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Supergirl: What's So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American

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#1 Virgil Vox

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Posted 03 March 2019 - 05:55 PM

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SUPERGIRL FACES OFF AGAINST THE ELITE - Manchester Black (guest star David Ajala) breaks out of prison with the help of his new team, The Elite, who are set on punishing the anti-alien forces. Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) pulls double duty as she tries to apprehend Manchester Black and his team as well as deal with a shocking new development with Ben Lockwood (Sam Witwer).


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I wondered if they would adapt the "What's So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?" story line when they introduced Manchester Black. It is considered a modern classic and was also adapted into an animated movie called Superman Vs. The Elite. The story is basically a repudiation of the grim and gritty anti-heroes that were popular then (and still are now) and said that just because Superman has values doesn't mean he is lame. It showed just how terrifying it would be if Superman decided to not live by those values.


"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#2 RJDiogenes

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Posted 03 March 2019 - 07:16 PM

That sounds cool. I'll have to see if there's a TPB or Kindle edition.
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#3 Virgil Vox

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Posted 03 March 2019 - 10:46 PM

View PostRJDiogenes, on 03 March 2019 - 07:16 PM, said:

That sounds cool. I'll have to see if there's a TPB or Kindle edition.

It is Action Comics 775. I'm not sure if it was released in a trade but you can buy the issue for Kindle. It is a 40 page special so the story is a decent length. It is definitely worth a look. Manchester Black would be a recurring villain for Superman off and on for a few years, culminating in the "Ending Battle" trade where someone has figured out that Clark Kent is Superman and sends a legion of villains after everyone in Clark's life.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#4 Cybersnark

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 10:22 AM

It also leads into a (turned out to be mini-)series called Justice League: Elite a year or so later, which features a sort of Justice League "black ops" unit (headed by Manchester's sister, Vera, trying to atone for her brother's misdeeds).

In a lot of ways, the Young Justice cartoon owes more to JL:E than the YJ comics (with everyone having black "stealth" costume variants and doing things the League can't be seen doing).
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#5 RJDiogenes

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 07:47 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 03 March 2019 - 10:46 PM, said:

It is Action Comics 775. I'm not sure if it was released in a trade but you can buy the issue for Kindle.  
Thank you. Somehow I didn't find that when I looked, although I did find it as part of Superman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told Volume 1, which is very expensive. The DVD of the movie adaptation is cheaper.

View PostCybersnark, on 04 March 2019 - 10:22 AM, said:

It also leads into a (turned out to be mini-)series called Justice League: Elite a year or so later, which features a sort of Justice League "black ops" unit (headed by Manchester's sister, Vera, trying to atone for her brother's misdeeds).  
I found that, too.  It doesn't seem like my cup of tea, though.
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#6 Virgil Vox

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 07:41 PM

I liked this episode but it wasn't quite what I was expecting. Adapting a well regarded issue like this one comes with certain expectations. I was hoping that Supergirl would stand as a beacon against the intense hatred being displayed by Agent Liberty and the Elite. Instead she doesn't even really try to address the issue with the public and then she destroys a weapons satellite because she doesn't agree with it. Not exactly the actions of a hero who is trying to set a positive example.

At first I didn't find it believable the the President would appoint a known alien hater and killer to head the Office of Alien Affairs but then I remembered that President Trump has appointed people to head agencies that they are completely unfit for and that are actively trying to undo the work those agencies are responsible for and then it felt natural.

I do like that the Elite seem to have their own followers and supporters. Not everyone is going to agree with with the Children of Liberty and probably enjoy seeing the xenophobic murderers get what is coming to them. Unfortunately the Elite aren't solving anything. They are just adding to the hatred and fear.

I will say that I love this incarnation of the Elite. They are all good actors and they seem to be having fun in their roles. Having a Morae as part of the group is a nice touch.

I wonder if J'onn is right about Manchester having a death wish. It is possible. Why else bait the Martian Manhunter like that?

Lockwood has regained control of the Children in a chilling manner, bashing in the head of a supporter who was trying to orchestrate a coup. That's a far cry from his speech to the Graves about how they don't kill humans. The dude is losing it.

I wonder if the President will be revealed to be the true big bad of the season. He has done some really shady things lately and he didn't tell the DEO about the weapons satellite he was preparing to launch.

It was nice seeing Supergirl and Alex working together again. I miss Alex being in on the secret.

I'm not sure why Kelex and Brainy can't stand each other but now I really want a Brainy/Kelex buddy cop style spin-off.

Dreamer is developing her powers quite nicely. I was wondering how useful she would be in the field but they seem to be making her powers precognition like. Plus they gave her some weird dream blasts.

Lena may be in bed with the government but she's not completely stupid. She will give the government meta human soldiers but she will not share the process on how they are made.

A really good episode that just didn't quite live up to its title.

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Thank you. Somehow I didn't find that when I looked, although I did find it as part of Superman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told Volume 1, which is very expensive. The DVD of the movie adaptation is cheaper.

Did you find the comic?
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#7 RJDiogenes

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 07:22 PM

I did find it, yes, and bought it. And I mostly liked it. The story was a bit hard to follow in places, and I'm not sure if that was partly because I was missing things that a regular reader would understand, but it was definitely partly due to the art.  The art itself was serviceable enough, but the layouts were awful-- contemporary comic book artists really have no sense of storytelling.  But I certainly enjoyed and appreciated and approved of the story itself. It certainly made its point about the state of comics and the state of the world very well.  I don't know if anyone is listening, though.
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#8 Virgil Vox

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 05:02 PM

View PostRJDiogenes, on 11 March 2019 - 07:22 PM, said:

I did find it, yes, and bought it. And I mostly liked it. The story was a bit hard to follow in places, and I'm not sure if that was partly because I was missing things that a regular reader would understand, but it was definitely partly due to the art.  The art itself was serviceable enough, but the layouts were awful-- contemporary comic book artists really have no sense of storytelling.  But I certainly enjoyed and appreciated and approved of the story itself. It certainly made its point about the state of comics and the state of the world very well.  I don't know if anyone is listening, though.

I don't really remember the art, which could be a comment about the art itself. Still, it was a good story with a clear point to make. I do agree that it doesn't seem as if anyone is listening.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#9 RJDiogenes

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 06:12 PM

I was surprised at how long ago it came out.
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