Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials
JLA: Created Equal #2Scheduled to arrive in stores: February 9, 2000
Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Penciller: Kevin Maguire
Inker: Joe Rubinstein
"The Children of Spring"
Reviewed by: Gareth Baker (GHLBJEDI@aol.com)
It's been six years since The Fall (The name given to the disaster that killed all men on Earth except Superman). The world is now ruled from Paradise Island, but it is no paradise today. A superpowered 5 year old is tearing up the city. He is Lois Lane's son and something is terribly wrong. Wonder Woman is able to stop young Adam Kent and calm him down, and discover the cause of the boy's anger. A simple loving gesture led to a tragedy. All Adam did was hug his mother, but not knowing his own strength, he crushed her.
Two days later it is decided that the boys (before Superman left Earth he left sperm samples) should be moved to somewhere secure in case another incident occurred. Not everyone supports this move, most notably Power Girl. She calls it imprisonment.
Ten years later Adam has a dream. Lois, his mother, is falling through the air to the ground below. He flies after her desperately trying to catch her, but something stops him. Adam sits on his own on a desert island, when he is visited by three of his half brothers and a man in Superman's suit... Lex Luthor.
Elsewhere, Wonder Woman and Philipus are training. Wonder Woman is beaten, she hasn't had to fight in years. Philipus is concerned that all the boys are now teenagers and may begin to rebel. They would be a very powerful force if they did.
At the Metropolis Observatory, they have spotted a small body moving towards Earth at incredible speed. What could it be?
Superman blasts Adam with his heatvision, pinning his son to his mother's grave stone. Lex arrives and explains to Superman that he should not punish his son for his wife's death. It was beyond Adam's control. Superman disappears and Lex begins a rousing speech to Adam and his brothers about regaining their own control as men, over the women who have dominated their lives.
The next day, Adam sits on a cloud and contemplates his dream. Should he listen to Lex? Should he tell Aunt Diana? His thoughts are soon disturbed by Kara, Power Girl's daughter. She knows about the dreams. She has superhearing and has overheard the other boys talking. Adam makes her promise not to tell anyone.
At the JLA Watchtower everyone welcomes Superman home. He's changed, he looks older and tired and wears a black costume with a helmet to stop him infecting everyone with his return. He has returned because he has found a cure for The Fall, but for some reason it won't work on him.
Training for the Children of Spring continues. Philipus watches as Kara and Alex fight. Suddenly Alex uses his heatvision against Kara. When Philipus tells him off, he asks why. Why should he hold back and not use all his powers to beat this weaker girl? Angered, Philipus lashes out with her sword, but Adam flies down and snatches it from her. He tells her that Alex is entitled to his opinion, just he should have expressed it differently. She cannot punish him for that.
Later that night, Philipus expresses her concern to Wonder Woman and Power Girl. They do not seem concerned. When Kara arrives home, her mother asks how she is, and then Kara tells the women about the dreams. Are the boys being affected by an outside force?
In his lair, Lex uses a device and captured telepaths to help him invade the boy's dreams once more and call them to him. They all leave.
Three weeks pass, and the JLA have still not found the missing boys. However, the cure Superman brought back has been studied and the reason why it won't work on him is because his immune system is too strong.
At Superman's own Fortress of Solitude, Lex is talking to the boys and inciting them to riot, and it's working except for one boy. Adam is concerned. Is this right?
Weeks later Lex has the boys under his control and allows the JLA to know where the boys are. The women head out to the arctic and are met by a huge force of superboys. Wonder Woman tries to talk to them, but they soon end up fighting. Adam just watches and does nothing. When the women are defeated, Lex leads the boys onto Paradise Island, where they attack. Alex fights with Kara once more, and Adam begs him not to kill her.
At the JLA Watchtower, Superman watches this all on the monitors.
As the new day dawns, Lex has all the women with superpowers crucified. Wonder Woman has not given up and warns Lex that one day the boys will grow older and see through his lies and destroy him. Lex agrees and opens a hatch on the chestplate of his armour. Behind it sits a large chuck of Kryptonite. The boys go down.
Having watched enough, Superman flies down to Earth at incredible speed and confronts Lex. Lex shoots up Superman's suit releasing The Fall that was contained within. Lex begins to beat the living daylights out of Superman, when Wonder Woman tells the boys that Lex is killing their father. Lex counters her by saying that Superman has no right to be their father as he abandoned them. Adam however knows the truth. He wasn't abandoned. Superman left so they would all live. Lex is taken out with a big punch, leaving father and son lying together on the floor, dying. However, despite the Kryptonite Superman is feeling good. The cure is working!!! The cure didn't need to be strengthened, his immunity needed to be weakened by, say, Kryptonite. Cut free from her restraints by Superman's heatvision, Wonder Woman uses her superstrength to close up the hole where the kryptonite sat in Lex's chest. Lex shortly has a heart attack.
Superman is finally reunited with his son, whom he tells has his mother's eyes.
Days later, at The Fortress, Lex's captured telepaths are released, and a miraculous discovery is made. A room is filled by baby boys that Lex had been keeping to repopulate the earth once his evil plan had been completed.
Story - 4: This has been a wonderful two-parter, and a real gem in the Elseworlds collection (which let's face it are either excellent or very, very poor). This second half was better than the first, in that more happened. It was a well crafted tale, with some great twists, especially the ending. My only complaint is that Lois's death was completely ignored, especially by Superman. The cast was pretty big in this tale, with Philipus taking on a sizeable role. I would have liked to see Kara a lot more though. I think this could have been stretched out into a 3 parter, with more of a look at the years where Adam and Kara grew up.
Art - 3: The art, while well executed, was nothing special for me. The colourist, Pat Garrahy did a nice job though, adding some nice tones to the array of naked flesh the boys and women were exposing.
Cover Art - 3: The cover had nothing special about it at all. I had hoped that the pair went together to form a bigger one, but they didn't.
Other relevant reviews:
Mild Mannered Reviews
2000Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic was on sale.
-  Superman #152
-  Adventures of Superman #574
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #96
-  Action Comics #761
- JLA #37
- Superman vs The Terminator #2
-  Superman #153
-  Adventures of Superman #575
-  Superman: Y2K
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #97
-  Action Comics #762
- JLA #38
- Superman vs The Terminator #3
- JLA: Earth 2
- Batman and Superman: World's Finest #10
-  Superman #154
-  Adventures of Superman #576
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #98
-  Action Comics #763
- JLA #39
- Superman vs The Terminator #4
- JLA: Created Equal #1
-  Superman #155
-  Adventures of Superman #577
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #99
-  Action Comics #764
- JLA #40
- JLA: Created Equal #2
-  Superman #156
-  Adventures of Superman #578
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #100
-  Action Comics #765
- JLA #41
- Sins of Youth: Superman Jr. and Superboy Sr. #1
-  Superman #157
-  Adventures of Superman #579
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #101
-  Action Comics #766
- JLA #42
- Superman/Gen13: Part 1 (of 3)
- Superman Metropolis: Secret Files and Origins #1
-  Superman #158
-  Adventures of Superman #580
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #102
-  Action Comics #767
- JLA #43
- Superman and Bugs Bunny #1
- Superman vs Predator #1
- Superman/Gen13: Part 2 (of 3)
- Realworlds: Justice League of America
-  Superman #159
-  Adventures of Superman #581
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #103
-  Action Comics #768
- JLA #44
- Superman and Bugs Bunny #2
- Superman vs Predator #2
- Superman/Gen13: Part 3 (of 3)
- Realworlds: Superman
-  Superman #160
-  Adventures of Superman #582
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #104
-  Action Comics #769
- JLA #45
- DC Two Thousand #1
- Superman and Bugs Bunny #3
- Superman vs Predator #3
- Superman: Last Son of Earth #1
-  Superman Emperor #1
-  Superman #161
-  Adventures of Superman #583
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #105
-  Action Comics #770
- JLA #46
- JLA: 80-Page Giant #3
- DC Two Thousand #2
- Superman and Bugs Bunny #4
- Superman: Last Son of Earth #2
-  Superman #162
-  Adventures of Superman #584
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #106
-  Action Comics #771
- JLA #47
- Superman: 80-Page Giant #3
- JLA: Heaven's Ladder
- JLA: The Secret Society of Super-Heroes (Book 1) [Elseworlds]
-  Action Comics #771
-  Superman #163
-  Adventures of Superman #585
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #107
-  Action Comics #772
- JLA #48
- Superman: Mann and Superman
- JLA: The Secret Society of Super-Heroes (Book 2) [Elseworlds]
- Green Lantern/Superman: Legend of the Green Flame
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