Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Action Comics #766

Action Comics #766

Scheduled to arrive in stores: April 26, 2000

Cover date: June 2000

2000 Shield No. 25

Writer: Joe Kelly
Penciller: Cary Nord
Inker: Jason Baumgartner


Reviewed by: Nick Newman (

In a darkened apartment a gloved hand carefully touches everything, absorbing any clues that he can. Sitting dejectedly on the couch is the figure of a man, glowing green with radiation. Batman tells Clark that until they get Lois back, they play by his rules. Clark agrees.

Driving across town, Batman describes his deductions so far. Parasite most likely had a base-of-operations within ten miles of Metropolis. Since he had to continually touch Lois, it needs to be in a place where he could have hidden her without attracting attention. Parasite also would have needed to kill others to stay alive. There have been reported abductions in Endicott. The two drive into the night.

The majority of the victims were transients, but one was not. Mikalia "Mike" Shepherd, a quiet mother of two who, if Batman's logic holds, was also a party girl by night. Visiting Mike's bar, Batman pays a visit to the patrons. They begin to pull weapons when Superman appears in the doorway, barely able to stand. He asks them for their help.

Batman doesn't understand. He scares them witless, and yet they want to fight. But Clark appears utterly helpless in a doorway and they all scramble to help him. Superman tells Batman that he should try using 'Please'.

Batman then visits the shooting range that Mike frequented, after taking the precaution of locking Clark in the car. He tried 'Please', and when that didn't work he had to subdue all of them. Having removed the car door, Superman suddenly appears hunched in the doorway. He tells Batman that the people need medical attention. Batman tells Clark that while on a case, they aren't people. Superman slams Bruce up against a wall, but Batman responds in kind. He can't think of the victims as people, only information. Then he instructs Clark to look at the ground. Superman finds five grains of red clay.

The only match for red clay in the area is Harpur State Preserve, three miles from Metropolis. Driving there, the two start to climb the mountain. Coming across a cave, the two walk in to find the ground littered with corpses. Coming across a woman, Clark turns away, until Batman reassures him that it isn't Lois, it's Mike. The two prepare to leave, when Clark hears breathing. He moves to a giant boulder embedded in the wall. Not stopping to consider the alternatives, Clark throws all of his power into moving the rock. His bones crack and break but impossibly the boulder moves aside.

Clark and Lois embrace.

Suddenly, Clark falls down to the ground. Lois hugs him close, but he doesn't show any signs of life....

5Story - 5: A great tale. It was sort of weird to see Kelly abandon his humor for one issue, but he did it wonderfully. This talk truly showed how much Clark cares for Lois, as well as giving us a great look at the Dark Knight. Plus, the ending just left me wanting more.

3Art - 3: Ick, ick, ick! I did not like this art at all. Surely there must be better guest pencillers available. The only reason this got a three was because his Superman looked sick and pathetic, and Superman was supposed to be sick and pathetic. After this month, though, he's got to go.

5Cover Art - 5: Another great cover by Churchill, the other being #153 of course. As I have said before, he is a great cover artist, but I don't think I would ever want him on pencils for an issue. Even so, a terrific cover.

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

January 2000

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