Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Thirty Days of Graphic Novels, Day 17: "World Without a Superman"

What happens after a Superman dies?  World Without a Superman collects the nine issues after Superman's death at the hands of Doomsday, and it's interesting to see superhero comics without  the superhero.  One of the things that becomes clear is that the four Superman titles at the time (Action Comics, Adventures of Superman, The Man of Steel, and simply Superman) had a broad and well-established supporting cast to pick up the slack: Lois Lane, Ma & Pa Kent, Lex Luthor, Turpin, Maggie Sawyer, the Cadmus Project, Gangbuster, and even Bibbo carry scenes by themselves and manage to move the story forward without (for the most part) any fisticuffs.  Story threads include Superman's funeral (I laughed when I saw all the big gun heroes in attendance like Green Lantern, Flash, and Wonder Woman, and then right next to them is a goofball third-rater like Geo-Force), his body being stolen by the Cadmus Project for cloning experimentation, Pa Kent having a heart attack, and more.  For a mainstream super hero book, the emotional moments featuring Lois & the Kents are quite well done and affecting.

It's all a lead in to the more famous Reign of the Supermen stories, which I hope to get to sometime soon (it's a thick book!).

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