Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Superman: King of the World

Superman: King Of The World

June 1999

1999 Triangle No. 22

Writer: Karl Kesel
Penciller: Doug Braithwaite
Inker: Joe Rubinstein
Cover: Walt Simonson

Reviewed by: Gareth Baker (

As the new reporter tells us, the fight between Superman and Dominus is over. Superman explains to the world that Dominus has the ability to alter reality, and that is why he has been behaving so strangely. However the battle may be over, but the war isn't. Dominus is still out there, and Superman and the JLA are going to capture him at all costs. Soon a command tower is built in Metropolis, and Superman sits in it as King Of The World. Will he stay there after Dominus has been captured?

Lex Luthor is unimpressed with the promo that Simone Deneige has just shown him. He hates giving the alien air time on WLEX. In his anger, Lex knocks over his glass of water. One of the Superman robots hears this, and fears it may be a sign of violence. Lex takes the intrusion personally. When the robot has gone, Lex receives a strange phonecall from an anonymous caller. He has to go to Lab two.

Once inside the lab, Lex is trapped and forced to put on a pressure suit as the chanber is beingh made into an airless vacum. From the other side of the lab comes...Lois Lane. Lois connects their suits together so that con one can hear a word they say. Lex is obviously upset by this "assault" but, assault is not on Lois' mind. She wants his help to discover why Superman is behaving the way he is. Their first port of call is Pro Ham's lab to see the robot, Superman left there (MOS#89 /21\). Lex' turns the robot on, despite Ham's worries about it's unpredictable behaviour.

The Supermen of America's Elite Brigade, are getting bored. There is nothing to do. Outburst heads off to Superman's Command Centre to report in. When he gets there, he witnesses Wonder Woman expressing to Superman their concerns for the way he has been behaving. He is enjoying being King of The World. Superman suggests that maybe Dominus is hiding on Thenyscira, Wonder Woman's home island. When he suggests an invasion, Wonder Woman becomes naturally upset.

To change the subject, Superman calls forth Outburst. When Outburst informs Superman that there have been no sitings, Superman tells him to get back out there and work harder. Maybe Superman is disguised as someone. Outburst leaves, also concerned with Superman's behaviour. On the way out he spots Lex, Lois and the Superman robot assigned to protect her. The robot is bringing the pair to Superman for plotting against them. He takes them to a sub basement holding cell far below the command centre.

When they get there, they find a large door with a force field. Luthor takes care of the field, whilst Lois shuts down the robot's override program. The robot returns to it's original protection program. Suddenly two Superman robots appears, but Lois' soon battles them whilst Lex and Outburst open the door.

On the other side they find Dominus, already captured! Suddenly the two robots leaves. Things are about to get worse. Superman arrives and attacks Lois for invading his castle with intent to insurrect. The robot tries to protect her, but he is easily cut in half by Superman. With Lois on her knees and choking to death, Outburst springs into action. Again, Superman rids himself of the annoying child easily. Lex does the honourable thing, and appears to run off.

Lois about to die, when he is suddenly struck by a powerful force. Dominus is free. Freed by Luthor. The truth is revealed Superman is really Dominus, and Dominus, Superman. Dominus "became" Superman and emerged from the rubble, whilst twisting reality so that Superman looked like one of his damaged robots.

With a quick flick of his finger, Superman renders Lex unconscious so that Dominus cannot use his "dubious" mind. Dominus sends out and order for the robots to attack innocent people. If Superman becomes Dominus' slave, he'll call them off. However, Wonder Woman informs the JLA. Superman tells WW and Outburst to help the JLA stop the robots, he is capable of handling Dominus.

Dominus opens the fight by encasing Superman in a large piece of Kryptonite, but Superman breaks free. How come? Whilst captured, Superman was able to practice the Kryptonian Theta State (as used in MOS#89 /21\) Indeed, Superman has filled the entire area with theta waves. As the reality shatters, Lois decides that the world needs to see this. Can the remains of the robot help her?

Above ground in Metropolis The Elite Brigade are fighting the robots whilst WLEX transmit the pictures to peoples TV's. Suddenly, the images change to those of Superman fighting Dominus. Dominus uses some Nazis from a previous reality, then some Bizarros, but whatever Dominus throws at him, Superman is able to fight off.

Now it's Superman's turn. He protects an image of Ahti, the woman whom Dominus once loved (see AC #754 /20\). But, Dominus' anger towards her is too deep and he "kills" her with a blast from his chest. Dominus suggest that Lois is Kismet. Superman leaps through Dominus to get Lois to protect her. As he passes through the villain, he gets a glimpse into Superman's mind. Superman does think he knows where Kismet is.

Dominus opens his cloak for the fist time, and underneath it is a mass of peoples faces. All the people he has killed. They morph to give him a physical body. But as the battle continues, Superman finds it harder and harder to maintain his theta waves as well as physically fight. Doinus suggests that it is the end of Superman's world. This makes the Man of Steel think about the destruction of Krypton. Dominus decides to use this thought, but so does Superman. Superman flies off smashing through Dominus' body of souls.

The pair enter a Kryptonian reality. Dominus confronts Jor-El, when suddenly Superman appears and using a Phantom Zone projector defeats Dominus, sending him to where he came from.

In true reality the building in which Lois and Lex are in begins to callapse, but a red blur whisks them out of danger.

WLEX are soon broadcasting the news that the "war" is over. When the JLA arrive, Superman goes on TV saying that he will put right all that Dominus made wrong, but the media are unsure. Can they trust the Man of Steel again?

3Story - 3: Lets start off with the positive stuff shall we. The final battle, from page 28 onwards, pretty good and certainly improved with my second reading. The ending was clever, I liked the way Superman used Dominus' own power to trap him in the Phantom Zone - and also cleverly leaving there to come back once again! I think that the hi-light for me was seeing Superman knock Lex unconscious.

And the bad stuff. Firstly I felt cheated by the beginning. I don't feel it tied in at all with the end of MOS #89 /21\. I suppose this is a complaint about MOS really because the ending "NO! It can't be!" and "I don't believe it!" set me up for an exciting start to KOTW. The TV broadcast at the beginning, whilst a clever way of speeding through the plot, was annoying. It would have been better if we saw all this and we saw Superman become a "King of The World". The major complaint was the whole way it was written. It was obvious from page three that Superman was really Dominus.

However, I feel it all balances out in the end. A bad start, but a good to very good ending. Basically, what we have come to expect from these "specials".

3Art - 3: On the good side, it was nice to have the same artist all the way through the comic. It used to annoy me the wat they used to all do 5 pages each. But, the art is rather average and nothing outstanding, ever, thoughout the whole issue, except for maybe Dominus/Superman's arrival on page 24. I did like the idea of Dominus' soul body too.

2Cover - 2: Well this cover really grabbed my attention. Thank goodness for Walt Simonso! The card cover with gold is sooooooo much better. Sorry, didn't mean to be so sarcastic.

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Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic was on sale.

June 1999

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