Sunday, June 16, 2013

Spoiler Sunday--Superman Unchained #1

Well, I'm not sure what we have here.

Either we have a) a case of lazy writing and poor editing, or b) snell being ridiculously hyper-picky about a damned comic book. You decide. [SPOILER ALERT--this is me making a mountain out of a VERY tiny molehill]

In this week's Superman Unchained #1, a space station is falling from the sky. A sequence which is so important that Jim Lee decided to present it as a four-page poster. So we know we should pay really close attention, right?

Allow Superman to describe it to us:

So. Secretly developed. Not known to the public. Got it? The big selling point of this #1 issue, this massive furshlugginer poster, want's us to know these things. Important info, right?

Yet, within minutes of Superman saving the crew members, and keeping the debris from killing anyone, Jimmy Olsen calls:

So wait...this was a top secret international space station, unrevealed to the public...and Jimmy Olsen knew about it? Even already knew its name, and didn't have to explain to Clark what he was referring to?

And the next day...

[Jim Lee...master of portraying Clark Kent taking phone calls...]

So anyway, astronauts--military personnel--are giving out interviews to bloggers about secret military projects?

Lois accuses Clark of "burying the lede" by not putting Superman in his headline about the incident. Which is strange, because you might think that the lede was "US, Russia & Japan had secret space station in orbit, hidden for 'political' reasons." Because the press never goes bananas over suddenly revealed secret government projects. You'd think there would be people curious or upset at that level of secrecy, or spending tax dollars on something like that, and calls for congressional hearings, or UN investigations, the works. And the black helicopter crowd would be howling about this as the revealed first step towards a secret plan towards one world government. But no, none of that's even mentioned. The top secret, massive project itself is greeted with a yawn.

Now, I'll grant you, this can be all be easily No-Prized away. Once it was known the station was falling, the governments in question could have revealed its existence immediately in order to get ahead of the story (although that doesn't explain why there was not a scintilla of interest by the press about the whole project the next day). Or maybe while the public didn't know about Lighthouse, the Daily Bugle oops Planet did, somehow, but agreed not to reveal it, because that's how hard-hitting newspapers win Pulitzers. And since the whole punchline of the story is "ooh, look, evil government machinations," how can we take that seriously when our hero and the press and the public and the story itself don't seem to give a tinker's damn about the other just-revealed secret government machinations?

It's just a tiny point in a silly comic book plot, fairly easily explained away. This is just snell over-reacting...again. Who cares?

But for me, at least, that tiny, trivial point completely took me out of the story. When I was reading and got to Jimmy's phone call, I immediately had to stop and go back and re-read (and unfold that verdammt poster again!) to make sure I had read properly, because it sure as hell seemed as if the script were contradicting what it told us just a few pages later.

Am I taking it too seriously? Yeah...but DC themselves hyped the hell out of this project, putting their big guns on it (including a co-publisher!), timing it to come out the same week as the new movie, sending out Crom knows how many press releases, interviews, etc, telling us this project was to taken seriously. DC's the one who said "Look at this big-ass gimmick poster--aren't we great?" So on a project of this importance to them, where are those famously micro-managing DC editors??

I guess that's why there's a "Director's Cut" of this issue coming out next all this stuff will be explained, and make sense, right? Right?!?      


SallyP said...

I don't think you are over-reacting. I never actually caught this, because I couldn't figure out how to read or unfold the whole vedammnt poster!

And Lee's artwork just annoys me.

Anonymous said...

You're straining at gnats but swallowed an elephant. How the hell do you built a secret space station when it could be observed by anybody with a telescope, not to mention the substantial number of space launches it would need to build?

snell said...

Mart--after Moonraker and You Only Live Twice casually ignored that same issue, I just assumed that everyone could do secret launches & space stations!

notintheface said...

I wish Jim Lee put 1/100 the effort into facial expressions that he put into drawing wreckage. Bruce Jenner has more facial range than Lee's characters.

Also, what's up with Lois' holo-editing? Did the Daily Planet get bought out by Tony Stark?

Siskoid said...

My take/additional complaints about Unchained.