Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Action Comics #774

Action Comics #774

Scheduled to arrive in stores: December 27, 2000

Cover date: February 2001

2001 Shield No. 9

Writer: Joe Kelly
Penciller: Eric Canete
Inker: Juan Vlasco

"Fireside Chat"

Reviewed by: Nick Newman (

Superman flashes back to November 7, when his father stood with him at Luthor's campaign headquarters supporting Pete, but secretly hoping that he will lose. The thought that Luthor would win never crossed Clark's mind.

On December 31, Superman hovers above the White House, watching Luthor's transition team move him into the White House. Luthor spots the hero and whispers up to him, "Next time you visit my home. Say it with me... 'Ready for duty Mister President Sir.'" Superman flies off, disgusted.

Sitting in their apartment, Lois and Clark endure Sam Lane praising Luthor and everything he is going to do for the country. Clark tries to disagree, but Lois stops him at every attempt, eventually forcing him into the kitchen. They talk about Sam for a moment, before Clark slips out to get 'dessert'.

Flying by the White House, Superman tries to peer into Luthor's home, only to be stopped by lead paint. He curses Luthor, and then hears someone calling 'Fire'. He heads away from the White House.

Arriving at the Washington Monument, he finds flames surrounding the structure, and a large monster coiled around the base. The monster suddenly calls out with telepathy, and Superman realizes that it is the Martian Manhunter. J'onn is unable to maintain his form because of the flames, but manages to barely pull himself together. Then Superman looks at the base of the monument and spots Scorch, standing amidst the flames.

Superman falls, and yells to J'onn to get them down. J'onn grabs Kal-El and burrows into the earth. The two heroes emerge from the ground, covered in suits of ice. They prepare to assault Scorch again, only to find her gone.

Clark stops at home to retrieve new clothes. He gives Lois a summarized version of what just happened and a kiss before disappearing again.

Somewhere cold, two people work on computers, taking readings. The woman identifies the conditions they have established as those of Krypton. The man apologizes for his mistake, but the woman simple kisses him on the cheek. As the man incinerates, she orders another Nobel-winning scientist.

Sitting in a restaurant, Clark and J'onn (in disguise) discuss what has happened. Before Superman leaves, J'onn pulls Kal-El into his mind. J'onn shows Superman a Martian custom where all the Martians came together to share their minds. He tells Clark that if he doesn't make it home for New Years with Lois, he will always have a missing memory. Leaving J'onn's mind, Superman invites the alien over to his house.

Arriving at the door, Clark and 'John Johnstone' enter the Kents' home. Jimmy and his girlfriend are fighting, and Lois just glares at Clark. Suddenly, Sam gets off the phone and makes the announcement that Luthor wants to appoint him Secretary of Defense. Lois and Clark are speechless for a moment, and then erupt into laughter. For now, they just don't care. 4Story - 4: Good story. It was nice to see Scorch again, and I can't wait for all of the Bizarro's World characters to come together. The appearance by J'onn was also nice, and the scene within his mind was well done. I didn't do it justice. At first I hated the idea of Luthor's appointing Sam, but the more I thought about it the more I liked it. It would make sense for Luthor to get to Lois this way. Plus, we got to see a few cameos of Luthor being evil in the White House. And as a side note, Kelly's 'Clark quotes' at the beginning of each issue reached an all time high with this issue. "The Primary forces that drive the Machine of History are the critical lapses in Human judgment we continually foist upon one another. In unrelated news, Lex Luthor has won his bid for the Presidency..." - Clark Kent, Daily Planet. Dec. 2000.

1Art - 1: And that's only because we don't give zeroes. This is THE worst art I have ever seen in a Superman comic. I have been reading for all of post-Crisis, and I have read a good number of pre-Crisis issues. Nothing is as bad as this. I didn't like Bogdanove's art, but that was beautiful compared to this. Everyone is blocky, strangely angled, and weird looking. I feel sorry for Kelly, for having had his story be butchered by this artist. I don't know what DC was thinking when they chose this guy, but they better keep him far far far away from the Superman books (and any other comic for that matter) for the rest of my life. Just as a side note, I in no way think that Juan Vlasco lacks talent. He is a good inker. I feel sorry for him too, for having to ink this crap. My sympathies also extend to the colorists, letterers, and anyone else who had to work with Canete's poor excuse for art. If I got my way, the guy wouldn't be allowed near the books again.

4Cover Art - 4: A pretty good cover (it was NOT by Canete) with decent art and a good symbolic pose of what happens inside, even if Superman and J'onn fighting Scorch wasn't the central theme of the comic. I liked it. It was eye-catching and appropriate to the issue.

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

January 2001

February 2001 March 2001 April 2001 May 2001 June 2001 July 2001 August 2001 September 2001 October 2001 November 2001 December 2001 Annuals

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