Sunday, March 25, 2007

Superman 660....This is why we read Comic Books

Superman 660 is a prime example of why we read comics. Take a ridiculous villain (in this case, the Prankster), and put him in a self contained issue with him as the lead character.

In this ish, The Prankster has set up a racket where criminals can pay for his services when they are in need of a diversion. The Prankster masterminds this diversion in his CTU-like HQ, where he carefully plans the logistics of the operation down to the millisecond. Each plan he devises includes every contingency, including Superman.

The great turn in this story, is when The Prankster is double-crossed, and retaliates by allowing enough time for Superman to save the day.

This is WHY we read comics. The stories are fun, the writers can take a boring and lame villain, and turn out a cool story that is entertaining. I mean, who really cares about the Prankster???? If he disappeared from comics forever, I don't think I would notice. However, Kurt Busiek's tale in Supes 660 is one of my favorite books so far this year.

If you want a great read that is well written but want stories that don't require the last 3 years of continuity to make sense, pick up some DC titles. I recommend Detective Comics, Batman, Superman and Action Comics. If you pick up from the beginning of OYL on these titles, you don't have to go too far, and the stories are great. Bats and Detective have been pretty great, and they have been consistent.

Written by Kurt Busiek; Art by Mike Manley and Bret Blevins; Cover by James Fry and Rodney Ramos

This issue looks at someone who's popped in and out of SUPERMAN for months. Ever since "Up, Up and Away," he's made his presence known. Now, at long last, the story you demanded starring… The Prankster?!

Superman | 32pg. | Color | $ 2.99 US

On Sale March 14, 2007


A lot has been great in the DCU for the last few years, which began with Identity Crisis. I believe that the new ERA of comics began with that story, and thus started what I am calling the "Crisis" age of comics. There will be more on this later, but I think it is safe to say that we have finally left the Spawn dominated, pointless crossover age of "Modern" comics, and moved into an age where superheroes have a personalities and character flaws that make them more believable, and make their failures and successes more tragic and uplifting.

From the fanboy corps, I will say a big "WE CARE ABOUT HEROES!". Check out Superman 660, it is why we read comics.

P.S. More on the "Crisis" age of comics soon!!!!


mrkvm said...

Nice write up, my friend. You know, after my initial reading of this issue, I was feeling pretty ambivalent. However, your entry here makes some good points and gets me thinking about the good bits buried within. Excellent job!

jgd3 said...

Yeah, I enjoyed this one more than I thought I would. I liked the idea of The Prankster being almost a criminal performance artist rather than just a guy who liked pranks. I also enjoyed the little personality traits Busiek threw in as asides, like the fact that The Prankster's sense of humor is terrible and how he won't let go of the fact that he used to be on TV. All in all, a fun diversion from the main Superman plotlines.

I suspect that this was an inventory issue they had to run in order to give Busiek enough space to fill in over at Action Comics. Seems like the Superman line should be building momentum, but post-IC every time they get going some kind of scheduling snafu slows them down again.