Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Superman: The Man of Steel #117

Superman: The Man of Steel #117

Scheduled to arrive in stores: August 15, 2001

Cover date: October 2001

2001 Shield No. 40

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

"Total Abandon"

Reviewed by: Nick Newman (

Superman tries to convince Maxima that they need to gather the alliance and strike at Warworld before it is too late. Maxima tells him that because of Earth's treasonous attack on Apokolips, the Alliance is gone. Whoever defeats Warworld first will be the victor. Every planet now gets to fend for itself.

General Zod and Luthor, along with Ignition, Faora, and Kancer, head for Lexcorp tower, the center of B13's earth based control. Zod launches himself out of the flying craft and begins to destroy Brainiac probes that are busy occupying the city. With the guards occupied, Ignition grabs Luthor and flies through the wall of Lexcorp tower. As Luthor crawls away from Ignition, another B13 probe pulls Zod's minion back out of the breach in the wall. Luthor is on his own.

In space, Maxima and Massacre attempt a suicide run on the planet's surface. It was doomed to fail before it ever began. As the two aliens prepare for their imminent destruction, the floor explodes and Superman, along with Captain Marvel, Diana, and Captain Atom, appear. The group gathers Maxima and Massacre and flees the surface.

In Lexcorp tower, Luthor confronts his progeny. Lena, imbued with B13 technology, addresses her father, but Luthor is quick to point out the human emotions present in her. Brainiac is not in total control of her, she is still a Luthor, power-hungry and calculating. B13 would have killed Lex immediately. Lena agrees with him, and then says it is time to rectify that mistake, blasting her father across the room.

As Superman and his forces battle the defenders of Warworld, the planet reaches out a tendril of energy, hoping to link with Earth and complete the circuit that Brainiac needs to achieve the power he desires. Realizing the threat, Maxima takes her ship and rams it straight into the tendril. As her ship explodes against the onslaught of energy, the behemoth that is Warworld doesn't even shutter. Superman looks skyward, mourning yet another lost comrade when he hears a static-filled message come through his earpiece. Steel flies onto the scene, alive and wearing the Apokaliptan Entropy Aegis armor.

Steel comes to a stop with the other heroes, after soaring through and destroying the energy tendrils. His armor holds the power of Imperiex, but it is still not enough. John doesn't know how to fully tap into the energy at his disposal. Even now, Warworld is reforming the tendrils. Diana suddenly interrupts the two heroes. She has something large enough to destroy the tendril once and for all.

As Steel leads an attack force of Superman, Captain Marvel and Captain Atom towards the planet, Diana rallies the Amazons and bravely crashes Paradise Island into the Earthbound beam of energy. The amazons rush forward attacking the surface of Warworld, and dozens are killed every second as B13 reacts to the threat.

In the heart of Warworld, Superman and Brainiac confront each other, neither willing to yield to the other. B13 shows Superman his dream for the universe, clean, calculating, and untainted by the chaos that organic life brings with it.

On Earth, Luthor still lives, despite Lena's blast. He once again confronts her. Yes, he did give her up, but that's what Luthors do. He can see it in her eyes, she desires power too. She is a Luthor, and he can teach her. She lowers her hand, and asks for him to teach her.

On Warworld, Superman breaks free of Brainiac's grip and heads for the surface, pulling Steel with him. Kal is going to take it to another level. Steel asks Clark if there is anything he can tell Lois, but before he can, Clark speeds away, plunging toward the heart of the sun.

4Story - 4: This was a very good story. We see a lot less of Superman, and more of the other people in this war. Diana makes a huge sacrifice, and Steel returns to us wearing all new armor. We also see not only Captain Marvel, but also Captain Atom, a great hero who isn't used nearly enough anymore. We also see Luthor overcome Lena and pull her back to his side. I can't wait till next issue to see what Superman will do when he emerges from the sun.

4Art - 4: Very good Mahnke. It fit the issue very well, and Steel's new armor was very cool, even if it was somewhat predictable that Steel would return wearing it. Darkseid did design it with Steel's emblem on the chest. Mahnke has always had a talent for great planetary views, and that skill shines in this issue. Plus, the final almost-splash of Superman descending into the Sun was terrific. This guy is good, and I can't wait till he stars on JLA.

3Cover Art - 3: I really like the whole concept of Steel swinging the hammer, with the three transitions of his armor, but the background was so weak. The white really didn't do anything for me. Other than that a great cover.

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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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