Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Adventures of Superman 590

Adventures of Superman #590

Scheduled to arrive in stores: March 14, 2001

Cover date: May 2001

2001 Shield No. 19

Writer: Joe Casey
Penciller: Derec Aucoin
Inker: Jose Marzan Jr.

"Don't Cry For Me, Bialya"

Reviewed by: Nick Newman (

In the Oval Office, Luthor solemnly declares that the terrorist country Bialya has taken an American Journalist hostage. Superman stands facing Luthor, but questions what exactly Luthor wants. Lex assures him that he only seeks to bring home a captured American citizen. Superman agrees to accept the duty, but he does it for himself, not for Luthor.

In Bialya, a radar officer suddenly alerts his superior to the presence of an incoming flying object. The officer instructs them to shoot the object down, but is quickly informed that it is moving too fast. In the night skies Superman streaks toward Bialya's capital.

An American man lies forlornly on his cot inside a dank cell. Suddenly a deep voice permeates the cell. Finch, the journalist, obeys the voice and moves away from the wall. Superman comes crashing through a moment later. Superman and Finch converse briefly about his mission there. He was supposed to meet with the leader Rajak, but they imprisoned him instead. Suddenly a group of soldiers breaks through the door. Superman blocks the hail of bullets and holds the troops back. Out of the corner of his eye he sees Finch deliver an expert blow across the face of one of the men. Superman's eyes narrow slightly.

Inside a bunker, Rajak, the leader of Bialya, orders ground troops to be deployed. He wishes to see just how far Superman will go to save this American. Sneaking out of the prison, Superman is met with a shell shot from a tank. Superman recovers his footing and proceeds to decimate the tank.

Rajak walks through his palace with an aide. The aide is suddenly knocked unconscious as a door is hurled from its hinges into his face. Behind the door, stands Superman. Rajak asks of his ground forces and Superman replies tersely. Outside, a pile of tanks smolder in the night. Superman tells him that he isn't working for any country, America or otherwise. He is merely rescuing a human being. Suddenly a group of soldiers breaks through the door, but Superman incapacitates them with his heat vision.

As Superman continues to speak to Rajak, Finch seizes his chance and takes a gun from the unconscious aide. He aims it at Rajak and pulls the trigger. Both are surprised as the bullets stop in midair and then crumple to the ground, caught by Superman. Kal takes the gun from Finch and demands to know who gave him the assassination orders. Finch responds that the information is classified.

After warning Rajak one last time, Superman and Finch head over the Atlantic. Once back in the country, Superman deposits the 'journalist' on the White House lawn at Luthor's feet.

4Story - 4: I really liked it. From the cover (which I will get to later) I thought this was going to be a horrible issue but it turned out to be very good. The interaction between Luthor and Superman was terrific and the whole idea was good. The only question I have is if Casey came up with this story on his own. Considering that DeMatteis just left the title, and that JM dealt extensively with Bialya during his Justice League run, I have a suspicion that he plotted it, but either way I enjoyed it. As long as I'm on the Justice League topic again, I am going to recommend again that everyone read JM's work from the late 80s. It really is great stuff.

4Art - 4: When I saw the cover (again, later) and the guest penciller's name on the cover, I was instantly worried about the interior art. However, my fears were quickly put to rest. Aucoin does a terrific job. My favorite panel was of Superman flying to Bialya, despite the absence of his emblem from his cape. Ironically enough, the only problem that I had with Aucoin was his portrayal of Superman. He just didn't look 'Super' enough, but I would love to see Aucoin on another project. He reminds me a lot of Gary Frank, who did a great run on Supergirl for the first ten or so issues.

1Cover Art - 1: Why does Superman have spiky hair? Why does he look constipated? Why do the terrorists look horrible? I don't know. It doesn't make any sense. This was a very good issue except for this horrible, horrible cover. I don't even know what to say about it except scroll up and look at the picture.

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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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