World Comic Book Review

2nd December 2023

Review: Batman/Superman #30

Batman/Superman 30 (review)
DC Comics, May 2016
Writer: Tom Taylor
Review by DG Stewart, 6 April 2016

In this comic, two iconic superhero properties, Superman and Batman, team up to fight an enormous sentient lizard residing in space and with a penchant for eating his own live children, who has somehow trapped a dying alien with the same superpowers as Superman.

The alien has in turn chained Superman with the assistance of kryptonite, a substance which is toxic to Superman. For reasons not apparent the alien decides in this issue to help Superman escape.

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Nothing Alien Here

Green Lantern Corps: Edge of Oblivion 1
DC Comics, March 2016
Writer: Tom Taylor
Review by DG Stewart, 18 January 2016

The Green Lantern Corps is a concept which borrows heavily from EE “Doc” Smith’s science fiction classics, known as The Lensmen series (1937-1960). The stories of both are founded on the idea that deep space is patrolled by benevolent aliens of different races, and that notwithstanding their differences both physically and philosophically, these galactic patrollers are united by altruism.

In Mr Smith’s books, the aliens are very alien, to the point of resembling looming monsters. In DC Comics’ Green Lantern Corps (created in 1959 by John Broome with editor Julius Schwartz), the points of alienness have always been much less sophisticated. Traditionally the Green Lantern Corps have consisted of many humanoids with different skin colours or animal features. Some of the Green Lanterns are sentient earth-type animals. One high point of the possibilities of the concept of alienness within the Corps’ ranks came in 1985 when writer Alan Moore created (as a passing mention) a Green Lantern which was a super-intelligent mathematical concept. Another Alan Moore creation, albeit one first based in the same, semi-comedic story, featured a sentient planet called Mogo which was a Green Lantern. But setting aside such irregular bursts of imagination, most of these alien lawmen have been depicted as having only marginally more biodiversity than Earthlings.

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Fatherhood and Strangeness

Superman: American Alien 1
(DC Comics January 2016)
Writer: Max Landis
Review by DG Stewart 16 January 2016

“Superboy” was a title first published by DC Comics in 1949. The title focused on the adventures of Superman as a young teen. It was a popular title that was only cancelled in 1984, its appeal to teen readers who could perhaps better identify with a youthful version of their adult hero. Superboy had entirely mastered his powers throughout the series and wore an identical version of the costume made famous by Superman, with the only discernable difference in appearance being that Superboy was slighter of frame and possessed a rounder face. (Subsequent “Superboy” titles beyond 1984 dealt with the adventures of youthful clones of Superman.)

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Return of the Morningstar

Lucifer #1 (2016 series) [review]
DC Comic, December 2015
Writer: Holly Black
Review by Neil Raymundo, 21 December 2015.

In April 1989, the fourth issue of Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman” introduced the fallen angel Lucifer. Mr Gaiman initially modelled the look of Lucifer after David Bowie, and the character seemed languid and detached from reality. When the character returned in the acclaimed story “Seasons of the Mist” within the pages of “The Sandman” he was somewhat different: tired, resentful if unrepentant, the abdicating ruler of Hell.

In 2000 writer Mike Carey began the ongoing adventures of the character. This iteration of Lucifer was different again. Obviously patterned after the Miltonian version, Lucifer does not tussle with superheroes, does not have ridiculously overbearing supervillain monologues (Mr Carey deliberately shied away from internal monologue, preferring the story to be told from the perspective of various supporting characters), and – unlike other depictions of the devil in comics – did not hide his name behind vague nom de guerres in an effort to mollify religiously conservative readers.

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