If VENGEANCE Proves Anything, It's That Jeph Loeb Needs A Vacation
Nov 19, 2010
Don't get me wrong: Jeph Loeb, chief writer on DC's terrific "Superman/Batman" series, has done outstanding work with these two players -- the rock solid foundation of the DC Universe ... but VENGEANCE -- by its bitter anticlimax -- feels very much like a conglomeration of ideas instead of one masterful story from start to finish.
Loeb begins with a Super-opening: Superman and Batman appear from a Boom Tube (don't ask, you've just gotta know what one is to really appreciate what happens here)and kill a superhero called Skyscraper who presumably murdered Lois Lane; incensed and out for vengeance, the Maximums -- this world's Justice League -- vow to hunt the Man of Steel and the World's Greatest Detective to the ends of whatever universe they inhabit in order to have their revenge ... and right there -- at least for me -- is where this story FELT like it wasn't going to be quite right: superheroes represent the best any world has to offer, and these Maximums want vengeance. They want blood. They want to kill Batman and Superman for taking one of their comrades away. Honestly, right there, I was wondering if this was a tale for me.
Not too many pages later, I'm struggling to get through the mental and verbal gibberish of not only Bizarro but Batzarro, and I'm thinking, "Geez, Jeph Loeb really needs some time off."
VENGEANCE isn't a total loss. Loeb's a great writer with a fantastic imagination and an uncanny ability to seal himself inside the minds of these two superheroes to show the reader what makes them tick, and only from his learned hands can you find so many wonderful moments in an otherwise forgettable story. There's not only two worlds at play here; there are, quite possibly, dozens, as Supermen, Batmen, Supergirls, Batboys, and the like show up from earnest supporting appearances. Granted, it may not make a whole lot of sense, but even THAT makes sense once you find out which dastardly villains are behind this whole world-hopping, mind-blowing affair.
Yes, it's worth a read, and, yes, it's arguably worth forgetting. Remember the little moments along the way, and keep your fingers crossed for Loeb to appear in top form again real, real soon!
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What? You don't know enough about me from the picture? Get a clue! I'm a graduate from the School of Hard Knocks! You can find me around the web as "Trekscribbler" or "Manchops". … more
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