Sunday, July 29, 2007

Blogathon 39: Adventures of Superman #618

Four am . . . where has the time gone?

When last we checked in on the man of tomorrow, the Mxy twins had taken away the earth's gravity. How will Superman save the day?

By having the Green Lanterns help hold the planet together while he takes a white dwarf star to the centre of the planet and heats and cools it so it contracts, producting a temporary solution. Then he buys a set of encyclopdias and the Mxy twins return everything to normal, promising that next time, they won't hit the reset button.

An action-packed issue as Superman races against time to make sure the planet dosn't fall apart. A great moment is where Casey ties up a loose end from a year or so previous by having the Mxy twins retcon it. More of that metafictional stuff Casey likes.

The question is: who is Superman in this story? Actually, I think these two issues are the weakest of the 12 because there is no clear idea of who Superman is. He doesn't represent anything here. He's faced with an enemy he can't hit, so his pacifism is not an issue. If anything, this is the most "classic" Superman story of this run as Supeman faces his old enemy who he always defeated in a battle of wits. Nothing's changed except the stakes are raised.

In a way, it's a story that reassures readers that Superman didn't always use his fists. Against Mr. Mxyzptlk, he was always a pacifist essentially because of the nature of the villain. This story shows that Superman's evolution is in line with his tradition, at least in part.

Shit, I talked myself into liking these issues more. I love it when that happens. That's what happens when you just wing it, I guess.