Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!
Today we look at part of a popular Superman story by Joe Kelly and Doug Mahnke.
Action Comics #775 was an extra-sized issue written by regular writer Joe Kelly and guest-artists Lee Bermejo and Doug Mahnke (this issue most likely was in the minds of DC when they decided to give Kelly and Mahnke JLA).
The basic set-up is that Kelly is sending up The Authority, who were extremely popular at the time, selling more copies than any of the Superman titles. Kelly creates a group called the Elite, who are a sort of parody of The Authority.
He then has them be pretty violent “heroes,” and has Superman spend the issue sickened not just by the Elite’s behavior, but by the fact that the world seems to like the Elite better than him.
He, of course, sees the Elite as no more than just villains calling themselves heroes (in their battles, they kill the “bad guys” and end up causing a lot of civilian deaths in the process).
So they end up having a “duel,” of sorts – Superman vs. The Elite on the Moon, with all of Earth watching.
At first, it seems as though the Elite has destroyed Superman totally. Then, in a nice bit, a disembodied voice tells them that they’ve just now pushed him too far. Superman then seemingly uses his powers in creative ways to kill off all of the Elite until he is left face-to-face with the Elite’s leader, Manchester Black…
What I love about this scene is the fact that you really don’t have to agree with Kelly’s position here to still appreciate that it is a well-told comic.
“The” moment for me is either Superman’s appearance at the beginning of this stretch (up until that point, he was taking the Elite apart off-panel) or the ending. I guess I’m going with the ending.
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