Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Action Comics #780

Action Comics #780

Scheduled to arrive in stores: June 27, 2001

Cover date: August 2001

2001 Shield No. 33

Writer: Joe Kelly
Penciller: Kano
Inker: Marlo Alquiza

"The End of the Beginning"

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (

Superman remembers clearly a fist slamming into his jaw and breaking it.

Later, the entire Justice League faces a menace that has taken over two million people from Metropolis and blocked off the sun, only to find the shocking truth... Darkseid came in peace. He kidnapped the city to protect the people, and brought with him an entire legion of metahumans to combat the menace known as Imperiex.

Superman, not believing Darkseid's motives plausible, grabs his shoulder. Darkseid sends him sprawling with a strong burst from his eyes. The league reacts, preparing an attack, until the Manhunter issues an order not to do so. Luthor seconds the order, having arrived in a large helicopter with Hope, Mercy, and a score of guards.

Luthor informs Superman that a madman, known as the General, is tearing Berlin apart. This is the same man that broke Superman's jaw in Pokolistan. Superman fears that he is needed at present, but the League reassures him that they have the Darkseid situation in hand, and he goes off to battle with the mysterious red villain.

All chaos is present. Droves of angry army troops attack Superman, throwing a great deal of artillery his way. Superman copes well, until the General arrives to stop his progression, accompanied by Ignition, Faora, and Kancer.

"Let's talk." Superman intimates.

"As you wish." The General replies, and they begin to brawl.

Superman asks why he's done this. The General says, "Because I can."

"Why?" Superman asks again.

And the General replies, "Because I have spent half my life living only for the day you would kneel before ZOD!"

Superman recalls killing Zod with Kryptonite, earlier in his career in the Pocket Universe. He confronts Zod with this knowledge, only to hear Zod further insist that he is who he is, even knowing that he was once killed by Superman.

A beam flashes past Superman and Zod.

"You missed." Superman tells him. Zod tells him that it wasn't a blast from him.

The blast hits Earth, hard. Even Zod feels pity, and offers that they settle the battle later. Superman takes off, only to find, to his extreme horror, that the blast has hit dead center Kansas.

5Story - 5: Holy crap that was cool. First off, Darkseid working with the Justice League. This shows the immediate severity of the situation. Luthor working with Darkseid, as leader of what are, essentially, the good guys, sends chills up my spine. I see a great battle, where they all work together, and then the villains turn on them and decimating the ranks. This is where the arc really starts. Pokolistan was a prelude. I understand that better now... (Note my harsher review for that one).

Second. Zod. The return of Zod. No matter where he came from. How cool is that. How very, very cool is that. Jazzed up, watching my Superman DVDs as of late, all I could think of was that one line... COME, SON OF JOR-EL, KNEEL BEFORE ZOD! And now I've seen it in print. And I am very, very happy and impressed.

Third... Berlin. Superman in the middle of a war. Making decisions that he should always have had to make, but hasn't on a large scale thanks to the family friendly atmosphere the hero presents. Amazing, and needed badly. Finally delivered. Thanks Joe, and the teams. Amazing.

And finally. Kansas. Wow! As if Darkseid and the battle with Zod weren't enough, something happens bad enough to inspire pity in Zod. Pity from Zod gets a six, if I could give it.

Very, very, very, very, very nice issue.

5Art - 5: All around good. There are great uses of color, the characters are nicely distinct, and the severity of both the fight between Superman and Zod and the explosion in Kansas were covered in great detail and with attention well paid to the scale and importance of the destruction. Again, very nice.

5Cover Art - 5: Torn between anger at the revelation of Zod's identity before the issue even began, and elation at his return, I had to choose anger or happiness. I loved knowing that Zod was back a heck of a lot more than I hated it being spoiled. Besides, fanboy that I am, I made a lot of embarassing noise in the comic shop. ("ZOD'S BACK! ZOD'S BACK (weird looks)). Thusly, this little infraction couldn't have been half bad below a stunning, wondrous portrayal of Zod being the menace that he is, lording over the planet of Earth like he owns it...

I am now officially psyched for Our Worlds At War. How about you guys?

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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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