Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Superman #160

Superman #160

Scheduled to arrive in stores: July 5, 2000

Cover date: September 2000

2000 Shield No. 34

Writer: Jeph Loeb
Penciller: Ed McGuinness
Inker: Cam Smith

"It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World"

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (

Superman, in his black and silver shielded kryptonian battle garb, is tied up in Arkham Asylum. "I will be free!" He screams, and breaks his chains to escape. In JLA headquarters, Bizzaro is called to bring him in.

"Wanted for murder", screams a sign: "Superman. AKA the Man who Steals". Superman fumes. He didn't kill this Lex Luthor, a man who never existed. How does he know? He doesn't know. All he knows is that Superman doesn't kill. Mr. Mxyzptlk tells Supes to listen to him, but in the middle of his shouting he's hit by a train.

Superman wrecks a building near a marquee advertising Wonder Woman pornos to attract the JLA to attack him. An acme bomb sits where the Daily Planet usually is. Superman laments that he has no secret identity so he can't hide.

Bizarro shows, and they start duking it out. Bizarro eventually uses his heat breath to knock Superman into the Lane Corp building, where Lois stands, a megalomaniac a la Luthor. Superman begs for help, and she helps him... get caught by some mean looking dogs. Bizarro breaks in, and Lois demands that he pay for the window as he whisks Superman out.

"Go get 'im!" Jimmy Olsen screams in the Graveyard of Solitude, where Jimmy considers himself lucky to be Bizzaro's pal and be allowed to tend the graves of Huntress, Nightwing, and Robin, among others not in view. Loeb is on a tombstone nearly off panel. Kind of cute.

Bizarro starts to drown Superman, but Aquaman intervenes, a fish headed man with an axe for one arm instead of a harpoon.

Bizarro uses ice vision to put the Atlantian out of commission. He takes off to return Superman to the Asylum.

"I WILL BE FREE!" Screams Superman. 3Story - 3: Very creative. No doubt about that. But it's been done. This story royally smacks of the issues right after Superman Red and Blue, where Superman is randomly inserted into some wacky timeline that he'll ultimately snap out of in the last issue of the crossover to beat the villain. My guess here, judging by his random and pointless insertion, is that the villain here is Mr. Mxyzptlk. The three is for the obvious creativity of the writer despite a format that I'd imagine was stuffed down his throat by editors. This is still the best Superman book around, if only for that.

5Art - 5: Very vivid, very explosive. There's a good reason why all of my Superman reading friends are calling this the new definitive Supes. The complete lack of the organized panel adds to the hectic feel, and the pages that most artists would make just another splash nightmare turn out brilliantly plotted, as in page 14. And when the splash pages do appear, like between nine and ten, it's the kind of stuff that if they sold it would be on my wall. But the cover... ugh... read on...

2Cover Art - 2: Has nothing to do with the issue, save that Bizzarro and Superman are in it, the normal cool splash lettering is gone, and the DC logo for Bizarro's side should be distorted, as should the number of the issue, the shield in the shield number, and the writer's names. It would have taken only a few more steps, and made the cover much more attractive and plausible, and relevant to the issue. I'm sick of gimmick covers that stink. I like the kind that form one big picture, with each cover relating to the issue at hand. This is a playing card with only slight hint to the issue's content.

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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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