Jon Sibal

Superman: Secret Origin 6 (October 2010)

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So after making everyone wait for months, DC put out this piece of crap?

I mean, it’s not terrible, but it’s garbage. Frank’s artwork is visibly hurried, with Superman looking different in every other panel and the Christopher Reeve likeness looking traced when he uses it here. Lois looks funny, more of the hurrying.

As for Johns, it’s like he was trying to see how many endings he could do in one issue to give Frank the chance to do full page panels.

It’s completely moronic conclusion to the last three issues too, but particularly to the last one, as General Lane is reduced to a cartoon joke. Lex is a goof too.

What’s funniest about the comic is how self-important Johns writes it. It’s clear no one edits his scripts.

I think it’s about a five minute read. People waited three months for a five minute read. That’s value.

CREDITS

The End; writer, Geoff Johns; penciller, Gary Frank; inker, Jon Sibal; colorist, Brad Anderson; letterer, Steve Wands; editors, Wil Moss and Matt Idelson; publisher, DC Comics.

Superman: Secret Origin 5 (May 2010)

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Ok, so Johns finally did something completely unexpected. He made Superman the Hulk. General Sam Lane–I think that’s Lois’s father’s name anyway–is a psycho warmonger who tries to kill Superman.

Funny how John Byrne is known for Superman and the Hulk and Johns is playing with both here.

There’s some decent character scenes, not as much Christopher Reeve in the Frank art but some… A lot of the scenes play well. Superman posing for Jimmy seems really stupid.

But Johns doesn’t have a good narrative structure here or in the series overall. This issue, like the last, is sequential, while the first two issues weren’t tied by an exacting structure.

It’s like Johns can’t decide if he’s doing Man of Steel or something else. The confusion isn’t helping.

Some of the problem probably stems from Johns’s handle on Superman being a tad trite.

It’s a passionless mechanical story, completely unnecessary.

CREDITS

Strange Visitor; writer, Geoff Johns; penciller, Gary Frank; inker, Jon Sibal; colorist, Brad Anderson; letterer, Steve Wands; editors, Wil Moss and Matt Idelson; publisher, DC Comics.

Superman: Secret Origin 4 (March 2010)

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Maybe I’ve surrendered. Johns doesn’t introduce anything new to the canon this issue, instead he just does a sequel to the previous issue. The Gary Frank Parasite is hideously wonderful too.

But back to Johns. He does a decent job this issue. Sure, he’s set up a disastrously bad idea, but once he’s writing in that idea, instead of about it, he does fine. A limited series about Superman’s first week in Metropolis (this issue would be the second in that wish) would be good. I’m sure Johns will screw it up next issue, but as a brief reprieve, this issue is welcome.

There’s a lot more of the Christopher Reeve referencing from Frank here, which certainly makes it feel part of a brand… But Superman doesn’t look like Reeve in the rest of the DC publications, so why here?

Oh, and Johns’s Luthor is uncharacteristically dumb. That’s a problem.

CREDITS

Parasites; writer, Geoff Johns; penciller, Gary Frank; inker, Jon Sibal; colorist, Brad Anderson; letterer, Steve Wands; editors, Wil Moss and Matt Idelson; publisher, DC Comics.

Superman: Secret Origin #1 (November 2009)

Geoff Johns’s point seems to be to do another Superman origin retelling, this time integrating parts of Superman (Johns used to work for director Richard Donner), the “Smallville” TV show (Johns occasionally writes episodes for the show) and some of the stuff John Byrne left out of his Man of Steel origin retelling back in the eighties.

The result is about as jumbled as it sounds from that grocery list of intentions.

Seeing Gary Frank essentially draw a young Christopher Reeve in a few panels is pretty neat and having Clark and Lana Lang have a budding romance is cute.

Johns even gets in a Superman III reference, which is surprising (Donner didn’t work on that film).

But does it work? Another modernized retelling of the Smallville stuff? No.

Johns is too specific in his writing… except when it comes to creating a believable Smallville.

It’s cute instead of iconic.

CREDITS

The Boy of Steel; writer, Geoff Johns; penciller, Gary Frank; inker, Jon Sibal; colorist, Brad Anderson; letterer, Steve Wands; editors, Wil Moss and Matt Idelson; publisher, DC Comics.

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