Thursday, July 06, 2006

Superman: Our Worlds At War

So over the long weekend I finally managed to finish this GIANT of a graphic novel Superman: Our Worlds at War. Actually I don’t think it’s a graphic novel, really it’s just a traded volume of Supes (and others) stories centering around a single event, the war between Earth and the alien entity Imperiex, and then later between Earth and Arkopolis and Brainiac (with Warworld). The story is new, from 2001 – 2002 and is generally pretty interesting, especially once it all starts coming together. Like many of these year (roughly, in our time) long stories though it gets mighty convoluted as a number of plots threads are opened, dropped, picked up in the middle, and twisted around each other in fairly confusing ways. In a way, that’s the soap opera element that comic books are great for, but it also makes the story all the harder to follow.

This book has already been traded before in two volumes, but with the Superman Returns movie out, DC is cashing in as best the4y can with whatever they can. And frankly it worked well. This is 512 pages long and covers stories from Action Comics, Man of Steel, Wonder Woman, Young Justice and more! I really liked the fact that they included some of the side stories because it helped flesh iut the entire situation much better than if it had just been the Our Worlds at War miniseries and Superman.

Unfortunately with this many different books included in a single volume, its hard to characterize anything on the whole. The writing styles from chapter to chapter different great, as didd the art. Some was fantastic and some was just so-so. I’m not adept enough a comic reader to really know who was who so I’ll just say that for the most part it entertained me a lot. The book e-tails at in Stock Trades for $16.24 (at the moment) and you can find it HERE.

I haven’t read much in the way of Superman before, just the three bigguns (Death of, World Without, and Return of Superman) but I’d definitely recommend this book. There is a lot going on but I think that its still pretty accessible. I wasn’t sure who everyone was but that’s ok, I figured out what was happening, and the story on a whole was interesting (if somewhat convoluted). They left out one side story that would’ve really completed the book for me which was a very obviously missing JSA side story that everyone keeps referencing, but at such a high page count as it is I can understand that decision. I’ll also say that I loved the side story involving Young Justice now I’m going to have to go hunt down more of those guys. As for Superman himself, well he is a bit inconsistent throughout the story, especially with regards to his relationship with his wife, Lois. He does however make up for it by being extremely cool in some scenes.

For me this book worked well, and some of the moments will definitely stick with me for a long time. That’s a good test for a book I think, how well you remember it. Anyhow, if you’re interested in reading some comics, or interested in Superman since seeing the film, this isn’t a bad place to pick up the plot. It’s also a very good value for a modern, color, massively big story. I’ll give it a solid 8 out of 10.

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