Superman #651

It’s part three of eight of Superman’s latest reinvention, so don’t expect much resolution of the big question of why he hasn’t got any powers. In fact, there’s such a quick disposal of last issue’s cliffhanger that almost gives the impression that they felt they had to pay lip service to a fan-like idea.

Superman #651

But it’s all so competently done that it makes for a good read. The idea of giving Clark a Green Lantern ring both explores the core of his current conflict — the nature of superheroing — and echoes back to a much earlier “what if” story. That dual appeal, making all the old favorites new again, is the target approach of the current DCU strategy, only few of their current creators can capture it correctly. Too often, the result winds up being dissatisfying to the long-time fan and impenetrable to the younger.

Here, though, the story works just fine no matter how much history you know. That’s even more surprising when you consider how many Superman villains are tossed in, characters I didn’t even know had been revamped. The main attack is by the Prankster. I remember reading about him in the late 70s Dollar Comics, so you can imagine how surprised I was to see him reinvented effectively. His pranks are portrayed very well visually, a pleasant change from the murkier (both visually and plot-wise) alien bug attack plotline.

I also enjoyed both seeing Clark and Lois do actual reporting work and hearing them interact with each other maturely and honestly as a married couple. It’s unfortunate that the villain team-up reminds me too much of the recently done Villains United. That event is too recent to be doing a similar plotline again already. Except for that, this could be the title that keeps me from giving up on the DCU altogether.

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