Continuity be damned

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If you miss the Good Ol’ Days of DC Comics where the hero would battle the bad guy, then you’re wish is answered in DC’s Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom #1.  If you don’t miss the Good Ol’ Days of DC Comics, prepare to be angry.

Is your blood starting to boil?  Be calm and chant with me now; Continuity doesn’t matter. Continuity doesn’t matter.  Continuity doesn’t matter. Ah…

maelstrom1cover.jpgBefore reading this issue, the first thing you’re going to have to get through your head is continuity doesn’t matter.  That, or you can curl up in a ball and insist this story takes place well before Countdown, well before Final Crisis, and well before the Superman/Brainiac story line.  Why?  Because this is a tale of the kids from Krypton and the gods of Apokolips.  That’s right, Darkseid is his skirt wearing self, the Boom Tubes still transport people to Earth, and there are plenty of shots of your favorite Last Son and Daughter of Krypton kicking it old-school.  It’s like waking up from a long nightmare and realizing the world hasn’t changed, it just get a little more interesting.

In this tale, Maelstrom, a lowly laborer of Apokolips, has the hots for Darkseid.  The only way she has any hope of winning his affections, and become his bride, is to bring him the head of Superman.  With the help of another, she steals a Boom Tube device and ports herself to Metropolis.  There’s only one problem; Superman is off planet, and has left Supergirl in charge.

As you might expect, there is a great battle between the two women that is actually quite good.  Things don’t look good for Supergirl, especially when Maelstrom brings an entire hospital filled with people down on her head.  If you remember the great battle between Kalibak and Superman in that episode of Superman: The Animated Series, you get the same feeling here.

Fortunately for Kara, Kal-El does return, and being more powerful, sends Maelstrom packing back to Apokolips.  Maelstrom isn’t happy about the chain of events, but before she can get back at the Kryptonians, she’s going to have to fight her way out of the arena of death.

For someone who has been longing for a DC Universe not polluted with the dreck flung from Final Crisis, Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray’s story is like a breath of fresh air.  At first I was upset over the whole continuity destroying issue, but then I remembered I actually want all current events to go away and return to better times.  BONUS!

Speaking of bonuses; the art by Phil Noto is just breathtaking.  I love his take on Superman.  He’s not the muscle bound man-god, clad in spandex that reveals every nook and cranny of his body, but rather a barrel chested man who looks like a real person.  Because of the nature of conveying Superman’s black hair on the page, a fair amount of gray is used, which makes the Man of Steel appear more distinguished and older.  And I like that.  He comes off as someone who is pushing his late-40’s as opposed to someone in his mid-30’s.  My art lust doesn’t stop with Superman.  The young portrayal of Supergirl, the rage filled Maelstrom, and the bit players is also top notch.  The only complaint I do have is with Noto’s portrayal of Darkseid.  Noto gives plenty of age lines to Superman, but Darkseid’s rocky skin appears really smooth, like he’d just taken a rejuvenation bath in the rock tumbler.

With all the head scratching going on over the stories in the DC Universe lately, I have no idea where this story is going.  And you know what?  I love it.  Considering the title of the issue features Superman, Supergirl, and Maelstrom, I know we’ll be seeing more of these characters and interactions, making this a five issue series I know I’m going to dig.  Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom #1 earns a well deserved 4.5 Stars out of 5.

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30/30

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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2 Comments

  1. November 7, 2008 at 10:44 pm — Reply

    As much as I WANT to be concerned about continuity right now, all I can really think about is: “where can I buy a poster of that Supergirl picture.”

  2. November 8, 2008 at 12:31 pm — Reply

    Wasn’t bothered by the continuity issue, because… well, not following FC anyway, and unless continuity is being used well (as in GL) it just seems to get in the way. LOVED the art, just… something in the story felt lacking to me. Honestly, if this was just an arc of the regular Superbooks, I’d definitely stick around. As it is though, money’s too tight. I look forward to more from Phil Noto, though. Truly gorgeous work.

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