Itâ€™s man against nature, and nature looks like it is winning
With the Death of the New Gods, Superman disappearing in Trinity, and Supergirl going through whatever Supergirl is going through at the moment, youâ€™d think another book featuring Superman, Supergirl, and the New Gods would not be high on my radar.Â For the last couple of weeks, Iâ€™ve been looking forward to Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom, for the great art, the compelling story, and the fact it gives readers a break from the complicated goings on in the main Superman titles.
Kara is simply hating her time on Planet X and every chance she gets, she more than willing to let Clark know about it.Â Instead of going the spoiled, angsty teenager route, Jimmy Paulmiotti and Justin Gray have Kara explain itâ€™s because she a city girl and not into the camping experience like her cousin who grew up in the country.
Previously, Clark explained their outing as a way for them to hone their skills without their powers, and they get a chance to test them out, as they fend off attack after attack encounter after encounter with the native wildlife.Â With each skirmish things go from bad to worse, as first Clark explains that understanding the passive response to fear can work in their favor, to an attack that finds Clark in the river with a broken arm (saved by Kara of course), to having a troupe of lobster men attack their docked spaceship.Â The final attack is pretty bad for Clark, already weakened from his broken arm, as he gets hit with a lobsterman dart full of poison.Â Instead of understanding the enemy, this trip is beginning to look like a fight for survival.
I have to say, I really like this storyline.Â The dynamic between the cousins from Krypton is fantastic, as they really begin to sort out the problems they have with each other.Â The one-liners are good, the challenges the two are facing seem believable (although one questions whether Kal-El properly vetted this planet prior to bring his cousin along), and the realization that they really are different is fantastic.
Why then do I not care for the Maelstrom storyline?
Maelstrom has gone from menace to Supergirl, to defeated warrior, to slave, to a bound plaything to Desaad, to assassin for Darkseid.Â In her latest role, Darkseid gives Maelstrom one more chance to bring down Superman, and to increase the odds, she gets to take along some female furies to give Supergirl a good working over.Â Now Darkseid is one bad muther-fu- SHUT YOUR MOUTH!Â Iâ€™m just talkinâ€™ â€˜bout Darkseid, so you would expect Maelstromâ€™s failure to be quite severe – like evaporation via Darkseidâ€™s Omega Beams, but no.Â Instead, Darkseid promises to banish Maelstrom from Apokolips forever.Â Wow, really?Â Thatâ€™s it?
Maelstrom has gone through defeat, humiliation, torture, failure, and now she faces banishment?Â Sounds like sheâ€™s getting off easy.Â As we round the corner to the final stretch, her story just seems to be spinning its wheels.Â And that is a big disappointment, as I really hoped to see the three interacting more in the series.
In addition to the Superman and Supergirl interactions that have me looking forward to the next installment, Iâ€™m totally in love with Phil Notoâ€™s art. Iâ€™ve said it before – the man is brilliant.Â I generally donâ€™t follow artists from title to title, but I may just have to track down some of his other work.
Two more issues to go in this mini-series, and even with the problems the Maelstrom story is having, Iâ€™m still enjoying this series.Â Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom #3 earns 3 out of 5 Stars.