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Superman #680

Posted: Thursday, September 25, 2008
By: Erik Norris

James Robinson
Renato Guedes, Wilson Magalhaes (i), Hi-Fi (c)
DC Comics
The cover to Superman #680 says everything about this book. This is Kryptoís shining moment. Iíve always been a fan of Krypto the Super Dog. Itís a goofy silver age concept but Iím usually a sucker for anything from that era that can be spun into a contemporary re-telling. Plus, basically, dogs are awesome. Thatís why I was so excited for this issue of Superman after last monthís cliffhanger; an iconic shot of Krypto ready to tear into Atlas to save ďman.Ē However, no matter how many shots of Krypto biting the jugular of Atlas or flying with his sweet cape, issue #680 has two inherent flaws that make it hard to love.

The first is this issue of Superman is yet another giant brawl. That makes three in a row which is way too many. While I love Superman fighting more than, say, the Avengers, I would be a hypocrite to not judge them equally. Iím paying $3 for a bunch of punching snapshots and that bothers the hell out of me.

Secondly, and more importantly, is that this ďfinalĒ issue to the Atlas arc doesnít conclude any aspect of the story. Now I understand that this Atlas figure will thematically and physically factor into Superman rolling into ďNew KryptonĒ and beyond but to reach the end of this issue and know nothing more about why he was brought in to fight Superman by shadowy government figures is just sloppy. Also, the last page tells readers that they can find out the answers to some of these secrets in three weeks with the Supermanís Pal: Jimmy Olsen Special #1 which means that Iím going to have to buy the book no matter what to get some sort of closure to this story. Now Iím a sucker for Superman, I donít try to deny that, so Iím sure Iíll be picking up this book but what about for everyone else who are looking for a complete story here in Superman that might be strapped for cash? This kind of storytelling is one of my biggest gripes in comics; when I have to go elsewhere to find answers.

But besides this issueís two major faults, James Robinson does continue to write a believable Superman and company. Iíve been enjoying the way he writes his castís monologue boxes where where itís more a stream of consciousness instead of stiff exposition. I also enjoyed Kryptoís inner voice where he thinks with simple words but his loyalty is unmatched. Renato Guedes also continues to draw the hell out of this book, giving readers some iconic images of Supes, Atlas, and, of course, Krypto.

I wish I came away from Superman #680 more impressed but truth is it was rather underwhelming. I got sick of the constant fighting during this arc about two issues ago and hoped the finale would remedy this and give some great introspection into Superman or even Krypto. But unfortunately all these four issues have said is Krypto is a badass and a good boy. And frankly, I already knew that going in.



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