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Superman #195

Posted: Thursday, August 28, 2003
By: Cody Dolan



“Dr. Metropolis”

Writer: Steven T. Seagle
Artists: Scott McDaniel (p), Andy Owens (i)

Publisher: DC Comics

They’re back. Those awful, annoying, repetitive caption boxes outlining Superman’s powers are back in this issue and that may be the best thing that happens in all 22 pages. For the uninitiated, let me demonstrate using myself as a model:


Super Confusion:

I’m not sure when this happened, but Clark Kent is now on the crime beat at the Daily Planet. What should be an interesting way for readers to explore an underdeveloped part of Superman’s world starts out terribly. Clark’s liaison is annoying and insists on calling everyone by their full names and makes inappropriate comments about Lois even though he’s only met Clark that day. A “bomb” blows up, but no one is hurt and the doctor that was trying to shield everyone miraculously survives because Superman’s aura protects people close to him? I’ve been reading Superman books for five years straight now, and not once has this been mentioned (and where’s the caption box for that power?). Not only does the horribly named “Dr. Metropolis” survive, but he gains some ill-defined powers in the process. These powers allow him to beat the tar out of Superman without breaking a sweat.

Can someone tell me what exactly Seagle wants to do with the “Lois as TV reporter” storyline? One issue she’s sure about her new career, and the next she’s telling off her new boss even though she hasn’t signed the contract yet. This is not the Lois Lane that I’ve come to know.


Super Cynicism:

It’s obvious to me that this whole issue is just to set up the fact that Superman has lost a good deal of his hearing, but couldn’t Seagle come up with a better excuse? Some new guy punches him in the face and BAM! he can’t hear? Sure, the new character is visually interesting, but since we don’t know what he can do or how he can do it I have to say that this issue just reeks of lazy storytelling.

In addition, readers are tortured with yet another “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” speech in a Superman comic. Is it part of the standard DC Superman contract that every writer has to cover this ground at least twice a year (Super Sarcasm)? Readers have been fortunate enough that Joe Kelly can usually do this kind of thing well, but Seagle’s attempt at writing “Superman, the Righteous” was just painful to read. It’s cheesy and cliché and overdone even when it’s good.


Super Art Critic:

I know I’ve said this before, but Scott McDaniel does not belong on Superman. His style does not mesh well with the bright world of the Man of Steel, and there were times when I was turning the comic around trying to decipher what was happening. Superman needs an artist with a clear style that makes Big Blue look like the larger-than-life icon that he is, not someone who draws him with the stature of A.C. Slater from “Saved By the Bell.” I’m not going to go into how inconsistent and ugly Lois always looks (Super Restraint).


Super Loyalty:

To paraphrase a friend of mine, as long as I’m reading comic books I will always read a Super-title. Sadly I don’t think that Superman will be that title any longer.



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