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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
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Subj: Re: Could've been great, but was overall mediocre.
Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 12:44:43 am EDT (Viewed 124 times)
Reply Subj: Consensus on the Loeb/Kelly/Casey ERA?
Posted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 05:30:53 pm EDT (Viewed 22 times)

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I'm curious as to what superfans think of that era.

It may be my LEAST favorite era of Superman. I actually thought it started out decent enough and Lord knows it was time for a change. The old-guard was really churning out terrible stuff at that point. So the change of the tone/pace/teams was quite necessary.

I really dug Joe Kelly's first few issues with German Garcia that were fast-paced and self-contained stories. Fun stuff like fighting in Asgard and quirky villains like Encantadora. Unfortunately, Garcia was gone fast and never returned to comics that I know of.

But that's all that worked for me. Kelly (and Loeb and Casey) all sort of disintegrated into a cartoony, unfocused, scatter-shot. Didn't like Emperor Joker, President Lex, Y2K, Return to Krypton, Imperiex, Russian Zod, etc. Action 775 left me cold.

And Ed McGuinness' Superman is. . .distinctive. But to me, he always looked so simian; like a big blue bag of coconuts with eye-brows. I prefer Mike McKone who did Loeb's first three issues.

I recall that Schultz/Mahnke did solid, if non-memorable, work on MOS. Later era replacements like Pascal Ferry, Seagle/Scott McDaniel, Chuck Austen, and Greg Rucka didn't help matter, IMO. The books were still weak and all over the board.

The ship started to be righted (stabilized at least) with Busiek/Pachecho and Johns/Frank, but those runs didn't last too long.

So what say you guys?

By the time they came around, I had been off-and-on for a long while, so with the new blood and new editor Eddie Bergenza, I decided to give them a chance.

At first, it was refreshing and a great change of pace. But the longer it went on, the more tears appeared at the seams and it just never gelled together.

For every bit of greatness that they did (the mystery of General Zod, Emperor Joker, the first appearance of Imperiex, Luthor for President, getting Mike Weringo to do art) it was muddled by some truly terrible stuff (most of Jeph Loeb's scripts, Brainiac 13, Action Comics#775, Our Worlds At War, the non-use of Luthor as President/resolution to his arc, the complete point-missing of Doomsday, killing General Zod, never revealing who/what Ignition/Faora really were) and just lots of mediocre scripts with characters that weren't really interesting (La Enchantadora was a major one).

The only two who I can honestly say were worth the ride was Joe Kelly's book (I'm still shocked how much I liked his Action Comics work, considering I thought his Superboy run at the same time was complete and utter dreck... and I still hold that belief) and Mark Schultz's Man of Steel run. About the only thing I hated about Schultz's run was his Superman/Darkseid one-shot which yet again misses the damn point of the New Gods and Darkseid's role with them. But I can't blame him, DC as a whole seems to not understand what Jack Kirby was going for with that series and character.

So all in all, had some gems, but it had a LOT of clunkers. It's also what turned me off of Jeph Loeb's writing for good.

And I'm still pissed about Russian Zod's death. It pisses me off even more knowing that he was supposed to be the Kal-El from "Return to Krypton", which would've been truly awful... and that he was probably killed off BECAUSE he was changed into the Russian Zod.

I swear, all the new and best Superman villains introduced get murdered or get forgotten... Condiut, Saviour, Russian Zod... *Grumble, grumble*

Ryan Brandt
Writer of Ideas
Creator of Stuff

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