A couple of big-brand video game comics series end this week, but I can't stop shaking my head at the Superman series that feels like it should never have started.
You all know the origin of Superman, right? Krypton. Rocket. Smallville. Superpowers. Metropolis. Every too often, the powers at be at DC Comics decide that this origin needs re-telling and, better, an update. No, no, he didn't grow up knowing Lex Luthor. Or, check that, he did. No his parents didn't die. Or, wait, yes he was Superboy.
They keep tinkering, which would be well and good if not for two things:
1) I'm skeptical that people care enough about the origin to need to see it updated every few years.
2) I'm certain that those of us who grew up with a given origin and enjoyed the stories flowing from it get a little annoyed every time DC decides to essentially clarify how things "really" happened, implying that what we read was wrong in some way.
I can enjoy a quick re-cap of the origin, but 1986's Man of Steel (the one I grew up with) gave way to 2003's Superman Birthright which is now giving way to 2009/10's Superman: Secret Origin.
I'm an occasional Superman comics reader. I read all of the DC Superman comics published from 1986-1994 or so and then have been reading the new Superman series for the past two years. I understand that Superman comics generally don't sell that well, not as well as Batman comics, Spider-Man comics or X-Men comics. And so I assume the origin gets retold as a way to hook readers, to maybe finally establish the proper starting point, retroactively, that will make the character more popular to read about.
I don't get it, though. Superman: Secret Origin #5 is out in shops today, and I do not understand what readers or the characters gain from the series. Little has happened in Secret Origin that radically changes the character's roots, probably by design, so as not to deviate from the classic origin. But enough has occurred to contradict those earlier origin stories. So much for the Man of Steel's antiseptic and socially isolated version of Krypton for example. Oh, and now he grew up knowing the Legion of Super-Heroes. They flip-flopped on that again.
I'm no fan of prequels, in comics, video games or any other medium and I don't understand this or any other urge to start fresh again. Can't they move forward without looking back?
Liara T'Soni's search for Commander Shepard's abductors comes to an end, but what other shocking discoveries will she make when she finds them? The comics debut of modern sci-fi's greatest epic holds surprises right up to the very end!
With far-reaching repercussions for the Mass Effect saga, this tale of friendship and loyalty in the darkest corners of the galaxy closes with an issue sure to thrill fans new and old!
The final chapter of the 12-issue Turbo maxi-series. All of UDON's Street Fighter stories from the past 7 years have been leading to this moment…RYU vs AKUMA! Will Ryu succumb to the Dark Hadou? Will Gouken's murder finally be avenged?
May we not be subjected to some "necessary" retelling of the Mass Effect and Street Fighter comics five or 20 years from now. I sure hope they're good enough the first time and not in need of updating.
And that is all about the comics shipping this week to comic stores in North America.