blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Superman ’78 (2021) #2

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I think this issue may actually be worse than the last one. Because this time, it’s not just Robert Venditti who disappoints with the writing—and, wow, does he disappoint; it’s a terrible script. Like if he were writing Mad Magazine’s Superman II (literally, since it repeats many story beats). But also Wilfredo Torres’s art. Oh, Torres has some excellent moments, and when he’s doing Christopher Reeve expressions, it’s incredible. But the “big” battle scene? It’s tiny.

And it’s confusing. The comic introduces Brainiac, who’s transmitting Man of Steel-style Anti-Superman broadcasts. The action keeps cutting between him in his spaceship and Superman fighting the robots on the ground. Torres emphasizes the spaceship stuff, which is additionally frustrating because there are never enough establishing shots, not the Superman fight. I mean, everyone’s already seen the Superman fight because it’s the Superman II fight and the Superman II surrender.

Maybe if the pointless Lex Luthor material didn’t take up so many pages. Venditti does a one-note Gene Hackman gag for Lex, which is better than Lois Lane, who just spouts off dialogue recycled from Superman: The Movie.

There are some Easter eggs for coming issues, but they’re intentionally unoriginal. It’s less a sequel to the Reeve Superman movies and more of a crossover between the Reeve movies and the “Super Powers” action figure line.

It may actually get so bad Torres’s ability to hit the nostalgia buttons won’t be enough to make it worth reading. Venditti’s writing is profoundly bad; it’s sort of embarrassing to read such a poorly written comic book in 2021.

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