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Superman battles Mongol in Superman #21, DC Comics (2020). Image: Brian Michael Bendis, Ivan Reis/DC Comics

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Superman accidentally proclaimed himself king of Earth

Look … it was taken out of context?

Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

Superman is doing his best to found the United Nations in space, but that’s harder than it looks. And it just got even more difficult, because someone leaked footage of him volunteering himself to speak on Earth’s behalf in the United Nations of Space … to Earth journalists.

Now, Daily Planet competitor the Daily Star wants to know whether Clark Kent really thinks he has the right to speak on behalf of all of Earth’s governments, and they’re asking Lois Lane about it. Or, rather, they’re ambushing her outside her hotel room to ask her whether Superman really thinks he’s king of Earth.

One question they’re not asking, but probably should: Who got footage of a space battle and sent it directly to the Daily Planet’s competitor?

What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. If you missed last week, read this.

Superman #21

Lois Lane closes the door of her hotel room, sighing “Ah, Clark, that’s the kind of thing you tell a wife...” Then she realizes that his statements would make her queen of earth. “I need a lawyer. I need all the lawyers.” in Superman #21, DC Comics (2020). Image: Brian Michael Bendis, Ivan Reis/DC Comics

When DC announced that Superman was going to reveal his secret identity, writer Brian Michael Bendis said he made the decision partly because of how many totally new Superman stories it would open up. And in the three months since, he and his collaborators have totally delivered.

Cable #1

“I always wanted a big @#%& sword,” says Cable, holding up big sword in Cable #1, Marvel Comics (2020). Image: Gerry Duggan, Phil Noto/Marvel Comics

When it was announced, the first solo series of Marvel’s gleaming new X-Men future felt like a throwback to a bygone time: Cable? Really? But Cable #1 really revels in its cocky teenage version of the gritty loner. Instead of big guns, this Cable has big swords, and I’m all for it.

Immortal Hulk #32

The Green Scar Hulk personality appears before the Savage Hulk in Bruce Banner’s mindscape, in Immortal Hulk #32, Marvel Comics (2020). Image: Al Ewing, Joe Bennet/Marvel Comics

Did you know you should be reading Immortal Hulk? This week brought back the Green Scar — AKA the Hulk personality that ruled Sakaar — after a long, conspicuous, ominous absence.

The Dollhouse Family #5

Jake brings the car to a screeching halt as he yells, “Alice, your leg grew back! [...] You had a stump, and now you’ve got a leg again!” Alice wearily tells him that that evidence is too unbelievable to make people trust her version of events, in The Dollhouse Family #5, DC Comics (2020). Image: M.R. Carey, Peter Gross, Vince Locke/DC Comics

Now that we’re a good ways into the rollout of DC’s Joe Hill-led horror imprint, Hill House Comics, I can say with confidence that The Dollhouse Family is my favorite of them. The simplest way of describing the story is that it follows a cursed dollhouse and the way it’s shaped the lives of one family through generations — but it’s also developing into a satisfying story about one woman’s quest to get her life and daughter back from a supernatural evil.

Hawkeye: Freefall #3

Hawkeye corners a subway dancer and intimidates him into revealing that he is a defected skrull, in Hawkeye: Freefall #3, Marvel Comics (2020). Image: Matthew Rosenberg, Otto Schmidt/Marvel Comics

It’s ya boy Hawkeye, digging himself into an incredibly deep hole with everyone he knows in order to hopefully do a Right Thing somewhere. In this issue, he corners a subway dancer who is actually a defected skrull and shouts “do me” at him until he capitulates.

Decorum #1

Alien natives and robot colonizers stand on the shore of a strange planet, as the sky opens to black void and zebra/checkerboard spaceships drop out of the hole, in Decorum #1, Image Comics (2020). Image: Jonathan Hickman, Mike Huddleston/Image Comics

If you’ve enjoyed the galaxy-brain science-fiction stylings of Jonathan Hickman in superhero comics, you should really keep an eye on his new Image Comics series, Decorum. It’s all the galaxy brain, and all of the charts, with none of the constraints of the superhero setting. Also, Mike Huddleston is doing some really interesting things with the art, melding fully painted images with black-and-white and greyscale coloring styles, and doing it all in the same panels sometimes.

Ant-Man #3

Ant-Man appears before the Avengers, who are gathered around a table eating fast food. “Oops,” he says, “you’re eating dinner. That’s fine. You can finish.” “No @#$@ we can finish,” Blade snaps through a mouthful of hamburger, in Ant-Man #3, Marvel Comics (2020). Image: Zeb Wells, Dylan Burnett/Marvel Comics

If it makes me laugh, I put it in the roundup, and Blade shutting Ant-Man down through a mouthful of hamburger did indeed make me laugh. Also, the li’l leafy guy there is Boy-Thing. He’s a sprout of Man-Thing. He lives on Blade’s shoulder and makes him an infinite supply of wooden stakes. So I would, in fact, die for him.


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