Superman Vol. 3: Fury At World’s End by Scott Lobdell – Graphic Novel Review [Bane of Kings]

SupermanVol3

Milo, aka “Bane of Kings”, turns his attention to the third Volume of the New 52 Superman series, entitled Fury at World’s End, penned by Scott Lobdell, featuring art by Kenneth Rocaforte this series is published by DC Comics, and collects the Superman sections of the “H’EL on Earth” crossover.

“What a disappointment. Whilst not being one of the worst graphic novels of the New 52 that I’ve read, Superman Vol. 3 is certainly down there, and despite some scenes of initial promise, Fury at World’s End is a wasted oppurtunity that suffers from Lobdell’s apparent need to make everything that he writes connect to another title as part of a crossover event.” ~Bane of Kings, The Founding Fields

Story: Scott Lobdell | Art: Kenneth Rocafort | Cover: Kenneth Rocafort | Publisher: DC Comics | Collects: Superman #0, Superman #13-17

When a mysterious ghost from Krypton’s past comes to Metropolis in hopes of finding the lost planet’s last son, his arrival comes with disastrous consequences for not just Superman, but also for Superboy and Supergirl. H’El has decided that Earth is the place to resurrect Krypton, but the price the lives of everyone on the planet! Guest-starring the Justice League, Wonder Woman, Orion and more!

At DC Comics right now there are two creators who I normally steer clear of on a regular basis. Ann Nocenti is one such writer, who wrote poorly received issues during her stint on Green Arrow and has also not impressed with her ongoing Catwoman run. Scott Lobdell is another, but out of the two – I think I’ve tolerated more from Lobdell, but based on what I’ve seen here I’ll think I’ll be steering clear of his work in the future. His Teen Titans Volume 1 wasn’t bad, I’ll give him that – but everything else has been a let down, and everything that he’s worked on so far has been crossover after crossover. There isn’t one series that Lobdell hasn’t written for the New 52 that hasn’t been involved in a crossover of some sorts, be it Superman, Red Hood and the Outlaws, Teen Titans and Superboy. What makes matters worse is that he always seems to drag books into crossovers when they’re in need of at least some stability – but sadly that’s not the case. Superman Vol. 3 suffers primarily for this reason – whilst other Superman writers such as Greg Pak and Scott Snyder can make Superman interesting enough on his own, Lobdell apparently doesn’t think that’s the case, and seems intent on dragging Superboy and Supergirl into the mess as well, pitting them up against H’El, who – in a similar vein to the Man of Steel movie, decides to try and do what Zod tried to accomplish – and that’s resurrect Krypton on Earth. It’s nothing new, inside the Superman storyline or otherwise (Russell T. Davies even tried to have the Time Lords bring back Galifrey on Earth in Doctor Who for David Tennant’s swansong The End of Time) and as a result the storyline becomes rather predictable because you know from reading the solicit alone that Superman is going to emerge victorious, and Lobdell doesn’t do anything to make you as a reader feel that Superman could actually fail at one point.

SupermanVol3However, to give Lobdell credit, he does do a decent portrayal of Superman when he’s not being Superman. The Daily Planet stuff for me was one of the highlights of the book, and I dug it – with Lobdell, in my opinion, capturing Clark Kent as a human quite well indeed. There was an amusing scene where Lois Lane interrupts a meeting between Clark and Supergirl – dressed in her Supergirl costume, and dismisses Kara as a cosplayer, that allowed for some elements of fun in the book but on the whole Fury at World’s End was a complete mess. The storyline focusing on HE’l was as forgettable as the antagonist himself, which was a shame as I felt that given the potential, the character could have become something far greater.

Indeed, the strongest part about this graphic novel is the artwork provided by Kenneth Rocafort. His artwork is strong and pretty awesome to follow. Rocafort may not be an artist who I regularly read, but he’s certainly impressed me in this collection and has made me stick around for more of his work. The same cannot be said for Lobdell however – I don’t think I’ll be taking a risk with anymore of his work after this.

Superman is a book that, focusing on the world’s most famous Hero, should be fantastic, focusing on the character and not needing to crossover into other series that need as much space as this book does. Greg Pak, Charles Soule and Scott Snyder are all making sure that their Superman books are respectively awesome (even if Soule does have Wonder Woman to help him out) so hopefully the April post-Forever Evil solicits will see a change in the Superman creative team and a reason for me to be following all the main Superman titles. It’s safe to say that Fury at World’s End is a miss – and is only really worth looking into if you’re a collector of Superman books. If you want I better Superman book I can highly recommend Action Comics, Superman/Wonder Woman and Superman Unchained respectively – they’re all stellar reads penned by the creators who I’ve mentioned above. Despite the good artwork by Rocafort and Kuder, and a promising take on Clark’s life when he’s not being the Man of Steel,  this is one to stay clear of.

VERDICT: 2/5

Milo, aka Bane of Kings, is a SFF/Comic reader, and watches a lot of TV. His favourite authors are Neil Gaiman, China Mieville, Jim Butcher, Brandon Sanderson & Iain M. Banks, whilst his favourite TV shows are Battlestar Galactica (2003), Person Of Interest, Firefly, Game of Thrones, & Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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