SUPERMAN #32 with Kate (and Dan)

::Kate sits in the backyard with a well-worn Uncle Sam top hat on her head, surrounded by long-dead sparklers and empty pie tins. Sadness, as they say, prevails.::

D: Like the bartender asked the horse, “Hey, Celine Dion, why the long face?”

K: ::tears up:: I miss America.

D: ::sticks finger in ear:: What? You’re Miss America?

K: No, dummy. I MISS America.

D: We’ve only left the country once and they let us back in. And that was just a lame daytrip to Thunder Bay. Look around, sweetie. Nothing says “America” like St. Paul, Minnesota. How can you miss something that you’re sitting in the middle of?

K: First, it was the Fourth of July and all of the “U-RA-RA America” stuff. Parades, hot dogs, fireworks. Happy Birthday, America! ::throws handful of grass in the air::

D: OK, but you never have an Independence Day hangover. What’s different this year?

K: Then the Minnesota Twins hosted the MLB All-Star game. It doesn’t get more U-S-A than baseball! Now the holiday has passed, and the All-Stars, along with my baseball boyfriend Jon Lester, have gone home. And I am adrift without the jingoism. ::runs finger through a now empty apple pie tin:: I just miss it all so much.

D: C’mon…how bad could this really be? Also? That thing you’re doing with the pie tin? Please stop. It’s disturbing.

K: ::licks knife instead:: I was thinking of going out to buy a Chevy. Maybe even a Silverado.

D: We drive Hondas and Volkswagens! Just… wait. Before you go out and buy a Nova, let’s try mainlining the Metropolis Marvel. Nothing says America like Superman.

K: “Truth, Justice, and the American Way”? I support it! Hand it over!

D: First wipe the apple pie bits off of your hands.

K: We’ve read a few issues of New52 Superman, and I remember being left a bit cold by them. Most of the DC stuff we’ve read in the last few years has been collections of the older stuff.

D: True. But I still enjoy Geoff Johns’ work as a writer. And with the news that longtime Marvel superstar artist John Romita Jr. was jumping ship to work with the Distinguished Competition on SUPERMAN, well, ya gotta take a look!

K: For not reading a Superman book in over two years, they sure make this a great jumping-on point. By starting off with another “strange visitor” being launched from an exploding world, you feel like you’re really starting at The Beginning.

D: And then?

K: AND THEN SUPERMAN FIGHTS A GIANT ROBOT MONKEY!

D: ::pushes up glasses:: Um, I believe Titano is a gorilla? Therefore, he’s an ape.

K: ::makes “w” with hands: :: can’t figure out how to do it correctly:: ::gives up, then gives the finger::

D: Very mature.

K: ::gives finger with both hands::

D: You’re a very crude young lady.

K: Anyway, giant robot APES rule! But where’s Supes red underpants? Without the underpants, it’s like I can’t stop looking for the underpants, and now I’m the perv always looking at the comic book guy’s crotch.

D: We talked about this when they revamped the DC Universe. These are the costumes now. Let’s not dwell.

K: Fine. So, looks like ol’ Clark has been away from the Daily Planet. But in true fantasy-land, Perry White tells him in a big recruitment speech that “Circulation and traffic are up!”

D: For a newspaper?! Talk about a fantasy…

K: Anyway, Perry tries to convince Clark to come back to the Planet, ‘cause they need a good reporter. And the newspaper is really the only family Clark has.

D: Here’s where Geoff Johns lets the character bits flow. In a brilliant two pages, we see Clark coming home from the store and getting dinner ready. With quick calls to Diana (Wonder Woman) and Alfred (Batman’s butler. Clark doesn’t leave a message, since Batman is out for the evening. Of course) we see Clark trying to reach out to really the only friends he has.

And then compare his home cooked meal to his ma’s. And, of course, it’s not as good. These are the character beats that make good comics.

K: And the picture-making part really makes these scenes work. I don’t like too much of the talky-talky. They usually put me to sleepy-sleepy. But this JRJR guy makes the talky parts almost as interesting as the GIANT ROBOT APE GETTING PUNCHED part! (That apart was my favorite.)

D: I’ll always have a soft spot for Superman. Some folks don’t like him, saying he’s too powerful to be interesting. I don’t buy it. Superman is an ideal to strive for. Superman is the most powerful hero of all time, but he really would rather rescue a kitten from a tree. And really, isn’t a refugee from an exploding world the ultimate immigrant?

K: I see where you’re going here.

D: So, are you feeling better? Because the Twins game is starting soon…

K: I think so. I’d probably feel better if I had some more apple pie. That and a robot ape getting a fist to the mush. Can’t go wrong with that.

And sorry, but Lester is going to mow down your precious Twinkies.

D: Hey!