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Superman: The Never-Ending Battle (Justice League of America) Mass Market Paperback – May 24, 2005
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"Roger Stern has taken his years of [writing experience] and used that skill to show the human side of these heroes. I've been reading stories of these characters--Superman, Batman, The Martian Manhunter, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and Green Lantern--as far back as I can remember, but never before do I recall seeing such humanity from them. I don't mean [just] a great caring for the human race, we know they have that, but Roger Stern has made them people." -- C. Dennis Moore
"Superman is written very well and we get to see the human element of him as much as, if not more than, the super-hero aspect. As such there are wonderful exchanges between Kal-El and his human parents, as well as with Lois and Bruce Wayne. This really added a depth to the book and raised the story to beyond the regular fare of good versus evil." -- BookMarc
"This story, somehow, makes you feel POSITIVE as you read it, like some of Superman's inherent goodness is permeating your body. Also, Stern doesn't forget to treat the League like they're people. It's the little things that make this novel work. Superman's vast cast do superbly as well. Lois is, of course, always entertaining when written well. At the Daily Planet, the only thing missing was Perry telling Jimmy to not call him Chief. Bibbo's public challenge ... is an absolute hoot." -- Aaron Thall
"The best attribute in Roger Stern's work is his heart. His stories tend to be rooted in the decency of heroes -- his heroes have HEART, as it were." -- Brian Cronin
About the Author
"In his long career ... Roger Stern has written some of comics' greatest characters in some of their biggest moments. He wrote the epic Avengers Under Siege story where the Masters of Evil assaulted Avengers mansion. In his Captain America run, he pitted the Sentinel of Liberty against the vampiric Baron Blood for a thrilling and powerful story. He was also one of the writers who helped kill comics' greatest icon in 'The Death of Superman' storyline. [In 2005, Stern returned] to write another big moment for the Man of Steel, his first original novel in many years, "Superman: The Never-Ending Battle," a 384-page novel in Pocket Books Justice League series." -- Dave Richards, Comic Book Resources
Top customer reviews
I was a fan of Stern's Superman comics, but he must not be much of a prose writer.
The story was boring. Filled with pointless scenes. It was repetitive. No tension. Little conflict. No character growth or change.
The Justice League actually fought the weather for 80% of the book.
I actually read the whole thing because I couldn't believe it was as bad as I thought. I assumed it would get better. If I did, the improvement was slight.
Unless you are a Superman completest, avoid this book at all costs.
Though ostensibly a Superman novel, this is really more of an ensemble piece like JLA:Exterminators. Though Superman is the featured hero we have prominent roles played by both civilians and the other major JLA members.
The best parts of the novel are the very basic, human interludes showing the heroes as people in their downtime. J'onn eating ice cream, Wally and Kyle getting chili.
Just as with the previous Hero's Quest though, the book starts well then slows. The plot takes some time to develop and the action scenes are not that well done after the Alaska disaster. The main problem is really too much exposition, too much telling and not enough showing. There were probably one or two superfluous minor weather disasters as well that could have been edited out. In particular the blizzard at the Atom's university.
These faults aside, the team effort of Batman, Superman and the rest of the JLA working together make this an above average entry in this series. I can only hope that the neglected Manhunter, the heart and soul of the JLA gets a novel.
The author Roger Stern is a name well known to comic book geeks. He's worked on a number of publications over the years, but perhaps most famous for his run on the Superman titles. So it is nice to see an old hand at work here. Lots of minor characters from the Superman comics like Bibbo, Dan Turpin and Cat Grant.
The story is a bit weak. Basically a couple of super villians are manipulating the weather and causing all sorts of natural disasters which Superman and the rest of the Justice League have to stop. (Despite Superman snagging the cover title, this really is a Justice League book and the other members get almost equal time to Superman).
This is probably just personal preference, but I never really cared much for natural disaster type stories in my superhero books. I prefer more tangible villians. The first couple thirds of this book I was slightly bored by. I thought it picked up in the end when the villian was revealed to be Kobra. (Kobra is apparently one of the more infamous villians in the DC universe, but I had somehow missed him during my comic book Geek days, and I enjoyed the education this book gave me).
This book also showcases a lot of the superheros in quieter moments. For example in one place Superman and Lois Lane spend a good ten pages simply talking about their love for each other. Other similar scenes are written in for other characters. I suppose you could argue that this is either a master story teller showing off how he can keep the reader's interest even while slowing down the pace of the story and adding characterization. Or you could argue this is filler for a story that doesn't have much of a plot, depending on whether you were inclined to be generous or critical.
There's a bit of philosophy thrown in here. References to the Paradoxical Commandments, and a parady of religious fundamentalism. It's not quite enough to boost this book to this book up to high brow respectability, but it does help to heighten the overall enjoyment.