I was actually quite excited for the H’el issue, as it was the H’el on Earth plot line that turned around the Superman book once Lobdell took over as head writer. Love him or hate him (or just hate him, as the internet seems too) Lobdell is currently the longest running writer on the New 52 Superman book, and for good reason. Innovative story telling. H’el was the first example of this and I was looking forward to what happened within the issue. In this issue, Dan Jurgans (former New 52 Superman writer) is on art duty with series regular and H’el creator Lobdell. This is what I liked about the issue.
1. Jurgans has a style about him. There is just something about his art that can’t be denied.
2. We see Jor-El and Zod as friends again, a theme that has been building through the New 52.
3. The dude messes shit up!
Rating before reading: 6
Rating after reading: 6
I’m not sure what to make of the book. While I was enjoying every bit of it, a pivotal moment changed everything. At some point along the way, H’el discovered that whatever he thought he knew was a lie. That apparently and somehow his entire life wasn’t real, that everything he thought he was ended up being incorrect. Aside from creating a huge paradox, the rest of the book got complicated after that point. The issue ended without fully explaining why H’el snapped and murdered everyone (including Zod and Jor-El). We knew that somehow his life had been a lie, but it was never fully explained. So while the issue was tremendously exciting, we didn’t really get any proper sense of motivation as to why H’el flipped out on everyone.
Up until that point the book had been quite enjoyable. We saw H’el astraly project himself and admire his mentor and father figure. We get nothing but admiration and love from his dialogue at the start of the issue, up until everything went to hell. Dan Jurgans definitely knew what he was doing, and it was good to see him on art again. It has been since his departure from Superman since I saw him last. Scott Lobdell’s script could have been excellent and he could have delivered an awesome issue had the important conclusion just been explained a little better. Despite that it was still a worthwhile read for fan’s of the H’el on Earth plot line.
Until the next time,