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It isn’t some spectacular death by the hands of Bane or Mr. Freeze. Instead, it is caused by an exploding fish. Yes, let me repeat that — an exploding fish!
This is one of the many disappointments in this story — and it doesn’t get much better from here. But maybe I’m getting a bit ahead of myself.
The version of Damian in this storyline is a bit older. They claim he is around 14, but he appears to be more like 19 or 20. This makes for Damian’s smart aleck attitude as more annoying than cutesy.
A wisecracking 8-year-old is fun and spunky, especially when mouthing off to the ultra serious demeanor of Batman. But nobody likes a know-it-all teenager, not even a know-it-all teenager. Isn’t this why they killed off Jason Todd years ago?
Nobody in this series really comes off as too likeable — including Damian himself. Everyone knows what the other character should be doing, and isn’t afraid to let them know it. In fact, it almost comes off a little preachy at times.
Now back to that exploding fish thing. Batman and Robin are at the scene of a mass murder, covered in homeless people and dead fish. Robin makes some random, tasteless joke at the expense of Tim Drake before the big disaster happens.
For some reason, it is never explained why Batman doesn’t see anything awry before the fish explodes. Sadly enough, Damian points this out several times. I assume it is supposed to be the writer’s attempt at establishing survivor’s guilt. To me, it just points out a major plot hole.
When Damian finds the remains of Batman among the guts and rubble, you feel a little bad, but it isn’t anything you will get too choked up about. Which is actually a good thing, because when issue number 2 hits, we find out things aren’t exactly as they seem.
Okay, I’ll let the “bat” out of the bag. Bruce Wayne is not the one under the cowl. It is in fact, Dick Grayson.
I’m not quite sure why they did this exactly. They gave no indication ahead of time that anyone but Bruce was still in the costume. Not a hint of anything, until an angry Bruce shows up to teach his son a lesson about going against his wishes.
How does Damian go against his father’s wishes you ask? Well it’s simple, he has been killing a long list of his enemies to get revenge on them for murdering Dick.
Practically offscreen, Damian takes out Mr. Freeze and Killer Croc single-handedly. I find it funny they have him do this, then later have trouble with much smaller criminals like Sharptooth. Maybe these older villains are past their prime, or maybe Damian forgot to keep eating his Wheaties.
Bruce plans to give Damian a good butt stomping — but due to his old age, falls short. Eventually, Damian gets the upper hand and puts the poor guy in a hospital bed fighting for his life. I thought an older Bruce was able to put the hurt on Superman, maybe that was my imagination though.
Throughout this whole time, people from Alfred to an old priest, repeatedly tell Damian he is disrespecting the entire Batman legacy by not following his father’s golden rule. It isn’t really clear why Damian decides they have a valid point. It could be he was just tired of hearing it,
because trust me, I got tired of reading it.
The thing about this, is that Damian clearly has a change of heart at some point. He fights his bloodthirsty urges — but only to an extent. Minor crooks seem to get off with just a brutal beating. It is the bigwigs he can’t control himself from offing.
It really undermines the storyline that Damian keeps crossing the line. I understand he struggles. We all struggle with something. Not killing shouldn’t be that hard; especially in front of the man that drilled into you how wrong it is.
At least keep up appearances when the old man is around. Capture the villain until your dad falls asleep, and then have your way with him. Just show a little more restraint.
Damian goes back and forth on his (or his father’s) decision multiple times before the story reaches it’s conclusion. It never appears that he learns his lesson — even in a ”father knows best” kind of way. This isn’t really a moral of the story deal here.
Of all the things that go on in this rather short arc, I have to say the weirdest decision has to be the demise of Alfred. No, it isn’t strange that he dies. It is bizarre though, that he is resurrected a few panels later as a cat. A talking cat at that.
With all this being said, I cannot recommend this book very highly. It is an offbeat adventure not really worth the price of admission. If you want a quality story featuring Damian as Robin, check out Grant Morrison’s run on Batman and Robin. It’s a hell of a lot more entertaining than this rubbish.
If your morbid curiosity gets the best of you, maybe you can find this in your lcs dump bin. If all else fails, you can always use it to line the bottom of your birdcage once you get bored with it.
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Kal-El quickly makes a bond with the child, and teaches him english within a couple of hours. It’s a little touching, but nothing too extravagant. No tissues needed.
When the government shows up, Supes doesn’t fight them, but instead he ushers the kid into their custody willingly. Shame on you Clark, your trusting nature really gets you in some predicaments on occasion.
At first, the government scientists play by the rules and no foul play is expected. That is until Superman shows up the next morning, and the whole operation is gone with the wind. And frankly Superman truly does give a damn!
After an intense interrogation scene, Superman finds the child and decides that he, along with Lois, is where the child should take refuge. The government obviously has no say in the matter anymore.
Soon after the rescue, we have another touching moment of Kal-El teaching the child to fly. Oh yeah, and he finally names the kid Chris. Real clever Donner. The art style didn’t suggest Reeves enough for you, huh?
The happy reunion is shortened when the one and only, Bizzaro, crashes the party. This fight ends up playing out more like a Richard Pryor movie, than anything involving Mr. Schwarzenegger. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, since Bizzaro isn’t actually the big bad here.
If anything, it breaks up the Family Ties moments which are starting to get a little stale by now.
During this comedy routine, a few other ships land in a body of water near Metropolis. It’s never revealed why these ships touch down so nicely, while the original ship came in like a hurtling comet — I’m guessing it is for convenience of plot.
Seen emerging from one of these ships, is the infamous General Zod. Along with him, are a couple of right hand lackeys, that really only serve to keep Superman’s hands tied at key moments.
General Zod and Chris Kent apparently have a blood bond that isn’t too hard to guess. In fact, if this was a movie, they might even reveal it in the trailer.
When the details of their relationship and how they ended up on earth relatively around the same time are dispersed, the plot becomes quite convoluted. To make it worse, they make the mistake of telling, instead of showing. That’s to say, mostly text and very few pictures.
If they stretched this explanation over a couple more panels, and turned the paragraphs into sentences and dialogue, things probably could have worked out a bit better. I’m not saying to dumb it down really, just a few more moments of clarity are needed.
As our story reaches it climax, everything isn’t tied up as neatly as they should be, and the whole story suffers for it. It makes everything that happens rather forgettable — and ultimately just a throwaway adventure for our hero. There are plenty of things ventured here — but I dare say — nothing is truly gained.
In the graphic novel, this story is followed by a much better story simply named, Brainiac. There is no surprise as to who the main antagonist is here, and he isn’t as overused as the uninspiring General Zod.
Brainiac has been turned into an animated movie under the name Superman: Unbound. On the other hand, Superman: Last Son of Krypton hasn’t had much in media reference as a standalone story. That alone should speak volumes.
But maybe there is something down the pipeline I don’t know about. You never know with merchandising and franchises these days.
Obviously, this is my interpretation, and yours could vary dramatically. Give it a read. After all, it isn’t a complete waste of time. You might even get a chuckle out of the antics of that sad sack, Jimmy Olsen. The poor guy loses a camera this time around, missing the perfect shot of those beautiful red trunks — oy vey.
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Written By: Charles E. Henning
Twitter & Insta: Redhoodfanseries
What is Gotham City without it’s number one hero fighting crime in the streets? Apparently, even more deadly! Each and every bad guy has a target on their foreheads, as questions need to be answered, and they need to be answered fast!
Jason Todd takes the center stage in a CD828 Studios and Method2Madness film project, starring Ian Lang as the infamous Red Hood. Red Hood: The Fan Series premieres May 18th, on Youtube. The 5 part mini-series is directed and written by Tim Kou and Ian Lang, with cinematography by Chris Kou. This is going to be a must-see for any fan of the Batfamily!
After a battle with the Court of Owls, Batman has gone missing. Chaos rises. Villains are in every corner, closing in on the innocent civilians of Gotham City. Nightwing (Tim Kou), Red Robin, and Damian Wayne (Cameron Judd) can only do so much with their typical hand-to-hand combat. It looks as though it is time to bring out the big guns!
Locked and loaded, Red Hood is ready to keep evil at bay, until the mystery of Bruce’s disappearance is solved. But Jason isn’t pulling any punches! With his two trusty pistols always in hand, Jason Todd stalks the dark alleys doing what needs to be done — even if his previous mentor wouldn’t agree with his extreme methods.
When Black Mask resurrects the long forgotten Red Hood Gang, the former Robins need direction, and Red Hood steps up to fill the leaden shoes of Bruce Wayne. He alone has the nerve to strike full force at the darkness closing in. Under his direction, maybe the Batfamily can still be victorious.
The unrighteous run scared, as Red Hood and his crew take down everyone in their path, be it a petty purse-nabber or Black Mask himself. It makes no difference to Jason, because for him there is only one way to deal with criminals — and that is to make them pay severely. That includes shoving them into a body bag — if he has too!
Batman fills his foes with fear, but Red Hood fills them with bullet holes!
To check out the teaser trailer subscribe to Red Hood: The Fan Series on YouTube. The full trailer debuts April 27th. And don’t forget to follow the series on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
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It isn't until more than half of the League is beaten that Cat Grant's interview is interrupted and Superman is filled in with the details of all the chaos. So, you mean to tell me that with his super-hearing he couldn't tell that something was going awry? And don't his teammates have some sort of distress signal to let him know everything is hitting the fan?
I guess I am being a little harsh here. Truthfully, watching Doomsday wipe the floor with a handful of heroes is quite exciting. These guys go all out to make an impact on stopping the beast, giving split second decisions in order to save as many civilians as possible and not backing down even when it is apparent they are fighting a losing battle.
Finally, Superman appears on the scene and it is obvious he isn't in any mood to play. Doomsday goes straight in for a gut punch and Kal-El takes it in stride. It appears like the tide of the battle might actually be going to turn for a second. But suddenly, Doomsday cuts loose with a swift kick knocking Supes clear through a nearby house from the front door through the backwall.
This shows the actual strength of our villain. Sure, he can knock around a few demi-gods and humans in super-clothing, but now we know this guy doesn't need any sort of kryptonite to take down DC's grand champion.
Fists, feet, and wrestling moves are thrown one by one. For every hit Superman lands, Doomsday follows up with one of his own. After already a handful of issues in, you would think this behemoth would be getting tired or maybe a least bored, but that isn't the case here. The more the fight is brought to him, the more he gives back.
The battle eventually makes its way into a random superstore, where Doomsday is mesmerized by the latest and greatest, high-tech televisions. Well, not really, instead a commercial catches his eye advertising a "King of the Ring" type wrestling match.
I'm not sure how this monster is able to understand a commercial spoken in a language that we have seen no proof he has even heard of before this day, but he manages to get the most important information. Yes, you guessed it, the event will be taking place in Metropolis.
This scene sets up the destination of the final round of this slugfest. I must admit it comes off a little cheesy to me. A savage creature being swayed to come fight a couple of professional wrestlers. It seems kind of limiting to the brainpower of Doomsday. Maybe one of Superman's punches knocked something loose after all.
After lending a hand to some nearby civilians, Superman catches up to Doomsday, who's still inside the store. Sick of the destruction, he soars into a flying tackle, hoping to end this once and for all. The joke's on Supes, when instead he is hit upside the head by a bus thrown from his enemy.
When the dust clears, a sign is seen in the background. It reads: Metropolis 50 Miles. A mumbled line from Doomsday makes it obvious to Superman where he intends to go. Now the gloves are off, and Superman attempts everything in his power to upend the unstoppable force headed towards his home.
Superman has run out of backup and his strength wears thin. It all comes down to one last blow. The world collectively holds its breath while the fate of these two god-like beings unravels before their eyes.
Hearts stop beating. All is silent. Our story reaches its end.
The Death of Superman is one hell of a fight. It never lets up, and everything, for the most part, works well. If I have to nitpick anything, some of the scenes get a little redundant with multiple explosions, vehicular destruction, and the murder of some wildlife. But most importantly, the story is ultimately satisfying.
The writers could have easily slopped together some hair-brained scheme, derived from the mind of one of Superman's top villains. Instead, they took a chance by introducing someone new to the stage, and I believe their gamble paid off.
My hat is off to everyone that played a role in the creation of this masterpiece. The story segues nicely into the next arc, Funeral for a Friend, which deals with the "reality" of a world without Superman. That of course, eventually leads us to the....wait for it.... resurrection of Superman, but I'll get to that some other day.
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