DCAU #369: Bigger Than Big Smaller Than Small

IN THIS ONE... Superman is shrunken down to infinity by an alien weapon.

Written by Kelley Puckett; art by Aluir Amancio and Terry Austin.

REVIEW: Boy I hate that cover. I'm not sure what Manley was going for, but Lois looks like a blow-up doll and Superman a plastic action figure. I just wanted to get that out of the way.

Now, I'm usually up for some gonzo physics, and I have the feeling that Puckett was inspired by some counter-intuitive quantum mechanics article to write this story. But without some kind of text piece at the back telling us that is indeed the case, it's a tale that just doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense. And Amancio doesn't have the tools - which could either mean the time, comprehension or proficiency - to create a viable micro-universe. Sometimes his molecules look like old Newtonian models (not unlike Marvel's Microverse), but then we pierce an atom's barrier and there are particles inside, and a small cloud of quarks inside that... I know just enough about particle physics to know this doesn't all fit the same science, and I'm still confused. Don't even ask if the universe really is recursive in that way, that's the bit that needed a text piece to justify it. It's like a badly digested Scientific American article brought to life. It comes off as weird, but a little empty. They were no doubt going for thought-provoking.

The best parts of it are more intimate rather than the Big Ideas(TM). Superman having shrunken down into the atoms in Lois' hand, his becoming a part of her, in a sense, and how she keeps a tight grip in him, emotionally as well as physically. That's a stronger idea. Keeping a hand above her other, to protect him from the rain. Her despair when the gesture appears futile. That's where the story really lives.
REREADABILITY: Medium - The premise escapes the creative team's grasp, but its emotional core still resonates.



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