] type='image/vnd.microsoft.icon'/>

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Superman (Vol.2) #163 - Dec. 2000

sgComics Weekend Part 2 of the Superman vs. Aquaman story!

Yesterday, Aquaman, having discovered Lex Luthor's company LexCorp was sending out underwater signals that were driving all the creatures of the sea mad, took matters into his own hands (well, hand) and, despite Superman's protests, came to Metropolis and put Luthor under arrest.

Superman chased after Aquaman, but was met by Arthur's former sidekick, Garth (now known as Tempest) and a squadron of Atlantean soldiers, posing a big threat to the city:

...I have to admit, I love the contradiction of having such a tough, badass-looking Tempest in the first panel, and then Superman taking him out with literally one finger just three panels later. If you're going to try and run with the big dogs, Garth...

Anyway, even without Garth, the tidal wave gets closer, in another spectacular splash page (no pun intended) by artists Ed McGuinness and Cam Smith:
Superman uses a LexCorp building under construction as a makeshift dam, which slows the water from rushing in. He is then assisted by Young Justice, who also make a guest-appearance (Red Tornado explains they were all watching TV, and all this hugger-mugger interrupted regular programming, so...)

As Young Justice rescues people and rounds up various sharks, that big green bloby creature from last issue returns, and it takes their combined might to get the creature knocked out and back out of the city.

With the water stopped and immediate danger opens, Supes resumes his chase (but not before rescuing Lois one more time), and makes his way back to Atlantis:
Luthor ends up turning this whole disaster into a good P.R. moment for him, and it makes him an even more popular candidate for President.

My only quibbles with this issue is that Superman and Aquaman don't get any sort of wrap-up, Luthor's suggestion that maybe Aquaman himself was affected by LexCorps' sound waves is left a little vague, and that overall Aquaman isn't in this issue very much.

But it was still fun to see Aquaman as rendered by McGuinness, whose muscular yet cartoony style I think works really well for Aquaman--if Arthur ever does get another solo book again, DC could do a lot worse than Ed McGuinness as penciler.


Gjskier (Kal) said...

I remember these issues. I had quit Superman for a while (the ending of Millienum Giants angered me) but picked these up just because of Aquaman.

Anonymous said...

I must respectfully disagree with you on the Tempest / Superman fight, Rob.

Is Tempest going to win? Of course not. He's facing Superman, for Pete's sake. But show the character just a little respect. Garth has (or, had at the time) magical abilities that could conceivably affect Supes, so why not let him get in one good shot before he's knocked unconscious? You want to show the one-finger love-tap, fine. But maybe depict Superman being blasted by Garth's purple eye beams and remarking on their potency before he sends Tempest off to dream land.

What gets me about the scene is that I just know none of the other grown-up Titans would have been treated so shabbily. Seriously, if it was a confrontation between Nightwing and Supes we would've seen a few panels of Dick dodging the super-fast Superman before he was taken down.

Sorry, but I get just as defensive about Garth as I do 'bout Arthur.

rob! said...

I take your point, Vince--for whatever reason, the whole angle of someone making a dire threat and then being taken out in one panel always makes me giggle--reminds me of that classic swordsman scene from Raiders.

Also, I could never quite warm up to Garth--as prickly as Aquaman was always written, it seems like Garth was always more mopey and whiny, so I was ok with him no longer being a regular sidekick to Aquaman.

That said, what you say makes sense--and you're right, if it had been Nightwing, he would've been given the respect of improbably (very improbably) of evading Superman for a few panels.

Anonymous said...

Good point Vince. I thought about that too...not to mention the fact that a tap from Superman probably shouldn't have been able to knock Garth out. He's not Aquaman tough, but he's significantly tougher than the average human. I don't know whether or not he's bullet proof, but he's got a fairly thick hide, and he should have at least taken a blow or two to put down.

Also, I'm with you, Rob, give me Aqualad or give me nothing...I like the idea of him getting a power boost, but I've never liked the whole mentor/disciple tension that writers like to create. That's why I hate Nightwing.