Deconstruction is a popular pass time of writers doing superhero comics. Sadly, it's so popular that its became practically the predominant direction. It seems we get this every other creative relaunch. Sometimes, however, it seems alternative comics want to take a stab at taking analogs of known characters and deconstructing them in a way that their parent companies would fear. My picks aren't those types of stories,their commentary about those types of stories. Or, then again, using this deconstruction to truly expose the tragedy and sadness that such "realism" could have on characters that are innocent. Or, hell, they just do it for entertainment. It's all how you interpret it.
Superman in Action Comics #775
Joe Kelly, Doug Mahnke, & Lee Bermejo
First off the most well known of the three stories I picked and one of the first Superman stories I really ever read. This was reprinted at the time I when I had really gotten into comics and my taste bad changed so I was more willing to give the Boy Scout more a chance.
Anyway the story here focus' on the Elite, a new extreme team of superheroes. They don't just stop crime, they kill the criminals. Superman's ideals clash we the way Elite handle the problem. You can tell this leads into a conflict. Superman, in a wonderful scene with a worried Lois, says "People have to know that there's another way, Lois. They have to hear a voice of compassion and faith instead of spite and anger." The end fight/moment with Elite leader Manchester Black is actually one of the most hardcore moments I've ever seen of Superman and still-Superman is Superman no matter what.
Batman A-Go-Go from Solo #7
Michael, Lee, & Laura Allred
A shame audiences didn't really give Solo a chance because there is much buried treasure here and I picked this specific issue. Mike Allred, who to be honest with I have never read anything by until this issue, shows a love of the madcap, silver age DC and it's a thing of beauty. From the Teen Titans vs. Doom Patrol story to many little shorts. But the masterpiece would be Batman A-go-go.
Batman and Robin of the Adam West Show era come to stop the Riddler. The battle commences but the Riddler escapes. But it seems Gordon's not too concerned. He sees Batman as a magnet. The worlds changing all while Batman fights costumed villains becoming a childish joke. The series takes this Batman to a dark place and shows just how depressing and sad and unneeded "realism" can be to these superheroes at times. It's one of the best Batman stories I ever read.
Seven Soldiers: Manhattan Guardian #4
Grant Morrison & Cameron Stewart
My last choice is a cog in the big wheels that is the beautiful Seven Soldiers of Victory saga from a year back or so. This issue also has to be my favorite single issue of anything by Grant Morrison.
The final issue of Guardian has Ed Stargard, owner of Guardian newspaper and former Newsboy Army member, relate the story of him and his six friends to Jake. Stargard and his fellow Newsboy Army members were that of children's fantasy tales as you can imagine. Crazy kids and their dog getting into adventures strange and unreal. So it goes without saying that the story he tells of the Sheeda and how they met the Terrible Time Tailor is one of the most haunting and sad comics I have ever read. The fates of the kids are gruesome and tragic. There's a line in their that truly haunts me tot his day when I read certain superhero comics: "In the end, the world just got too big and too wide and too real for our little band of neighborhood heroes..."
That's it for this week. I'll pick some happy stuff next time.