Mild Mannered Reviews - Superman Adventures Comics
Superman Adventures #35Scheduled to arrive in stores: July 7, 1999
Cover date: September 1999
Writer: Mark Millar
Penciller: Aluir Amancio
Inker: Terry Austin
"Never Play With The Toyman's Toys"
Reviewed by: Michael O'Connor
In a Metropolis toy store, a jewelry store manager receives a packaged Toyman action figure. The surprised manager and the customers are swiftly attacked by the action figure, which bursts out of its package and sprays the room with poisonous gas. As toy monkeys steal jewelry and cash, the Man of Steel arrives on the scene, saving the victims as the Toyman robot and the monkey robots make their getaway with the money in a giant toy truck.
Later, at Stryker's Island, Kent and Lane visit Winslow Schott, The Toyman, who appears in prison garb and tells the two that he is innocent. As he is dragged away, he accuses someone else of framing him and stealing his toys in order to commit crimes.
Lane suggests that a likely suspect would be Bruno Mannheim, except that he's dead. However, Lane points out, Bruno's younger brother, Vito, is still alive...
Meanwhile, Vito Mannheim talks with Curly, the Toyman's partner, and congratulates him on his brilliant scheme to take all of the Toyman's toys and use them to put the pressure on the Toyman, at the same time making both men rich.
Elsewhere, a toy duck walks straight into Stryker's Island where two befuddled guards try to figure out what it's doing there.
At the Daily Planet, Jimmy tells Lois and Clark that there's been an explosion at Stryker's Island and that the Toyman has escaped.
Superman flies off into the sky. He immediately finds Mannheim's goons who are being targeted by a firing squad of toy soldiers. Superman saves the men and finds out that the Toyman has kidnapped Vito.
Soon after, Superman is about to set off to find Vito and the Toyman when a giant toy dragon leaps out of the sea and attacks Superman. A speaker with Toyman's voice tells the Man of Steel that by the time he deals with the dragon, Vito will be dead. Superman immediately changes to his Clark Kent clothes when he realizes that the dragon will only attack Superman.
He clobbers the monster and sets off after the Toyman.
Meanwhile, the Toyman plans on running over Vito Mannheim with a gigantic toy train. The Toyman then admits that he was behind the entire operation. Curly was actually a robot run by the Toyman and the only reason he wanted to set-up Mannheim was so that he could get back at the Mannheim family for what happened to his father.
Superman arrives just in time and stops the train, along with the mechanized Curly, which attacks him. He brings both Vito and the Toyman to jail, where they find themselves in adjacent rooms, with the Toyman quite content to just annoy Vito to death if he can't actually kill him.
Story - 4: A good, fun story which starts out looking predictable only to have some brilliant moments. I loved both the trick of deceiving the toy dragon by having Superman change to Clark Kent and also the surprise ending, which shows just how crazy the Toyman actually is. I certainly didn't expect the Toyman to be behind the entire operation with the crazy motive of feeling justified in killing Vito Mannheim. There is one thing that bothers me though... it was my impression that the Toyman was wearing a mask in his appearances on the television show... yet here he is in prison and still has that stupid grin on his face. Is he like the Joker, or what? Oh well. Other than that, this issue was a solid, entertaining story with enough surprises and catchy dialogue to make it a fun read.
Art - 5: Gorgeous! Amancio doesn't miss a beat here. For the first time in his Superman Adventures career, his art looks fantastic here. There are some absolutely beautiful scenes, like on page 11 which has Superman flying through a flock of birds only to look around and with his x-ray vision and see Mannheim's goons. Several other pages stood out as well. The fight with the dragon created a feeling of suspense and anticipation for Superman to triumph, and the scene where Lois dominates the page and Jimmy and Clark are in the background is brilliant. Terrific work here, Amancio! Keep it up... please!!
Cover - 3: Hmm... I don't know. Nothing stupendous, nor anything bad. All depends on how it grabs you... (sorry that was a really bad pun I know!) :-)
Mild Mannered Reviews
1999Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic was on sale.
-  Superman: King of the World
-  Superman #145
-  The Adventures of Superman #568
- Superman's Nemesis: Lex Luthor #4
- JLA #30
- Superman 80-Page Giant #2
- Batman & Superman: World's Finest #3
- Superman: Peace on Earth
-  Action Comics #755
-  Superman - The Man of Steel #90
-  Superman #146
-  The Adventures of Superman #569
- JLA #31
- Superman Adventures #33
- Team Superman #1
- The Incredible Hulk vs Superman #1
- Superman: The Odyssey
- Batman & Superman: World's Finest #4
-  Superman The Man of Tomorrow #14
-  Action Comics #756
-  Superman - The Man of Steel #91
-  Superman #147
- JLA #32
- Superman Adventures #34
- Superman: The Last God of Krypton
- Batman & Superman: World's Finest #5
-  The Adventures of Superman #570
-  Action Comics #757
-  Superman - The Man of Steel #92
-  Superman #148
- JLA #33
- Superman Adventures #35
- Batman & Superman: World's Finest #6
-  The Adventures of Superman #571
-  Action Comics #758
-  Superman - The Man of Steel #93
-  Superman #149
- JLA #34 (No Review)
- Superman Adventures #36
- Batman & Superman: World's Finest #7
-  The Adventures of Superman #572
- Day of Judgment #1
-  Action Comics #759
- Day of Judgment #2
-  Superman - The Man of Steel #94
- Day of Judgment #3
-  Superman #150
- Day of Judgment #4
-  Superman The Man of Tomorrow #15
- Day of Judgment #5
- JLA #35 (No Review)
- Superman Adventures #37
- Superman & Savage Dragon: Metropolis
- Batman & Superman: World's Finest #8
-  Superman #151
-  The Adventures of Superman #573
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #95
-  Action Comics #760
- JLA #36
- Superman Adventures #38
- Superman vs The Terminator #1
- Batman and Superman: World's Finest #9
- The Superman Monster
- Superman Inc. [Elseworlds]
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