Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Action Comics #771

Action Comics #771

Scheduled to arrive in stores: September 27, 2000

Cover date: November 2000

2000 Shield No. 46

Writer: Chuck Dixon
Penciller: Pascual Ferry
Inker: Alvaro Lopez

"The Out of Towner"

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (

Superman sees an apparent suicide jumper, and swoops in to save the poor soul. It's Nightwing, out on patrol in Metropolis because Intergang is opening a franchise in Bludhaven.

Nightwing is investigating Mr. Bendelwhite, an apparently thought dead mob source for Intergang. Superman, using his superhearing, reveals to Nightwing that Bendelwhite is still alive, and in fact being mean to his secretary.

Lois asks the science editor of the Daily Planet about some advanced robots that she's researching. He's snooty and tells her to go investigate. She does.

Superman and Nightwing listen to Bendelwhite speak of furthering the intensity of the Intergang armament, to the point of nukes.

Bendelwhite is told something bad, apparently, because he beats on the wall and screams.

Lois asks around in the Ace of Clubs, but gets no leads. Bibbo finally pipes in with something seemingly inconsequential: A barge passed through without their contingent stopping in to the Ace of Clubs.

A guy who looks like Mr. Freeze in a red suit with a big gun appears outside Bendelwhite's window. It's Ferrous, and he has a serious mad-on. He has several people with him in similar garb.

Superman breaks in and stops Ferrous, and Nightwing helps, kicking one of the other goons down. The flying skiff that the goon is on flies downward, spiraling out of control. Its former operator refuses to help Nigthwing right the skiff. They plunge.

Superman mops the floor with the rest of the gang, and starts asking questions. The goon drops a bomb, and Superman claps it, but the building still is severely damaged.

Nigthwing reappears, inexplicably having gained control of the skiff.

The heroes berate the captured goons to stay out of Bludhaven. Nightwing leaves. 1Story - 1: Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh. This story is just an excuse to feature Nightwing, and debut a new, crummy villian: Ferrous. Seriously. Why is his name Ferrous, because his outfit's the color of rusted iron? We never even figure out his pseudo interesting evil power! Bendelwhite is obviously a bad guy, but he's treated like a fun, cartoony character, whereas Superman is dark, contemplative, and brooding. Like... say... Nightwing? GO FIGURE! A skiff that magically rights itself. A Lois story that's left hanging. A Superman that can't use his telescopic vision to realize that a suicide jumper is actually Nightwing in a controlled fall. CALLING DC! CALLING DC! I HAVE EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE IN WRITING AND AM MORE THAN WILLING TO WRITE FOR YOU A SUPERMAN STORY WITH CHARACTER, DEPTH, AND LONG TERM RAMIFICATIONS THAT DOESN'T HURT THE CORE PURPOSE OF THE TITLE! I CAN EVEN MAKE OBVIOUSLY FORCED GUEST APPEARANCES WORK! REALLY! PROMISE. HIRE ME! TEN THOU A YEAR, NO MEDICAL, AND I'LL MAKE THE WHOLE STAFF COFFEE EVERY DAY! Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh. Bendelwhite. Ugh, I say.

3Art - 3: Everything was pretty cool here, but it didn't match the tone of the story at all. Everything in the plot was rather espionage and dark, but Bendelwhite jumped around like Bugs Bunny on crack after several cups of coffee, and the action scenes were pretty standard and dull. Also, many splashes that weren't necessary. Nuts to that.

2Cover Art - 2: Nightwing looks cool, but Superman's face looks like Captain Planet's. And the spitcurl looks like a C, not an S. Also, he looks like he's flying straight into Nightwing. And the empty night in the background could have been easily filled with buildings.

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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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