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Superman: Our Worlds at War - Book 02 Paperback – September 1, 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
One of the problems with the book was that there was overlapping dialogue from JFK (our famous president) that was somehow suppose to connect the emotions of the events with the speech. Problem is, it's like trying to read 2 stories at once as a speech poorly matched the story and dialogue. I mostly got tired of reading 2 stories and skipped the speech part when I turned each page.
At times the plot, as simple as it was, became utterly confusing and the artwork did little to convey the plot and often skipped more panels than it should have. To be honest, I think the writers tried too hard to make this a more complicated story than it really should have been. The inconsistent artwork doesn't help matters either (though to be fair, this was a crossover after all but the artwork goes from wildly cartoon-ish to modern day between each chapter). The artwork made the story even more confusing as you weren't sure if certain characters were truly dead or couldn't tell certain characters from each other.
This is easily one of the worst Superman storylines that I have ever read and maybe one of the worst stories ever written. I paid 1 cent for this book plus $3.99 shipping and I wish I never did.
Overall, I found this book to be OK. The main problem with it is that it pulls in so darn many characters and superheroes that it becomes impossible to follow the storyline. To make matters worse, the entire story was spread out over the comic books of many different heroes, and only the Superman comics were pulled in for this collection. That means that things happen "off camera" that you don't know about, leaving you wondering what happened.
For the most part, I thought that this to be an OK book. As a comic book extravaganza it was probably a tour de force, but as a graphic novel it leaves a lot to be desired. I give it a very guarded recommendation.
I myself have read most of the crossover but have yet to secure a couple of issues from the early going; I have the "Volume 2" Trade Paperback and a slew of individual issues from the first half of the event, plus issues from the second half that actually fit in 'in between' individual issues reprinted here. I really wanted to review "Volume One" as well, but I don't have every issue reprinted within (even though overall I have most of the first half, including issues not reprinted in trade form). Some of the Trade Paperbacks I've done writeups on I have done based on the original issues reprinted (as opposed to the TPB format), but only when I have the complete material. I don't with OWAW Vol. 1, so I'll have to just do a writeup for this volume.
Now the crossover itself (if you're still reading, thanks for putting up with that preamble) - this is bigger and more far-ranging than any event DC has done since at least "Zero Hour", bigger even than "The Final Night" - far bigger in fact since this is a galactic, time-spanning conflagration that threatens to eventually consume the whole universe, and it crossed into numerous titles (although the title of the TPBs would imply it's an entirely Superman-oriented event that's not really true - the Man Of Steel and his cast play the biggest role but it involves just about all the main characters of the DCU. This volume actually does a better job of presenting a wider cross-section of the books involved than Volume 1 did). The great adversary of the event is Imperiex, a Galactus-level character who commands legions of "Imperiex Probes" that are basically smaller, non-sentient versions of himself, each of them powerful enough to alone be a challenge to Superman. Opposing this world-destroying entity is a vast coalition of planets, into which Earth is inducted at the beginning of the event. So great is the threat that not only have worlds like Almerac and Tamaran and the survivors of Kalanor (Despero's homeworld), destroyed by Imperiex prior to the OWAW Volume 1 TPB at the beginning of "Superman: Or Worlds At War Secret Files # 1", (which REALLY should have been included in the first trade), have come together, but even Apokolips itself is in on the alliance! Other players come into the fray very unexpectedly in this volume, and are best let unrevealed for the reader to discover on their own.
Clearly, this is not an 'introductory' book to Superman or the DC Universe - it's very complex and of necessity assumes a familiarity by the reader with a great number of characters, races and concepts; a saga for fans already deeply and passionately into the DC Universe. If you're not a Superman reader this crossover isn't the place to start - the "Superman: No Limits" trade paperback, reprinting material from a couple years earlier when DC did one of their periodic 'jumping-on' points to make it easier for new readers to come onboard, would be a good choice and fairly recent place to start off if you want to get into the comics - using this as a starting point would be kind of like starting off on "Lord Of The Rings" with the third novel (except of course that's the final novel, and there is no 'final chapter' to things like the DC Universe or Marvel Universe, and, God willing, never will be).
There is massive destruction in the event, more than in "Lord Of the Rings", the whole "Star Wars" saga, and "Independance Day" put together, and thankfully it's Felt by the characters, it's not like some action movies where everything blows up but nobody seems emotionally affected by it. Younger Superman fans might be better off going with some DVDs from the animated series of a few years ago, than something this intense and technical. People who don't read comics are unaware of how much there is to them these days in terms of intense action, drama, social issues, massive complexity, etc. There's also alot of humor, lightness, fun, etc. but OWAW is an example of how thunderous and grand-scoped they can get. All this is expertly brought to life by the writers and artists, to the point where you can practically hear the lava plumes of Apokolips.
An excellent book this Volume 2 is, though of course anyone reading it should go with the Trade Paperback/OWAW issues that preceded it. One of the best of the 'giant-sized' crossovers, up there with the Batman "No Man's Land" event and Marvel's X-Men "Age Of Apocalypse" saga from a few years back.