By Brandy Dykhuizen and Jarrod Jones. Our Week In Review collects our thoughts on the comics that demand attention. Do you have a deep-rooted desire to know what we think about all your favorite books? Well. This is where you need to be.

1523002_xlSuperman #52

Written by Peter J. Tomasi.

Art by Mikel Janin, with Miguel Sepulveda.

Colors by Mikel Janin and Jeromy Cox.

Letters by Rob Leigh.

BIG TIME SPOILERS AHEAD.

JJ:  “Super League”. I should have seen it coming. The premise behind Peter J. Tomasi’s eight-week Superman saga skimped on the particulars by offering the grand sum of zero answers to so many questions. What is a “Super League”? Who, pray tell, would be in this “Super League”? And most importantly: why should “Super League” be the last Superman story told within the confines of the Post-Flashpoint era? The name itself was too innocuous, too friendly, to accept at face value. And yet we all went along with it.

All you needed to learn the truth — that us readers had been rooked in a classic bait-and-switch — was taking a gander at the first page of Superman #51. “Super League” was a ruse, a secret well-kept by the notoriously leaky DC Comics who wanted to give its readers a fittingly shocking finale to its polarizing contemporary take on the Man of Steel. “Super League” was, in truth, “The Final Days of Superman”: an eight-issue weekly tale running through every surviving series in the Superman line, culminating in what was, apparently, the death of Superman.

Now, with Convergence promising that everything that ever happened in a DC book mattered in present-day continuity, and DC Universe Rebirth #1 all but confirming it, we know that there are dozens of Supermen out there. But in truth, only two of them really matter to the future of the DC Universe as we now know it: The Post-Crisis (or, more aptly, Post-Zero Hour) Superman and the Post-Flashpoint Superman are very much the main characters of “The Final Days of Superman”, and Superman #52 puts both men at the forefront of Tomasi’s tale. If you begin to feel wistful about the New 52 all of a sudden, that’s because Peter J. Tomasi is a stupendous writer.

Superman #52, with stunning artwork by Mikel Janin and Miguel Sepulveda (and equally jaw-dropping colors from Janin and his Grayson colorist Jeromy Cox), is a spectacular finish to a troubled era. It’s bombastic in a way that Superman hasn’t been in years (it makes all of “Men of Tomorrow” seem like a strange dream, and “Truth” like a horrible nightmare). Superman #52 is a bittersweet finale issue that could have fizzled out with little fuss, but went to the bother of letting this series go out on a wonderfully heartfelt note. If DC Comics’ aim is to make people want to love the Man of Tomorrow again, they’re starting off on the right foot. Now. To the future.

7.5 out of 10

fear-and-loathing-l-vHunter S. Thompson’s ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ #1

IDW Publishing/$4.99

Adapted and Illustrated by Troy Little.

BD: Summer is the time of year that I like to revisit Hunter S. Thompson. It’s a habit that started as a post-exams mind eraser in college, and has continued as a veg-on-the-beach staple ever since. I have to admit being a little apprehensive when I dove into Troy Little’s adaptation, wondering how anyone could really improve upon the existing Fear and Loathing experience.

Those fears were quickly thrown out of the window to a fire-apple red Chevrolet convertible. Little stays true to Thompson’s text throughout, telling the story through alternately simple sparse frames and acid-induced sweaty meltdowns, swimmingly mimicking the cadence of a drug-addled mind. Typewriter style lettering weaves throughout the shouting and incessant scene-making, reminding the reader that “[Thompson] was, after all, a professional journalist.” These forays into deranged altered states were merely ways for Thompson to track down his story. Salt shaker of cocaine in hand, Thompson was at all times hell bent on sussing out the components of the real American dream.

Little takes us through familiar scenes. Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo all “dressed up like human peacocks and getting crazy.” Thompson stalking the land cloaked in signature Ray-bans and white hat. But as we look at Hunter from odd angles, peeking up at him from the tabletop, observing his face framed by highball glasses and snaky smoke plumes, or from across the bar with skinny limbs flailing at a perceived reptilian threat, we’re shown a true-to-life version of the classic, freshened up through the filter of a brand new trip.

Little does a fantastic job portraying the many sides one of the 20th Century’s most uniquely full-throttle Americans. Intellectual at heart and a complete and utter mess by design, Thompson and his adventures lend themselves well to comic book format. I’m ever so grateful for such a respectfully helter-skelter retelling.

8.5 out of 10

From earlier this week — 

Evan Dorkin On ‘CALLA CTHULHU’, ‘BEASTS OF BURDEN’, And Tossing Anger Aside

ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘SATELLITE FALLING’ #2 Is A Visually Sensational Read 

A New Era For DC Begins In Earnest With ‘DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH’ #1

REQUIRED READING: ‘ELIAS THE CURSED’ Is Burroughs, Gygax, And Everything In Between

Agree? Disagree? What books are YOU reading this week? We want to know! Tell us about those feelings of yours in the comments section below.

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