Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Superman #150

Superman #150

Scheduled to arrive in stores: September 22, 1999

Cover date: November 1999

1999 Triangle No. 44

Writer: Dan Jurgens
Penciller: Steve Epting
Inker: Joe Rubinstein

"Earth's Final Hour"

Reviewed by: Gareth Baker (

Soaring through the air, Superman summarizes events for Professor Hamilton.

Long, strange cylinders have buried themselves into locations around the world, as Superman attempts to make sense of this invasion.

Breaking off his conversation with Hamilton, Superman springs into action, as the mysterious missiles plant themselves around him on Mount Rushmore. Crashing into a few of them, he helps to destroy a miniscule amount of the invading cylinders, but looking around, realizes that he has ultimately failed. As he surveys his work, Hamilton urges him to make his way back to Metropolis, where more of the cylinders are appearing.

Arriving in Metropolis, Superman is just about to get the scoop from Hamilton as to what's going on, when a giant tanker truck flies up into the air and smashes into him. The explosion destroys the headset Superman wears as the Man of Steel looks around for the attacker that has thrown the vehicle at him.

Suddenly hit from behind, Superman plunges downwards and turns around, only to encounter Vartox, an alien Superman met a couple of issues back (Superman #148). A perplexed Superman, believing the group of aliens he met earlier to be his allies, does not understand when Vestion and Paz show up as well to initiate battle with the Man of Steel.

As the battle rages on, Superman slowly weakens to the threesome's might. A powerful blast of Kryptonite does not improve matters and as Superman falls to the ground in pain, a dark shadow looms over him. Looking up, he sees Brainiac, who reveals his scheme to destroy the Earth and then kill Superman. He has assembled the group of aliens against Superman by using the aliens' home planets as ransom. Superman quickly understands that the aliens have had no choice but to do what Brainiac says for the good of their own planet.

Before Superman can be finished off slowly by Brainiac, he uses his heat vision to explode a gas main underneath the assemblage of super powered individuals. The explosion helps to bury Superman in wreckage, where he changes to Clark Kent (where did he get those Kent clothes from there... his cape?).

Meanwhile, Lois and Pete Ross have a brief discussion about the Ross' baby boy who they have named Clark. The entire incident is pointless however, so as Lois says, "Enough soap opera. There's a story developing."

Superman takes a brief rest (so that the issue can be a little longer and thus justify readers to pay additional money for the extra pages) and then gets back into it. He flies to an abandoned building as Brainiac reveals his plan to blow up all the cylinders that have landed on the Earth.

Attacking Superman, the three aliens make quick work of him and Brainiac finishes him off! Or so we think... (if we're really stupid) After being annoyed by Paz's question about letting them free, but not Vortax's insult about Brainiac being a "murderous wretch", Brainiac destroys Paz's planet.

On board Brainiac's ship, Superman suddenly pops out of nowhere and gives Brainiac a super punch to make sure that the villain knows he's not dreaming. As Superman tears away at Brainiac, the other aliens are itching for a shot and join in quickly. The entire group moves so swiftly that Brainiac has no time to detonate their worlds and Paz then transports Brainiac to the fuel pods where he gets a mighty painful burning!

On the ship, Superman explains that Paz teleported Big Blue out of there right before Brainiac used his mega death ray and attempted to obliterate the Last Son of Krypton with it.

The group quickly tears apart the ship and stops all communications so that Brainiac won't be able to destroy their home worlds.

Brainiac, however, although a tad crispy, uses his handy death ray to blow the heroes out of his ship. The group of aliens sets off after him as they urge Superman to stay and guard his planet.

4Story - 4: As you can tell with the synopsis above, I had fun reading the story. I always love the "destroy-the-world" plots even if they are cliched at this point. Not that I thought the story was fantastic, though, since there were a couple of things that got on my nerves. For one, it seemed like the story was just trying to take up space. The writer added in all this unnecessary stuff like the Ross family just happening to come to Metropolis. Yeah... right. Also, the story was fairly simple and didn't need to be expanded like it did. Superman running away did absolutely no good except give him a breather and eat up a couple of pages. The one advantage to the story being stretched out like it was, was the chance for some really nice work by that art team (see below). One thing I find interesting: doesn't it seem that the Brainiac in this story is exactly like the Brainiac from the animated television show? Yeah, yeah, I know he changed in the whole Doomsday return thing, but he didn't even read anyone's mind here! Can he not do that anymore? If he could, he could have read Paz's mind and known that Superman had just been teleported away... Bet 'ol Jurgens never thought of that, eh?

5Art - 5: Nice stuff! I wish art like this was more consistent in comic books. The art team here really stretched the limits and it was great to see some terrific layout work by Epting and the always-solid work of Rubinstein. The fantastic poses above the Rushmore monument and the exciting fight sequences really made this work enhance the fairly feeble story. The experience was certainly bettered by this knockdown, drag-out art. Fantastic job guys!

5Cover - 5: 'Excellent' for both covers!! Sure! Why not? We don't pass out enough of those full super shields around anyway! Seriously though, some great stuff here. The Jurgens cover was obviously made fifty times better by the ever-amazing work of Kevin Nowlan. He is GOOD!! For once, I was almost tempted to buy the newsstand edition instead of the collectors' edition. I mean the cover was beautiful and it would have been cheaper... but I guess I'm a sucker for those sparkly, colorful covers. And if you like sparkly, colorful covers, like me, the collector's edition deserves that 'Excellent' grade as well.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

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