Superman #713 “Must There Be a Superman?”

Superman #713

SPOILER WARNING: Superman #713 was not what I expected from a J. Michael Straczynski story line I respect him and his writing skills. Having reached the pleasant town of Portland, Oregon and having no actual crime to fight, Clark suddenly finds himself wallowing in self-doubt and asking “Must There Be a Superman?” The strongest man in the world has doubts about who he is and his role in the world and how he should help people. This surely is brought out by the depression he feels from the destruction of new Krypton and the thousands of deaths he witnessed in the story line before Straczynski took over.

Clark decides to abandon his Superman persona and go on as Clark Kent helping people in the back ground not out in the open. Well Clark is a grown man who has known tragedy before and still remained level headed. I guess the yellow rays of the sun although they give him great power do not protect him from doing something stupid. Luckily he meets someone in Portland who sets him straight on what Superman means to the world.

Superman in the DCU is a symbol of hope and strength telling the world that truth and justice mean something. The man with the greatest power can help in great ways. The man who can smash a giant meteor colliding with the earth can get a cat stuck in a tree down for a little girl and feel the same satisfaction in both actions. He is special because of it. He could be the King of the earth and he chooses to help others. It is not a fitting finish to the ‘Grounded’ story line perhaps next issue will end the arc in an interesting way before DC reboots the universe in September.

Clark has grown increasingly whiny and out of character for the one who decided to become Superman many years ago. I really expected more from the ‘Grounded’ story it began with such promise. The art in this issue, while not terrible did not help the story move and facial expressions were hard to bare. The message was not truly believable I think, and not how I would expect Clark to act. I will still pick up the final story in ‘Grounded’ with hopes that it will be a good one. Stay tuned comic faithful for more. 🙂 Walt