Superman #700 Review
He is the probably the original “Franchise” player. To be honest, I can’t think of any character that more fits the bill. The face of the company. The Logo.
Not Clark Kent. Not Kal-El.
Yes, Spider-Man, Batman, even LeBron James is more popular. Yes, he can seem corny in these modern times. Yes, his rogues gallery is super weak compared to his peers. Doesn’t matter. Not even a little bit. He’s Superman. And yes, he is the franchise.
So when a character as iconic as the man of steel reaches a milestone such as number 700 for his signature comic, it is significant. And should be treated as such. “The Holy Trinity” of DC Comics (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman) are all reaching milestones this year. Batman #700 hit just two weeks ago and was a huge success, sales wise and critically. To be honest, I loved the story but all the filler, while to be expected, got on my nerves. It made the comic seem, well, ordinary. Like no one had the good sense to realize much more should be done than just this. A new story and then filler. The basics. Following the standard. Batman #700 should not follow the standard. With that said, I did not hold out high hopes for Superman #700.
I was dead wrong.
Superman #700 knocks it out the park.
There will be no “spoiler alert”. I will not spoil the issue for you. Because you should go buy it like right now. Here’s why: There’s no filler. Three stories, that can be critiqued individually or as a beautiful trilogy. James Robinson hands off a beautiful epilogue to the “100 Minute War” and his tenure with the Man Of Steel. Dan Jurgens returns to his old stomping grounds for a past tale guest starring the Batman family and gives the readers some insight on exactly how Dick Grayson views the Kryptonian and why. Also, anytime you can bring Bruce Wayne in as a guest star, it helps the cause. And it all leads to the future.
J. Michael Straczynski.
Say what you want about Straczynski, he knows his comic icons. He had molded Marvel’s franchise player until the company decided to change course. Which worked out because he now gets to write for “the franchise” player, Superman. The opening salvo, “Grounded”, lays the foundation for where Straczynski is going to take readers. A re-establishing, so to speak. And boy does Supes need it. I mean, let’s be painfully honest here, when was the last time you read a Superman or Superman affiliated comic and the word “corny” or something to that effect didn’t pop into your head at some point? And for those who want to site Action Comics with Mon-El, or Supergirl or whomever – give me a freakin’ break. Corny popped into your head somewhere there too. While Superman is a lot of things, he shouldn’t be corny. Want a prime example? Go watch those Justice League cartoons or those JLU episodes and tell me Superman was corny. He wasn’t. He still carried himself with grace, dignity and set the standard but he also let you know one very important thing:
You don’t tug on Superman’s cape and expect a nice ending.
Whatever Bruce Timm, Dwayne McDuffie, and the rest of the crew was doing over there, they did it right. Especially when it came to a certain Man of Steel. They set the blueprint. Too bad no one seemed to follow it. And while I respect all of those who have written for the big blue schoolboy, that’s exactly the problem. They were writing the Big. Blue. Schoolboy. They should’ve been writing for Superman.
J. Michael Straczynski usually has a plan. I have faith. I believe he understands whom he’s writing about. Hey, it’s one franchise player writing about another franchise player. I’ll be reading and hopefully so will you…