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Superman #699

Posted: Monday, May 3, 2010
By: Danny Djeljosevic

James Robinson
Bernard Chang, Blond (c)
DC Entertainment
Sometimes you just get a sudden urge to check in with the old standards. Usagi Yojimboís been around for a century, but is it still good? Iíd like someone to tell me. So Iím reviewing Superman #699 because Iím curious whether the Man of Steel is worth reading these days. The last time I read Superman early in James Robinsonís run, back when he was fighting Atlas or something. So howís Superman doing?

Turns out heís in the midst of a big event called ďLast Stand of New Krypton,Ē wherein Brainiacís attacking the planet New Krypton, which (research tells me) is the result of re-growing the Bottled City of Kandor. So hereís what happens in this issue: Superman and General Zod are punching robots in Braniacís totally metal skull-shaped spaceship to steal back the Kandor, which has been re-bottled. Then the Legion of Superheroes join in on the fun to (I guess) rescue Mon-El. And, in classic Superman fashion, Lex Luthorís up to no good.

Considering I prepared myself for dour, convoluted claptrap, this book is actually kind of fun. As one would hope, thereís all the requisite flying and punching youíd want short of a Dragon Ball Z fight comic. Thereís a manageable number of Legionnaires( hardly a Legion by definition but Iíll take comprehensibility over clarity) including Matter-Eater Lad, who totally eats a robot. For some reason thereís a gorilla in a lab coat who has a fascination with Mon-Elís genitals. All in good fun, I think. Very comic booky, which is what I like to see in my comics.

Has anybody else noticed that James Robinson writes a bit like Brian Michael Bendis these days? Thereís a lot of witty banter amidst big sprawling fight scenes that read like Robinsonís having a bit of fun making these characters talk. Which is a good entry point for someone like me who has no idea whatís going on. Plus, Bernard Chang is a pretty good artist. For one thing, he doesnít draw Superman like Christopher Reeve, which always creeped me out a bit. Heís got a style that reminds me of a cleaner Howard Chaykin these days. Maybe stir a bit of Scott Kolins in there.

It pleases me to say that Superman #699 contains neither clap nor trap. Reading a random comic in the middle of a big multipart crossover could have easily been confusing, but this oneís an enjoyable installment even if I donít bother finishing the story, which I probably wonít. I would still, however, like to know if Usagi Yojimbo is any good.



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