Wr. Kim Johnson
Wr. John Cleese
Ill. John Byrne
Ill. Mark Farmer
I will be the first to tell you that DC's Elseworlds has some of the finest ideas and takes on old DC characters. But Superman True Brit is just utter ridiculousness from first to last page.
How this project got green lighted, I'll never know, but it does not even deserve to be printed on such fine quality paper.
I think the pitch to do it must have went something like this:
"Gee Mr. Carlin or Dan Didio, I sure as heck have a floozy of an idea."
"Go on son..."
"Picture this, Superman, British. And it won't be funny...but we sure as heck will try!"
"You had me at hello."
"Off to the printing presses!"
"But I haven't written anyth-"
"Doesn't matter champ, we will make Bill Jemas or Howard Mackie do it."
Yeah...or something like it. It sure as heck sounds like something Bill Jemas would write and destroy but...unfortunately he was not involved with this project. This absurdity came forth from Kim Johnson and John Cleese. They are famous for their Monty Python work. The horrific story is supplied with mediocre art by Mark Farmer and John Byrne.
Basically the story follows a British Superman. If no one is familiar with Elseworlds stories, they are what-if type stories reinventing the origins of their core characters. And that's why we have...a British Superman. Yes...a British Superman.
No hold on...we had the Russian one. And yes...we have a...British Superman. Somewhere in the shadows there is a French Superman with a funky hat and a mustache laughing...and waiting for his turn. You know it's coming everyone...and by the way...I got first dibs on Superman Thailand. It's like...an episode of Superman Survivor or something.
Anyway, Johnson and Cleese, it seems poke fun at the British but unfortunately to no avail. All the jokes are horribly placed and the supposedly humorous story is reminiscent of a bag full of dino dung. I'm not British and I am insulted. Not for the fact that the jokes suck so much, but for making a British Superman that sucks so much.
I know it was intentional to make this book "stupid" but what's the point if it is not even remotely funny. A man getting impaled by a crocket bat? "I only bleed when I laugh" he says. Superman acting like he is twelve years old and mentally ill. But even that would be giving mentally ill people a bad name.
The worst part about this book was trying to finish it all without stabbing my eyes or biting off my hands so they wouldn't flip the pages anymore.
I am also not a big fan of John Byrne's art. It's very simple, bland and old school. At times it matches and it is the best thing about this book. Consistency is a key as some of the things that happen in prior panels, physically to characters, do not carry over to the next. It's like an art blooper or something. Mark Farmer does a solid job as well, although his best work is reflected within the pages of JLA ANOTHER NAIL.
Yeah yeah...the Batman incarnation was kind of funny...but that's it!
At $25 in a nice hardcover, you should absolutely avoid this at all costs. DO NOT BUY! Don't even borrow it from a library, I'm afraid the stench of sucktitude might rub off on a fantastic writer of the future.
Yeah I know...harsh. Ah bugger...sod off will ya? Ya no good wanker. It's not like this bloke will be writing for DC anytime soon. Jolly good...I fancy myself a cup o' tea. Cheerio.
- Pawel Goj