Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Man of Steel #96

Superman: The Man of Steel #96

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 17, 1999

Cover date: January 2000

2000 Triangle No. 3

Writer: Mark Schultz
Penciller: Doug Mahnke
Inker: Tom Nguyen


Reviewed by: Nick Newman (

Clark Kent walks through the supermarket, making his usual purchases. He walks home and into his apartment building. He puts his key in the door and opens the door, to an apartment very alien.

He walks through the apartment, every object covered in a crystalline sheath. He finds Kelex the fortress robot rebuilt from his head hovering about the apartment. Clark begins to question Kelex about what caused the change, when an image of a man appears. Clark immediately recognizes him as Kem-L, his ancestor and the creator of the Eradicator. Kem-L threatens Clark's life, claiming that his "Clark" is a fantasy identity.

Earlier that day. Superman stands his ground as a flow of green slime covers his body. The paste begins to harden around his body, but he flexes his muscles and the slimy prison shatters. Superman taunts his attackers, a trio of battle suits. They fire dozens of fluctuating rings at Superman, who quickly becomes entangled in them. Off-balance, Supes tucks and rolls through the rings, escaping the clinging bands. He stands before the three mechs, but they have one more ace up their sleeve. The head robot aims one arm forward and a sonic wave assaults Superman. He falls over and strikes the ground face first. Barely able to concentrate, Superman rises to his feet and lunges forward, crushing the "sonic discombobulator". The three robots, accepting defeat, remove their head guards to reveal John Henry Irons and Maggie Sawyer. Superman and Steel (Irons) discuss the success of the new non-lethal battle suits that Steel has been developing with the SCU. After the test, Superman continued on with his normal day until...

Clark and Kem-L face each other in the remnants of the Kent home. Kem-L speaks of a "protector", and Clark realizes that the Eradicator has created everything in his apartment. Kem-L tells Kal that his duty is to rebuild Krypton on Earth. Superman is silent for a moment, and then tells the Eradicator to get off of his planet. Kem-L begins the Kryptonian mental art of Torquasm Vo. Superman responds in kind, letting his thoughts drop to the theta state of relaxed alertness that he employed against Dominus. Armor surrounds the two and they begin to battle.

In the Daily Planet Perry talks to Jimmy about hiding the truth of the picture he took of Superman (Superman #152). Perry explains that they cannot begin to jeopardize the truth, it's their duty to tell the public. Relieved, Jimmy dashes out with Lois to cover a story.

Back in the Kent home, Superman battles for his life against Kem-L. Kem-L continues to call Superman by his Kryptonian name. Superman resists his power, declaring that his name is Clark Kent.

At the United Nations building, the JLA has gathered to clear up the "Mrs. Superman" fiasco. Wonder Woman holds up her left hand, indicating the gold band worn on her finger. She tells the gathered crowd that the rings are Justice League communicators that the League has been trying out. With that, the League leaves.

Superman and Kem-L continues their battle, but Kem-L is slowly gaining the upper hand. Lois arrives home to find Superman lying on the ground with Kem-L standing above him. Kem-L orders Kelex to kill Lois and the robot moves in. Superman jumps into action and vaporizes Kelex's body with a blast of heat vision. Superman stands, and asks Lois if she brought back anything from his fortress (MOS #95). She thinks and then realizes she came back with a tiny figure that she found in the wreckage. She dashes off to find it as Superman resumes the battle. She finds it in her parka and hurls it at Clark. He turns and vaporizes the thing with a blast of heat vision. Abruptly, their apartment is back to normal. Superman hugs Lois, but he continues to worry about the Eradicator.

High above the South Pole, the last remaining Superman Robot hovers in the sky. Something has changed within it, within him. The robot cannot escape his destiny. The Eradicator slowly descends to Earth...

5Story - 5: Another great sci-fi story by Schultz. It's great to see Clark interacting more with his Kryptonian past, even if all he is trying to do is renounce it. And finally we see the return of the Eradicator. The dialogue, especially between Clark and Kem-L was fantastic. DC has themselves a winner with Schultz.

4Art - 4: Normally I LOVE the art in this book, but there was something wrong with it this issue. It was great on some pages, but check out Wonder Woman during the press conference. She looks horrible. I still love Mahnke and Nguyen though, and the detail evident on most pages keeps this just above a three.

5Cover Art - 5: GREAT cover! An action-packed cover with great art. And Superman looks awesome in his armor. This issue definitely sells the comic.

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

January 2000

February 2000 March 2000 April 2000 May 2000 June 2000 July 2000 August 2000 September 2000 October 2000 November 2000 December 2000 Annuals

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