Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Man of Steel #110

Superman: The Man of Steel #110

Scheduled to arrive in stores: January 17, 2001

Cover date: March 2001

2001 Shield No. 12

Writer: Mark Schultz
Penciller: Doug Mahnke
Inker: Tom Nguyen


Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (

I AM THE WORLD-SHAKER, THE PLANET-QUAKER, a voice booms beneath the earth as the streets of Metropolis shake... only Metropolis doesn't HAVE earthquakes. Someone wants vengeance for Brainiac's conversion of Metropolis, and wants it bad.

Steel and Superman, plummeting to the depths of Metropolis underground, observe the swathing path of devastation.

The quake nearly destroys a B13 power relay, which would make the city's state chaotic.

Emil, from Steelworks, follows the center of the anomaly, the epicenter, and guides Superman and Steel to it. In the center, where the villain should be, they find a world with a crack in it. A warning. It lights up and reads:


The globe turns to dust.

A large creature watches from the background as Superman and Steel return to the surface. The earthquakes have stopped.

Lex Luthor prepares for his inauguration, dressing and preening himself in front of a mirror. His aides show him an intercepted message from the Suicide Slum avenging terrorist group, C.A.E.L.O.S.S.. Luthor muses that they must have a strong backer.

John Henry Irons and Natasha watch the crowd.

A gentleman named Pat Whitmore and his daughter Courtney walk up and say hello. Instant tension is evident between Courtney and Natasha.

John Henry quickly leaves Natasha with Pat and walks off. C.A.E.L.O.S.S. meets him nearby, and Irons, the strong backer, gives them a piece of technology that will allow them to broadcast a message that will be readable into the sky above Bush... er, I mean Luthor's inauguration.

(Reviewer's note: please forgive the inter-review editorial comment. I have just been beaten soundly by an angry conservative for my joke. Now on with the review.)

Meanwhile, Hope and Mercy have crept up nearby. They confront John, armor free, and attack. John is about to be beaten to a pulp when stars fly through the air and pin Hope and Mercy to the wall.

The Star Spangled Kid has arrived.

Luthor begins to swear in, but a rumbling tears the ground apart, and a pulpy, ugly, magma covered beast-man emerges, looking to destroy Luthor. He controls magnetism, and the Earth's lithosphere. His name: Earthquake.

At the last minute, Superman, who'd previously pledged not to be at the swearing-in, materializes by slowing the rate of his vibration to become visible. He'd been watching all along.

Superman and Earthquake brawl, and the Star Spangled Kid launches stars. Earthquake is annoyed, and drops the Washington Monument towards her. It misses, and Steel and S.T.R.I.P.E. burst out to join the fight. Easily defeated, Earthquake digs into the Earth and runs away. Luthor pulls Superman over, calls him a real member of the Luthor team, and gloats. Superman grinds his teeth and Steel feels glad he's not Superman.

4Story - 4: There were a lot of plot holes. A lot. Why Superman didn't save the Washington Monument (Man, first the Millennium Giants destroy Stonehenge, then Earthquake drops the Washington Monument, then Luthor's planning on putting his face on Mount Rushmore... and the funny thing is, none of these are jokes. They're in the books). The biggest plot hole, the one that lost a point, was the fact that Earthquake is a formidable foe, a master of magnetism and the lithosphere, but he is easily overpowered physically by Superman, Steel, and two minor heroes. Still, one could argue that Earthquake is mentally unsound, and thus unpredictable, so it wasn't so bad. One other thing: Steel is no terrorist. He's very moral. I don't think he would have helped the Suicide Slum group in an act of espionage... but then, he might... so what the heck. Let's live with it, and just think about it. The story was entertaining enough that these problems kind of fade into the background. This is the kind of team ups that we need to see. Superman working with a partner constantly, not just one month Spectre, one month Plastic Man, one month Green Lantern, etc, etc, etc. Luthor is prominent in every book, especially this one, and this is one thing that we've needed for so, so, so, so, SO many years. We haven't had a good Luthor intrigue story since the Fall of Metropolis before the new creative teams came on, and kudos for what they've done. I would like to know more about Star Spangled Kid and STRIPE. It's kind of off-putting to have characters that are unexplained in any issue of a comic, even if the characters are known. If I don't get something, and I'm an adult, I can't imagine poor kids trying to figure out who these guys are. So yeah. Some holes. Many holes. But the pace and the fun story made me ignore them until I did my job as a reviewer and rooted them out.

3Art - 3: I really dislike a brooding, dark, evil Superman. This art belongs in a Batman book. Even an outdoor story with Luthor being sworn in couldn't brighten the art up and make the story more... I don't know, idealistic looking. The way Superman feels to me.

Earthquake, as he's drawn, looks like puke humanoid. That's not so bad if it's something Batman's pounding, but Superman? Nah. Not so often. I just get a bad vibe from this issue.

3Cover Art - 3: Ditto on the cover. A little too busy, a few too many people. I love the way Luthor's just looking on in the background, though, plotting, being evil... Luthor. Love that Luthor.

Question... why does the White House in the background suddenly end about one third of the way through the page? The bottom half is there, but the top half seems to be forgotten... I don't know who did it, but OOOPS.

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

January 2001

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