spoilers ahoy:
Chapter 1 – Doomsday returns to Metropolis and the site where he killed Superman years ago. Steel–the least of the four supermen as he has no powers, he’s just a construction worker with a suit of armor with construction-themed weapons like a sledgehammer and rivet gun—arrives and tries to occupy Doomsday while civilians in the area evacuate. In a twist Doomsday evolves and begins to fly in order to go after Steel, who was trying to keep his distance in the fight. Steel infects Doomsday with paralyzing nanobytes designed specifically to stop him but Doomsday evolves free of them in seconds and then pummels Steel nearly to death and flies off with his body leaving a tattered cape in the wind just like when Superman died at his hands.
Chapter 2 – The Eradicator—an artificial Kryptonian being that shoots have flame from his hands and has no qualms about killing in the fashion of many a grim & gritty 90s hero—has taken over some fictional country. His allies in the Outsiders, who I never seen in a comic before and know nothing about other than they once had a book with Batman, are talking to him about whatever he is doing in said fictional country when Doomsday attacks. Several Outsiders having energy project powers but they all bounce off Doomsday and he tears through them as well as some chick with a magic sword on their team. Then Achilles of Greek myth goes toe to toe with Doomsday and hurts him but ultimately Doomsday beats him down too. Finally Eradicator and some dude who can pull power from the Earth itself try to fight him but Doomsday evolves again so that he too has energy projection powers and he zaps earth dude and then impales Eradicator with his bone spikes and teleports away with the body, which is another new power for him.
Chapter 3 – Some members of the JLA who include Jade and a bunch of characters I don’t know are dealing with an invasion of some alien city by magical creatures, this part of the story doesn’t involve Doomsday so we’ll skip it. Meanwhile out in space Supergirl, who is apparently Superman’s Kryptonian cousin that died back in Crisis and not the alien that had the combined powers of Mystique and the Invisible Woman back in Reign of the Supermen, is out in space with a female Green Lantern and Nightwing in the role of Batman piloting the Bat-Wing when Doomsday attacks. He wounds the Lantern and destroys the Batwing in two panels. The JLA send Star-Man and a Blue Lantern as reinforcements but again energy projection powers have little effect on Doomsday so Grayson teleports the Lantern and Supergirl to the JLA Satellite and in a really cool scene Doomsday flies so fast he breaks through the wall just as they arrive in the teleporter, at which point Cyborg Superman emerges from the Lantern’s back-pack.
Chapter 4 – Cyborg—the most powerful of the imposters and a villain himself who can mentally control technology, evolve his own cyborg parts into weapons, and regenerate from surrounding metal plus has some Kryptonian DNA for strength, flight and invulnerability—takes control the JLA satellite locking Star-Man and the Blue Lantern out and turning its weapons against Doomsday, Supergirl and Grayson while also attacking Doomsday head-on. Suddenly Supergirl gets sick and Grayson takes her to the med-lab where she is dying from guilt based on some prior Superman New Krypton crossover. While she’s being treated, Grayson tries to lead the fight away from her and the two villains are causing a lot of destruction in their wake. Cyborg loses an arm but eventually uses tech-enhanced heat vision to kill Doomsday by disintegrating a third of his body. Then in the book’s best scene both in visuals and writing (this story is partially narrated by Cyborg) Doomsday evolves unexpectedly into a cyborg himself and returns from the dead. Things start going badly for Cyborg and Grayson, while Supergirl cures herself through forgiveness in a bit of heavy-handed melodrama. She arrives to save the day and is on the verge of defeating Doomsday when Cyborg attacks her from behind and then Doomsday uses the distraction to KO her. He finishes Cyborg and teleports away with both of them.   
Chapter 5 – Superboy is flying over Detroit when Doomsday attacks from above. It’s a pretty one-sided fight since Superboy’s strength levels are closer to Spider-man than Superman. Superboy tries to keep some distance using his limited telekinesis but Doomsday evolves that power too and drops a building on him. Out on his feet Superboy uses a full-power heat vision blast and it doesn’t even phase Doomsday who then pummels him, possibly to death, and takes the body leaving Superboy’s black S-Shield behind, which was the cover of the Death of Superman polybag 20-years ago.
And that’s the end, we’re told to read more in the Reign of Doomsday trade for the conclusion.
Critical Thoughts: Well it’s always weird to see a trade paperback with a to-be-continued ending. That aside I enjoyed this story for what it is. It is exactly what you’d expect from a story that’s plot is Doomsday tracks down the four imposter Supermen one at a time. These are not the characters you read about for emotional nuance; so in terms of 90s nostalgia with big fight scenes this book delivered.
The Superboy fight is probably the weakest chapter just because of the four fake supermen only Steel is weaker so he probably should have been chapter two and let the book end on Doomsday defeating Cyborg and Supergirl since that’s the real main event with the only characters that could be a threat to him (and plus the JLA are involved so really once they all lose what can Superboy possibly do). Both the Eradicator and Steel fights have cool moments, with the writing in Steel being strong as well in-terms of showing the protagonist’s bravery in a hopeless fight as he tries to protect civilians. I would say the Outsiders chapter is a little weak in that I still don’t know who half those people are or what their powers are even after reading them in a fight scene (conversely I’ve never seen Starman or Blue Lantern but after their chapter I know what their power are so it isn’t really that hard to make that clear to a new reader). It’s funny the best and worst writing is in the same chapter: as the stuff narrated by Cyborg in chapter four is fabulous and the fight is also really fantastic but Supergirl’s death angst is just ridiculously overwrought nonsense.
Grade B. I knew what kind of story I wanted this to be when I bought and for the most part it was exactly that. I fully intend to pick-up the sequel to see the conclusion one day.