Posted - October 28, 2017

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All-Star Superman No. 9
Curse of the Replacement Supermen



All-Star Superman No. 9

Last time we saw Superman he was strapped in a makeshift (and useless) spacecraft and he was thown from Bizarro World by Bizzarro Superman.

In an incredible - even implausible - feat of accuracy, the craft enters Earth atmosphere.

Superman is back. But you know how long the journey took? 2 months. Must be some Einsteinian warping of space, something of that sort. Anyway Kal-El finds out he has been replaced.


news article showing superman replacements

Who are these people? They are Bar-El (ancester of Kar-El) and Lilo. They are Kryptonians. Astronauts who missed the cataclysm because they were off in space. More importantly, they are deeply arrogant and consider us apes.


klu klux klan krypton chapter

Nonetheless, they are helpful (in that arrogant way). Superman finds them helping fight a volcanic eruption. The panel showing the volcano is very well rendered.


volcano

Not only are they arrogant but they have taken over the Fortress of Solitude.


invaders in the fortress of solitude

That half a million ton key being no problem for Kryptonians.

And lastly, and most terribly, they beat up Kal for no good reason whatsoever.


superman getting beaten up

They also break the moon in the process and then make a ghastly repair job.


repairing the moon

Hello, that isn't really a repair and we were using those bridges.

Before things could get worse, Bar-El and Lilo start collapsing.


bar-el and lilo collapsing

They flew through a cloud in space that converted their blood to kryptonite. Superman has only one recourse. He transfers both to the Phantom Zone.


bar-el and lilo sent to the phantom zone

The insinuation here is that Bar-El and Lilo will - being law abiding Kryptonians - bring order to the Phantom Zone. But they're not super strong there. Even if they are, so are the other Kryptonians. This is sort of like sending two cops to a maximum seurity prison - the other prisoners would most likely beat them up.

This issue has me thinking about Kal-El's attitude. He took a lot of verbal and physical abuse from the pair but he kept his cool. He reasoned with them. Never losing his temper even when they took his home. Why? During the issue, he points to how he was raised, how he learned to always show respect. Integrity, yes, that's what it's called. You don't lose it when times get tough on you - that's when you commit to it. That's when you really have it. Here we see the integrity of Superman.

The other thing I want to mention is how the 'Bar-El and Lilo problem' didn't have to be solved. It pretty much solved itself. That's how it sometimes happens in real life doesn't it? Sometimes you have this thing that you don't know how to deal with but it just sort of dissipates. You stand back and the problem solves itself.

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