Adventures of Superman #634
Quick Rating: A qualified “Good”
Title: That Healing Touch (Narrative Interruptus Secondus)
When the Parasite twins attack Superman he gets help from a most unexpected quarter – Mr. Mxyzptlk!
Writer: Greg Rucka
Pencils: Matthew Clark
Inks: Andy Lanning
Colors: Tanya & Richard Horie
Letters: Rob Leigh
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Cover Art: Gene Ha
Publisher: DC Comics
As he did in the “Battery” story arc, Greg Rucka does a half-sidebar issue when Mr. Mxyzptlk shows up in the midst of a major throwdown. This issue doesn’t work quite as well as that first one, though.
I’m a fan of Mxyzptlk. I think he’s great for comic relief, and Rucka himself clearly has a great deal of affection for the character. This book is divided between goofy bits with Mxy interacting with the villains and the cast (and occasionally even with the DC Comics staff), and more serious bits of battle where the Parasites show more intelligent use of their powers than the previous keeper of the name ever seemed to do.
The problem is that this issue is trying to be two comic books – a comedy and a superhero action adventure. Both of these comics would work very well on their own, but the way Rucka intercuts between the two of them is extremely jarring and winds up hurting the story in the long run.
Matthew Clark’s artwork is always a treat. He has a very interesting take on Mxy, and his Superman is second-to-none. He handles the action and the comedy equally well, even humanizing the male Parasite to a degree. The script calls for him to have doubts about their little crusade – Clark does a fine job putting those doubts on the character’s face.
The issue ends with a very disturbing portent for the future, which is a nice touch. It’s a good issue overall, but not as strong as it would have been if Rucka had separated the two elements of the story instead of attempting to weave them together.