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Superman: The 10-Cent Adventure By Matt Martin
DC Comics Ė Steven Seagle (w); Scott McDaniel (p); Andy Owens (i)
I used to be a devoted fan of the Superman titles, back in the mid-90s before I quit reading comics for several years. They were never great books, but the art was generally pretty and easy to follow and the stories were fun, if utterly inconsequential. So I had mild hopes that Seagleís debut on the book would be fun, since Iíve previously found him to be at least competent. As well, I had been really enjoying McDanielís pencils on Batman and I think that he has a fluid style that brings a real sense of motion to basically any character that he draws in an action sequence. And while this jumping point is certainly a decent start, itís not quite the shock to the system that I had hoped for, because the Superman books have certainly been in a rut lately.
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I guess my real problem is sort of a nitpicky complaint, but Iíll make it anyway: Seagle treats the reader like they have absolutely no familiarity with the character whatsoever. I can appreciate that this book is supposed to be a jumping on point for new readers and hence, should be fairly archetypical so as to give a solid idea of what kind of stories one can reasonably expect from the book, but if you arenít aware that Superman is from Krypton, can fly and is married to Lois Lane, Iím inclined to believe that youíre simply not paying attention and probably arenít that interested in Superman to begin with (good God, what a sentenceÖYou still with me?). So you can imagine how long-sufferingly I rolled my eyes when Seagle insisted on forcing the ďItís a bird! Itís a plane!Ē bit into the story.
In any case though, aside from my fanboy grumbling, this is a readable, standalone Superman story. And it does its job, which is to get you to pick up Seagleís first official issue on the title, next monthís Superman #190. The use of humor is endearing, since I think Superman should be treated as a larger than life icon consistently, but not constantly, so itís a nice change of pace to see a slightly more human side of him as he has no recollection of an earlier fight with a third-rate villain. And the Clark/Perry subplot, while entrenched in previous continuity, is explained quickly and succinctly and continues the light tone of the book, as well as echoing the classic Silver Age element of keeping Clark continually on his toes to maintain his secret identity from his colleagues.
So, again, itís a book with flaws. But itís not a complete waste of time and for a dime, you canít really afford to not read it.