Saturday, December 28, 2013

Reign of the Supermen #510: Brutaal (the Earth 2 Superman)

Source: Earth 2 #1 (2012; as Superman of Earth 2), Earth 2 #16-on (2013; as Brutaal)
Type: Alternate Earth
Though Earth 2 was in some ways bleaker than New52's Earth-1, seeing as it had been devastated years ago by Darkseid's forces, there was a sort of hopeful feeling to it as all these new "Wonders" came out of the woodwork (as opposed to Earth-1's heroes which were met with distrust). One of the things that made this reinvention of classic Golden Age heroes was that they all worked in the shadow of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, great heroes killed during the battle against Apokolips. In the pre-Flashpoint DCU, today's heroes, including Clark, Bruce and Diana, were inspired by the Golden Age heroes. On Earth 2, this paradigm was reversed. So I was all set to do a post about the Earth 2 Superman who valiantly gave his life for his world. This guy:
And I would have gone to World's Finest to see what his cousin and sidekick, now Power Girl, remembered of him, etc. Instead, Earth 2 introduced THIS guy:
Brutaal. One of Steppenwolf's new minions and a superpowerful psychotic killer. Revealed to be a conditioned Superman. Oh great. His specialty seems to be splitting people in two, which he even does to his own boss:
No really, he does this a lot:
A murdering Batman has also started showing up in the series, though likely not Bruce Wayne. Now, I have no idea why James Robinson recently defected to Marvel, nor if he introduced these characters a few months ago under editorial duress, but the new writer is certainly focusing on them a great deal already. Normally, I wouldn't mind a little Mirror Mirror in my alternate Earth comics, but a killer Superman? We've already got the Injustice game and digi-comic, which features a Super-killer. We've got Forever Evil, a huge event that uses Ultraman, the proper evil alt-Earth Superman, as well as a new Bizarro. We've got Justice League 3000, with a douchebag Superman who may well be a clone of Ultraman. And even the recent Man of Steel film featured a controversial killing scene. So who needs this Brutaal Superman? At this point, it would be more shocking to encounter a Superman that can keep his powers and temper in check!


CalvinPitt said...

They actually call him Brutaal? Oh man, that's awful.

Hmm, how long until a villain is introduced with the name Awe-Fuul? Or perhaps Awe-Fool?

Also, in the first bisecting panel, is he using his heat vision to incinerate both halves of Steppenwolf as he splits him in two? Was Steppenwolf fireproof on the outside, or does Evil Superman just believe in being really sure people are dead?

JohnF said...

Calvin you must not be familiar with some of the other ridiculous names on Apokolips.
Is the name "Brutaal" really any sillier than Granny Goodness, Stompa, or Virman Vundabar?

Siskoid said...

It actually IS more ridiculous than other New Gods' names. Mainly because it's so 90s.

Kirby's New Gods have names that are pop culture references and word play. "Brutaal" is pretty bad by those standards.

Anonymous said...

This is a great parody of DC comics! Hilarious. Let's make Superman's eyes glow red and make him try to look like an angry badass on every page and have the colorist make everything look muddy like it was dipped in gravy! Awesome. Wait...this is a real comic book? Oh my goodness. What happened?

Siskoid said...

The parody became the standard.

wriphe said...

I assume that DC makes these changes because that's what the silent majority of fans -- by whom I mean those of us who don't complain about them here on the Internet and continue to give DC money for an objectively inferior product -- want to read.

The comics market is cyclical, so I keep hoping that in another 20 years, I'll be able to read about a happy, inspiring Justice League again. I'm looking forward to reading DC Comics again in my old age.

Anonymous said...

DC Comics is trying so damn hard to prove they're not for kids any more, like a teenager using cusswords or picking fights with his parents just to prove he's not a kid any more. The results are just sad in both cases, but at least the kid grows out of it in five years or so. DC, on the other hand, crippled Barbara Gordon over 25 years ago, and hasn't shown much evidence of moving past violence for the sake of violence. Some writers and editors, yes, but not DC as a whole.

Matt Celis said...

Unfortunately many of the people involved suffer from arrested emotional development and confuse sex and violence with maturity and seriousness. If anything, comics now are more adolescent and less mature than they were even in the supposedly silly Silver Age. They appear to be embarrassed by the very medium in which they work, thus all the invocations of film as a standard to write for, as well as being embarrassed by the superheroic genre, thus the "subversion" by making the heroes as disgusting as any villain and making all the women dress and look like post-surgery porn stars.

Siskoid said...

Your words sound like an exaggerated rant, but sadly, they're very much on the money.

JohnF said...

I certainly get tired of the "Image style" of comics. The hyperviolence, the gritted teeth, the overly complicated artwork, the bleak storylines, etc.
But I'm equally as tired of the Geoff Johns/Alex Ross school of thought, where everything you loved as a kid needs to be brought back come Hell or high water. Surely there's an acceptable middle ground between "Brutaal" and "Superfriends."