Thursday, December 12, 2013

Smallville Season Eleven: Alien #1

Okay, I have a love/hate relationship with Smallville. The decade-long television show was high on promise (and I'll admit I liked Tom Welling as a youngish Clark Kent) but often short on delivery which may have something to do with stretching its premise of Clark's pre-Superman adventures far longer than anyone involved with the show originally thought possible.

Despite writer Bryan Q. Miller's involvement in the new series I found it hard to give the title a fair shake (although I was sorely tempted when it looked like Stephanie Brown might get new life in its pages). With my dissatisfaction with much of current New 52 Superman (I've already decided to scratch Superman/Wonder Woman #2 from my pull list after only two issues), I decided to try the first issue of this new mini-series.

On the plus side the Smallville version of Superman's costume is actually less ridiculous than the New 52 version and the character has more than a bit of the old Clark Kent who I've been missing (along with several pre-New 52 versions of the DCU).

After largely ignoring the timeline since the television show went of the air, I felt a bit lost with the Monitor storyline (but pleasantly surprised with a Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline). I could have done with a little less of the supporting character drama involving Chloe and the rest of Clark's friends (and maybe a little more Lois and Supergirl) but it has the feel of a Smallville story with the major difference of actually having a fully-costumed Superman involved.

I'm happy to see Ned Beatty's Otis has someone found new life as Lex Luthor's toady in this version of Superman's world. Oh, and did I mention this issue has Rocket Reds in a streamlined version of their classic design protecting Russia? Nice!

Although the issue didn't wow me, and I have mixed feelings about the art by Edgar Salazar, there's enough here to tempt me to poke around other parts of the Smallville universe and see if Miller can do what the New 52 Superman titles so far have struggled to accomplish - make me care about the Big Blue Boy Scout again. For fans.

[DC, $3.99]

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