Monday, 23 September 2013

Superman #23.3 H'el Review

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: Dan Jurgens

As a whole this series has been a bit disappointing, as although it has had some brilliant moments, it has been overshadowed by the even more brilliant Superman series, Superman: Unchained, Action Comics, and Batman/Superman. I am however still slightly excited about the upcoming Krypton Returns story, having also been slightly looking forward to this issue.


H'el has returned to Krypton, but at a much earlier time than when he left the planet.


This was overall quite a poor issue, as although the story itself was good I felt that it was a bit unnecessary. As I said though the story was decent, and Scott Lobdell should be slightly praised on that. At the same time I felt that he missed the point of Villains Month completely, as the issue focused too much on Jor-El, and not enough on H'el himself. The issue also did the same as other Villains Month issues have done by setting up future events, as although I don't have a huge problem with that, I do when it takes away from the central character too much. Lobdell did however also give some drama, and suspense in this issue, and although it was far from good, it wasn't quite horrible.

The artwork on this issue was however much better, and easily the best thing about this issue as Dan Jurgens did an outstanding job on this issue. The detail in Jurgens artwork was near perfect, as bar the odd imperfection everything simply looked phenomenal, as you'd expect from Jurgens. The layouts were also amazing, as they added an unique style to the issue, making it feel more spectacular, also adding more depth. Jurgens also did a brilliant job of handling the characters expressions and emotions throughout this issue, with it also making the issue feel more lively. Hi-Fi would also do a phenomenal job of colouring this issue, with his colours working perfectly with Jurgens artwork.

I was happy to see H'el back in a Superman comics, as although H'el on Earth was a very inconsistent story, the character interested me a lot. I did however feel that he didn't get used properly in this issue, as due to it being a set-up for the upcoming Krypton Returns it didn't allow quite as much focus on H'el as a character. I also felt that he was overshadowed by Jor-El in this issue, as although I like Jor-El it isn't his name on the cover. I did however enjoy seeing the change in attitude that He'l would have throughout this issue, and loved seeing his reactions to certain parts of the plot, even though it wasn't anything special.

I've already mentioned how Jor-El took too much time in this issue, but I'll now go into what I liked and about his appearance besides that. Seeing more of Jor-El has been something that I've enjoyed since the New 52 started, as although he's not always featured in amazing stories, it's nice to see more of him, and with the modern look. The things I liked most about Jor-El in this issue was how Lobdell showed his intellect, as he'd notice things that the other members of the Kryptonian Science Council would laugh at. I also loved H'el would learn new things about his mentor, though at the end of the day although there are a lot of positives I still think that he should have took more of a back seat to H'el.

What this means for Krypton Returns? I've already said how this does a lot of set-up work for Krypton Returns, and although that takes away from this issue quite a lot, in the long run it might actually help the upcoming storyline. I say this as without going into details, we get a lot of impactful developments in this issue, all of which lead to the upcoming story, and although this issue has left me slightly sceptical over the upcoming story, I hope that this set-up helps make it into something amazing.

Final Verdict

This was a very poor issue that has taken away some of the excitement that I had for the upcoming Krypton Returns crossover. It did however have some amazing artwork by Jurgens, as well as a half decent story, though overall it didn't quite work with the Villains Month concept, focusing too much on Jor-El rather than H'el, also being more to much of a set-up issue. Given all this I'd not recommend getting this issue, and that only people who are going to get Krypton Returns should consider it.

Rating: 4/10