With all this year-end review stuff going on, it’s started me to thinking about just how bad Superman and Action Comics have been this past year. Both shipped fifteen issues apiece, but how many of those were actual relevant stories focused on furthering the overall storyline?
Well, for Superman, that number was six; for Action Comics, that number was five. Did you even notice? I barely did, until I actually started thinking about it. I’ve just known over the past several months that I haven’t really been enjoying the two serieseses, but, seriously, they’ve been dreadful for the majority of the year.
The main storyline in Superman, focused on Arion and his prophecy from the future that Superman is responsible for the eventual destruction of the human race (his reason being that Superman beat back the darkness for so long that it eventually got too strong and overpowered everybody), was only featured in five of fourteen issues, with the conclusion coming in Superman Annual #13, a relatively abrupt ending for a story-arc that was somewhat interesting (and super friggin’ long, to boot). Plus, it was only in half that issue, since the rest was some stupid back-up story.
The main storyline in Action Comics, on the other hand, which focused on General Zod and his Phantom Zone escapees, only showed up in five of fifteen issues. It still hasn’t reached resolution, since Superman just recently escaped from the Phantom Zone and, after that, Bizarro world. I guess he’ll deal with things once he returns from his adventures with the Legion of Superheroes in the 31st century.
Now get this. Out of the combined thirty issues focused solely on Big Blue (do people call him that? They really should), five more were direct tie-ins to Countdown, all of which were basically the same identical story about Superman’s pal Jimmy Olsen and some wacky adventure they got into once upon a time.
They were really terrible.
Furthermore, another little throwaway adventure was a three-part search for the Third Kryptonian, who turned out to be some dumbass outlaw chick who left at the end of the thing anyway. Thankfully, the third part of that arc cost $3.99, since, y’know, it was the ending. The annual cost $3.99, too.
Another little throwaway story arc was the Redemption one, where Superman thought about religion in an overly simplified, stupid way. Elsewhere, we got a reintroduction to the Toyman, some bug lady, and an issue where Pa Kent reminds Ma Kent that Clark’s a good hero.
That’s a year’s worth of comic books, folks, and thanks to the fact that artists can’t keep up on their schedules, I have had a really hard time remembering what’s been going on and where.
To sum up: Arion’s been defeated, and Zod’s amassing an army on Earth, even though Superman is several centuries in the future at the moment. Lois looks like a dyke, Chris (Zod’s kid that Superman kidnapped and adopted as his own) has a watch that inhibits his powers (well, so far he’s taken it off two or three times to help out, I think), and both Ma and Pa Kent are alive and well (I can never remember if Pa’s dead or not).
Goodbye, confusing Superman mess of 2007. Hello, drop list for Superman and Action Comics in 2008. Hope you enjoy your stay. I’ll only be picking up the issues that count from now on.