Superman continues to struggle against an emotionally unstable Anguish while the media storm around Spence Becker, the man unfortunate enough to be mistakenly identified as Superman’s alter ego, comes to a boil.
The battle between Superman and the aptly named Anguish — it’s what she’s likely causing readers — continues in the middle of media Metropolis where the big screens broadcast Vic Barnes’ Superman “discovery” which has made it onto Morgan Edge’s less reputable news outlet. Superman understands what’s at stake with an identity reveal, even if it’s false, and he’s already got his hands full with Anguish’s ability to become intangible which makes her basically invincible against the physical powers of Superman.
Hoping to calm Anguish down, Superman grabs her locket which breaks in half as it falls on the street. Anguish’s anger burns even more, and she becomes homicidal. She leaves Superman behind and targets his supposed family.
The obnoxious Anguish doesn’t seem like a particularly memorable villain — at least not for the right reasons. She’s as dimensional as the paper that comics are printed on. She’s the kind of villain that talks way, way too much, and it negatively impacts her character. She’s either raging about her issues, bragging about her abilities — which don’t have an origin — or acting like a drama queen who’s been stuck at the same age for the last 10 years. Her attitude along with her black catsuit and her semi-cropped hair give off a vibe from someone who’s just trying too hard to be sad. Villains like these aren’t worthy of Superman, and if he could jump out of the page and speak his mind, he might ask why his current run in the New 52 hasn’t given him stronger storylines or villains to fight like DC’s other flagship title, Batman, which outsold Superman by more than double in July, according to Diamond Comic Distributors.
For most of the current run, Superman’s highest profile fight wasn’t even against a villain — it was against Supergirl. Helspont’s two issue appearance hasn’t elevated the villain’s status past C-level, and it’s frustrating to see how under-the-radar these stories have been especially because of the name that’s on the title of this issue. Dan Jurgens pacing is solid, and his plotting is clear, but Anguish’s dialogue and Jimmy Olsen as comic relief doesn’t work. Overall, there’s a lack of something greater or a sense of real danger or excitement, and though this issue ends nicely with Superman’s act of kindness stopping Anguish in her tracks, this particular storyline feels like a filler story. The problem is, this entire run has felt like it’s been made up of filler stories.
Superman #10 (2012)
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Words: Dan Jurgens
Pencils: Dan Jurgens
Inks: Jesus Merino
Colors: Tanya and Richard Horie
Letters: Rob Leigh
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