Superman #650: One Year Later Review

Superman #650 is another of DC’s “One Year Later” issues. Now, as the Revolution has stated in an earlier post, we have never been fans of the Big Red S. Having said that Kurt Busiek and Geoff Johns are two of the Revolution’s favorite writers. So, with that in mind, we decided to give Superman #650 a try. Surely Busiek and Johns will get us hooked on Superman, right? Maybe…

Creative Team
Writers: Kurt Busiek & Geoff Johns
Penciller & Inker: Pete Woods

Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 5.

Synopsis: The issue starts with Clark and Lois watching a Superman retrospective on a big screen in Metropolis Park. It has been a year since anyone has seen Superman. Jimmy Olsen talks to Clark and Lois and is clearly upset by Superman having disappeared for the past year.

We cut to Lex Luthor leaving the courthouse after getting off scot-free from over 120 criminal allegations. The crowd turns ugly. The people of Metropolis that once loved him now hate him. Lex vows to have vengeance on Metropolis and the people who have turned their backs on him.

We then go to the Daily Planet where Perry White comments how Clark has been much more focused the past year and writing great articles. Jimmy seems depressed. Lois then tells Clark about K. Russell Abernathy who is doing R&D on using Kryptonite to develop a new energy source.

We then go to Abernathy’s lab where all of his animal tests are failing. There is a sudden explosion during their test on a monkey and Abernathy is now a being made of Green Kryptonite. Abernathy starts destroying everything around him. Abernathy says that he feels “great!” Clark hits a signal on his watch and the Superman Logo flashes.

Suddenly Supergirl (Oh man, the Revolution just cannot avoid this chick!) swoops in to answer Clark’s call. Every time Supergirl makes contact with Abernathy it hurts her skin. Supergirl then punches Abernathy into a garbage truck with some lead in its body and uses her heat vision to melt the metal around him and then super-breath to cool it in order to bind this Kryptonite Man.

At this point, a couple of goons grab Clark and pull him into an alley. Lex appears and tells Clark that he doesn’t appreciate all the negative stories about him. Because of those stories, the Board of Directors of Lexcorp is buying him out due to his negative “public profile.” Lex tells Clark to stop writing the articles or else he may hurt Lois. Lex then punches Clark a couple of times and Clark spits up blood and has a couple of broken ribs. Lex leaves and the issue ends.

The Good: First, Peter Woods is a good artist. His art doesn’t blow me away, but it is a very solid art. His style suits Superman very well with the traditional old school look to it. I think Woods does a great job capturing the bright feel of Metropolis. His Clark looks just like he should: A large corn-fed Midwestern dude.

Kurt Busiek and Geoff Johns do a nice job with the story. This is definitely a “One Year Later” issue that delivers the goods! Lex gets off of all the criminal charges against him and has lost this own company and the love of Metropolis. Superman has been gone for one year and, evidently, Clark no longer has superpowers. Now that is how you deliver a “One Year Later” issue. Shake things up a bit and get our curiosity going. The Revolution has never even read this title and we are already interested in where this story is headed.

I like Busiek and Johns’ version of Lois and Clark. I still like the Lex Luthor from Smallville much more than the comic book version. I like how Busiek and Johns are making Jimmy Olsen so depressed over Superman being gone.

I think that Busiek and Johns have done an excellent job piquing my interest in this title. They have definitely decided to shake things up in the “Superman Universe” and that has been necessary for a while. It is about time that Superman becomes intriguing and that people want to buy this title. I like the mystery and the big changes that Busiek and Johns are bringing to this title. They have interested the Revolution enough that we will stick around for a while to see if they can make Superman a title worth reading.

The Bad: First, let’s go back to the art. I don’t know whose idea it was to have Clark running around wearing a 1950’s hat and his High School letterman’s jacket. Very strange and not really a good look. And Lois’ soccer mom/dyke hair cut just has to go. No way would a hottie as fashionable as her sport such an ugly hairstyle.

Now, even though Johns and Busiek created a compelling “One Year Later” issue, the Revolution is still not totally sold on Superman. Maybe it is the Revolution that is missing it. Maybe it is all us. Maybe we just don’t get Superman and his whole concept. Clark just seems so boring and so white bread. He also seems really old or, at least, antiquated. It is really pretty hard to get interested in his character.

I found myself more interested in Jimmy Olsen than Clark Kent. Lex is cool, but still not as cool as the Smallville version. I wish Lex could be shown with more depth than just a one dimensional raving madman. Oh yeah, we almost forgot something. Supergirl sucks.

It is possible that the Revolution will never “get” Superman. But, Busiek and Johns are spinning enough of an interesting tale to keep us reading as long as they are in this book. Maybe…