Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Adventure Comics #4/507

“He Primed Me” Part One: Spoiler Alert


Writers: Geoff Johns and Sterling Gates

Penciller: Jerry Ordway

Inker: Bob Wiacek

Editors: Sean Ryan and Elisabeth V. Gehrlein


Synopsis


Superboy-Prime realizes from reading a copy of Adventure Comics #4 that he might die as a result of his participation in a Blackest Night crossover. Sure enough, Black Lantern Alex Luthor arrives to attack him, and he’s brought along some friends – those heroes and villains that Prime has killed…


Notes


This issue is a meta-textual nightmare; either you’re into it or you’re not. Personally, I thought that it was amusing, but I find myself, more and more, clamoring for Superboy-Prime’s total and utter destruction. Just me.


Page 1: Superboy-Prime, real name Kal-El, a.k.a. Clark Kent of Earth-Prime. First appeared in DC Comics Presents #87. Possesses superhuman strength, speed, stamina, senses, invulnerability, flight…Look, he’s a Kryptonian, he has all of the standard Kryptonian powers, but at crazy-heightened pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths levels.


I liked Prime when he first returned in Infinite Crisis. He was interesting during the Sinestro Corps War. But then…came Countdown. Yes, the less said, the better. Prime became a joke. Okay, okay, his threat-level was amped way up during Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds, but I really think that Geoff Johns needs to leave this character alone for a while. Like, more than six months.


Page 2: As seen in Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #5, Prime is now powerless and trapped on Earth-Prime. He spends his days reading comic books and trolling the DC Comics Message Boards, talking about the Multiverse and his place in it. And, let me tell you, those DC Comics Message Boards are a really freaking scary place…


The comics in that pile on the floor are Green Lantern (fourth series) #46, Blackest Night #2 & 3, Blackest Night: Superman #3, Blackest Night: Batman #3, Batman and Robin #5 and Action Comics #542 (with the cover copy, “Will the real Superman please stand up!).


Pages 3-5: A brief recap of Alexander Luthor and Superboy-Prime’s lives and struggles, from Luthor’s point of view.


Page 6: Alexander Luthor of Earth-Three, first appeared in Crisis on Infinite Earths #1. Killed in Infinite Crisis #7. Possesses a genius-level intellect as well as the ability to control matter and anti-matter.


This scene takes place concurrent with Blackest Night #3 page 26.


Also featured here are Maxwell Lord, Doctor Light and the Brainwave.


Page 7: Other Black Lanterns seen here are Psycho-Pirate and Killer Frost.


Page 8: Brainiac 5 of Earth-Prime, real name Querl Dox. First appeared in Teen Titans/Legion Special #1. Possesses superior intellect.


Chameleon of Earth-Prime, real name Reep Daggle. First appeared in Teen Titans/Legion Special #1. Able to shape-shift his form.


Lightning Lad of Earth-Prime, real name Garth Ranzz. First appeared in Teen Titans/Legion Special #1. Commands electricity.


As revealed in Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds, the Legion of Super-Heroes that starred in the most recent series is from Earth-Prime. Ever since Prime was returned and de-powered, the Legion has kept an eye on him to make sure he stays in line.


“Forbidding further excavation in old San Diego and thereby inhibiting my search for the historical documents of New Earth.” These historical documents are comics books; what happens on New Earth are read as comic book stories by the denizens of Earth-Prime. Brainy wants to dig up old comic books left behind from the San Diego Comic Cons to find out what’s happening on New Earth.


Brainy’s holding a copy of Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #4.


Ultra Boy of Earth-Prime, real name Jo Nah. First appeared in Legion of Super-Heroes (fourth series) #1. Possesses a host of superhuman abilities, one power at a time.


Light Lass of Earth-Prime, real name Ayla Ranzz. First appeared in Teen Titans/Legion Special #1. Able to control the effects of gravity upon an object.


Not sure who the woman standing behind Brainiac 5’s right shoulder is.


Page 9: Jerry and Naomi Kent are Superboy-Prime’s parents. They both first appeared in DC Comics Presents #87.


It looks like Superboy-Prime subsists on a steady diet of chips, ice cream and soda. Ah, youth.


Page 10: In that picture with a younger Clark dressed as Superboy is his girlfriend Lori, dressed as Lori Lemaris. In Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #5, her named is spelled “Lori;” here, it’s “Laurie.”


Also, at the end of that issue, it’s implied that Prime either killed or injured Lori, an incident referred to here.


Despite the fact that Prime was de-powered after being defeated by Superman and the Legions, he still seems to be a threat.


Page 13: Prime is angry…what else is new?


That comic book fan is reading a copy of Adventure Comics (second series) #3.


Page 14: “‘The rings wear the dead!’ That’s what the Atom said --” The Atom said this in Blackest Night #3.


Page 16: Not sure if Prime is now officially “Superman-Prime” or not, or if that has to do with any pending legal issues, or if Alex just likes that name better.


Page 17: “It’s Prime time!” Lame, Prime, really lame…


Jeez, guys, be careful, would you? You’re gonna ruin all the nice action figures…


Prime’s angry…still. Again. Always.


Page 20: These are just some of the fine folks that Superboy-Prime has had a hand in killing. Starting from the center, and going clockwise around, we have…


Sun Boy of Earth-Prime, real name Dirk Morgna. First appeared in Teen Titans/Legion Special #1. Killed in Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #3. Able to radiate heat and light.


Nightblade, real name Nik Mayak. First appeared in Green Lantern (third series) Annual #2. Killed in Infinite Crisis #7. Possesses enhanced reflexes and heightened regenerative abilities.


Breach, real name Timothy Zanetti. First appeared in Breach #1. Killed in Infinite Crisis #7. Possesses superhuman strength, flight, the ability to project energy blasts, energy absorption and minor atomic transmutation.


Razorsharp, real name Rae Sharpe. First appeared in Robin Annual #2. Killed in Infinite Crisis #7. Able to transform her hands and feet into razor sharp blades.


Charaxes, real name Drury Walker, also known as Cameron van Cleer. First appeared (as Killer Moth) in Batman #63 and (as Charaxes) in Underworld Unleashed #1. Killed in Infinite Crisis #7. Transformed into a giant, humanoid moth with superhuman strength and endurance, wings that allow him to, sharp claws and the ability to secrete a sticky, acidic substance.


Element Lad of Earth-Prime, real name Jan Arrah. First appeared in Teen Titans/Legion Special #1. Killed in Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #4. Able to transmute elements at will.


Ballistic, real name Kelvin Mao. First appeared in Batman Annual #17. Killed in Infinite Crisis #7. An expert marksman with superhuman strength and armored skin.


Major Disaster, real name Paul Booker. First appeared in Green Lantern (second series) #43. Killed in Infinite Crisis #7. Able to alter probability to cause disasters. This is the only one I am a little bit undecided on, mainly because Prime didn’t kill him. Granted, Major Disaster was killed during the Battle for Metropolis, and Prime was nearby, but Prime didn’t directly kill him.


Bushido, real name Ryuku Orsono. First appeared in Titans Annual #1. Killed in Infinite Crisis #4. Highly-trained martial artist and swordsman.


Geist, real name Dwayne Geyer. First appeared in Detective Comics Annual #6. Killed in Infinite Crisis #7. Able to become invisible in bright light.


Man, Prime really had it out for those New Bloods, didn’t he?



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