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Friday, September 26, 2008



I love Krypto, I really, really, really love Krypto. And I'll admit, James Robinson does right by the modern version of the character in the new issue of Superman. But everybody? The rest of the comic is a pile of dogshit. It took me less than four minutes to read, was filled with bad dialogue, and Robinson can't write the character of Superman to save his life. Look at the scene with Teen Zatara. Superman, with his hat in his hand, is a sarcastic, dismissive douchebag to the person he's begging for help. Superman. Then look at the whacked-out scene that ends the book, as Superman bascially uses the population of Metropolis as a proxy to lecture his wife that's she's a horrid bitch for trying to separate him from his dog.

Yes, the fight between Krypto and Atlas was well-staged, and yes, it's a clever idea to introduce a Zatara into the supporting cast, given the original's place in Action Comics. But so far, Robinson's run on Superman is only confirming for me that his writerly quirks (tangential conversations; drawn-out, shapeless plotting; random focus on otherwise meaningless background characters; etc.) which could be charmingly idiosynchratic in Starman when used on his own creations and forgotten third-stringers, just seems like bad, lazy writing under the glare of the spotlight.

Scipio says anyone who didn't cry at the end of the issue has his pity. Even as a huge Krypto fan, I say anyone who cried at the end of this issue has lead poisoning. I just wish I had video footage of the Absorbascon commenter who claims he gave the book a standing ovation in the aisle of his comic shop. Then I could die happy.

So much agree.

I came to admire the plot and narrative structure of Starman a hell of a lot...but the dialogue often came across as too writerly and mannered, and sometimes I just had to grit my teeth a little and forge ahead until we got to a good bit. This book has all of those weaknesses and, so far, none of its strengths. I can't understand how Robinson's sense of Superman's voice and behavior are so far off.

(At risk of being grossly uncharitable I think I understand why it gets such raves: writing that announces itself as "hey, look at me, I'm all literary and sophisticated" often gets more praise than writing which is invisible and nonintrusive.)
I am sooo underwhelmed by Robinson on Superman. He needs to really step up... or step off.

And the idea of tying the Supergirl book into all this is not very appealing to me either.
Never saw the reason for the fuss over Robinson. I've had many goes at Starman to see where the shine is, but it was very underwhelming. Definitely yes to the purple, po-faced prosaic writing, but more than that the inflated sense of gravitas vis. the self-aware capital-H heroism (even it stemmed from struggling to be as worthy as their mentors) of all of his characters left me cold cold cold.

Sorry - random robinson hatespam comment there. ps liking your blog muchly, esp. All Star Superman musings.
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