World Comic Book Review

10th April 2024

The Rise and Fall of Axiom (Review)

The Rise and Fall of Axiom (Review)
Legendary Comics, August 2016
Writer: Mark Waid

DC Comics’ iconic superhero character “Superman” has long been the subject of exploration by way of character doppelganger. Legendary Comics’ title “The Rise and Fall of Axiom” may seem like yet another addition to the increasingly long line of “Superman” deconstruction stories, but it contains enough variations on the formula to entertain. Superman arrives on Earth as an extraterrestrial infant: American writer Mark Waid has written many notable stories involving Superman for DC Comics and knows the character mythos as well as anyone. In “The Rise and Fall of Axiom”, Mr Waid instead considers a pair of adult extraterrestrials with inhuman powers, the male Axiom and the female Thena. The two aliens arrive on Earth and cure cancer as a gesture of goodwill to humanity. They then proceed to become the planet’s de facto protectors by fighting crime, averting natural disasters, and intervening in unjust wars.

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Captain Kid #1: Make it Beautiful

Captain Kid #1 (review)
Aftershock Comics
(July 2016)
Writers: Mark Waid & Tom Peyer

“Captain Kid” is a superhero comic book published by Aftershock Comics, with scribes Mark Waid and Tom Peyer serving as co-creators and co-writers.

Without taking away anything from Mr Peyer, who is a well-known comic book writer, fans of the American genre will immediately know the influential body of work of Mr Waid. More recently Mr Waid has proven adept at creating works that take established mainstream superhero franchises and grounding them in reality, without being spiteful of the suspension of belief inherent to the genre.

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Aliens in Mississippi and Cultural Ownership

Strange Fruit 1, 2
BOOM! Studios, July 2015, October 2015
Writers: JG Jones and Mark Waid
Review by DG Stewart, 5 January 2016

Set in the town of Chatterlee, Mississippi in 1927, this comic by JG Jones and Mark Waid reworks the Superman mythos: what if Superman was black and landed in the racist South in the 1920s?

The first two pages consist of dialogue between a group of white men, armed with axe handles, about to enter a “coloured café” so as to coerce black workers to help with a flood-stricken levee. One of the gang tells his son to keep away from the café, with the words, “This ain’t no place I ever want to see you in.” It is quite deliberately not clear whether the man does not want his son to be in a place where black people socialise, or whether he does not want his son to witness blood-letting.

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Mark Waid’s Irredeemable: What Makes a Man Super?

With Warner Bros. and its subsidiary business DC Comics getting ready to lay all of their cards on the table in the forthcoming movie entitled “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”, Superman is once again going to be the trump card. The character has to share the space with Batman, though, and if the movie stays true to the source material, The Man of Steel is not going to be cast in the brightest of lights. But the property is still the cinematic draw, which means Superman deconstructions and pastiches are going to become, again, a popular theme in comic book writing.

Case in point is one of the most recent and effective deconstructions of the Superman mythos: Mark Waid and Boom! Studios’ Irredeemable – a 37-issue series published from April 2009 to May 2012 about a Superman analogue called the Plutonian. This character, Superman by another name, went rogue and killed a large portion of the human population, before hunting down the rest of his former teammates (who are themselves based on various DC Superheroes.)

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