Written by: Grant Morrison
Backup Written by: Sholly Fisch
Art by: Rags Morales, Mark Propst
Backup Art by: Chris Sprouse, Karl Story
Variant Cover by: Fiona Staples, Rags Morales
Yes, it’s gotten to that point. Grant Morrison has written the incomprehensible, giving it center stage in one of his stories. But this is what happens when you take a story involving the distortion of memory and time, making anything possible. I’ve never been an huge fan of Mr. Mxyzptlk, but I’ve always found the stories he’s apart of quite interesting, and what Morrison is doing here is just that. I just have to get past the headache of comprehending it all.
In a nut shell, Supes has a conversation with his landlady, Mrs. Nyxly, explaining that her lover, Mxy, is at the center of a tale involving jealousy hatred, and love. Wizard gone bad, Vyndyktvx is baffled by how Mxyzptlk wins over the heart of the king in their own 5th dimensional world. It seems like a no brainier as the famous imp can pull an entire universe out of his hat. Doing so results in Mxy winning the hand of the King’s Daughter, Princess Gsptlnz, and also resulting in the destruction of hundreds of worlds and an ongoing war. Mxy is exiled to Earth in a slumbering state, and Superman is clueless as to what’s going on, but is somehow aware of an oncoming evil.
That’s it in a nutshell, and it took me a few times going back through the story and multiple double takes to figure that much out. There’s still a lot left unsaid about the story however, and unless you’re in tune with Morrison’s insanity, you’ll be just as confused as I was. There’s a group of K-Men out searching for a depowered Superman due to the effects of a red sun while the present Superman is wondering what’s ahead with memories of a fight that hasn’t happened yet. And don’t forget about the random squid and monsters roaming about with thoughts of Kryptonian death. It’s all one big mess crammed into a 40 paged book.
I DO get it despite the confusion, however. The basic gist of the story is there to understand and enjoy, but it’s painfully hard to get to the point of it all and comprehend what’s going on. My fingers are crossed on a worthwhile resolution to this arc. It doesn’t help that the little dialog boxes that state if something’s happening in the future or “a few days ago,” are non existent. I understand why too – because the future fight between Superman and the K-Men is actually happening in the present…even though it’s not. It makes for a confusing read as everything past, present, and future are all jumbled together with no sign of sanity in sight.
I will admit that Morrison does tie-in a lot of the build up starting from Action #1 to now very well. He’s definitely a planner who knows exactly what he wants to plot out. He also knows how to create a sense of mistrust within characters that are seemingly trustworthy. Rags Morales is also great at displaying fowl play, and the writer and artist work very well at creating that deceitful image.
Maybe it’s nothing and I’m reading into things where they don’t exist, but I feel this image here is a precursor to a much bigger plot that Nyxly is involved in. I love Superman, but boy is he a little too trusting of people he doesn’t really know. Angst is a-comin’ boys and girls, and it’ll be the saving grace of this story arc.
In classic storybook form, the backup tale of Mxy and his dealing within the fifth dimension are extraordinary. Morales certainly brought me back to my childhood with memories of stories like Peter Pan and other other-worldly tales of adventures, magic, and excitement, both in the main story and the back-up. It’s an appeal that kept me reading.
Overall, it’s a good book. It’ll rack your brain a lot, but it’s still worth picking up. Enjoy!
7 out of 10 stars