Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Action Comics #783

Action Comics #783

Scheduled to arrive in stores: September 26, 2001

Cover date: November 2001

2001 Shield No. 45

Writer: Joe Kelly
Penciller: Brandon Badeaux
Inker: Mark Morales

"The Gift"

Reviewed by: Nick Newman (

Clark stands over his parents' farm in Kansas, watching the sun rise. He turns away from it and a tear runs down his cheek. He thinks back on the battles they fought against Imperiex, and what was lost during them.

A young boy is captured by the Stone Emperor (no I don't know either, if anyone has heard of this guy, then please drop me an email) but before he can come to harm, Superman rescues him from the monster's grasp.

In the park, Scorch plays with her abilities, sending the civilians running as the park erupts into flames. Superman arrives on the scene and the two begin to battle.

Underwater, a group of captive whales are hauling a machine toward the surface. Suddenly a blur passes between them. Superman sets to work freeing the animals from their shackles when the Ocean Master suddenly appears.

Superman flies through a storm, desperately trying to save the lives of the people casually tossed aside by the monsoon. In the middle of the wreckage, Major Disaster stands triumphant. Superman succeeds in saving the last few victims and then turns toward Disaster. Unhindered, the villain once again brings storms crashing down upon the city. Superman leaps skyward and intercepts the falling meteor.

Against the Stone Emperor, Superman begins to fall back as he is assaulted by dozens of the Emperor's troops... With Scorch clinging around his neck, Superman flies through the heavens... Underwater Kal struggles for air as the Ocean Master chokes him with his trident... Above the city Superman fights to keep falling rocks from obliterating the city below.

With a mighty blow, Superman subdues the Stone Emperor... High in the sky, Kal soars in circles until Scorch can no longer breathe... A punch stops the Ocean Master... and above the city Superman succeeds in stopping the meteor shower.

Standing triumphant before his enemies, Superman offers each of them a second chance. Together they can make the world a better place. A last, one-time offer to these villains to change their ways and fight for humanity instead of against it.

The Stone Emperor disappears in the Earth. Scorch turns her back on the Man of Steel. The Ocean Master makes a hasty retreat into the depths of the ocean, but Major Disaster hesitates. He thinks for a moment, and then moves forward, taking Superman's hand in his own. The two embrace and Clark quietly thanks his father for everything that he taught him.

3Story - 3: I give high points for the idea of the story. It was nice to see the hero offer the villains an alternative choice to imprisonment. This narrative was a nice somber end to the post-war month, and this issue also really summed up nicely what Superman feels for his father. However, this issue loses points for the structure. To me, the four simultaneous stories were excessive. It was just too confusing to follow well the first time through. Even worse than the separate stories was the double narrative. It's almost impossible to track both Clark's article and his inner monologue that are occurring concurrently during the entire story. You have to read it twice just to get the story. So the good concept and the bad execution level out to a three. There is also one thing that has been bothering me for the past month of stories. Why hasn't Pa called Clark? He may not know if Martha is still alive, but he has to know that Clark is, so why hasn't he called anyone. It's kind of suspicious.

3Art - 3: This art was alright. The shot of Superman heading towards the meteor was cool, and there were some nice scenes of Scorch. Badeaux kind of reminds me of an early Mahnke, which is a good thing in my book. My main gripe with the art was the almost monochrome color scheme. Everything was real muted. I suppose it could have conveyed a sense of seriousness to the issue, but I just found it annoying.

4Cover Art - 4: I like the cover. It's a nice bold pose with a bright background. It doesn't really mix with the contents of the issue, but I still enjoyed it. Plus, it was very eye-catching, which is always a plus. My main observation about this cover though, was the material from which it was made. I don't know if it is just me, but the cover feels significantly thicker and more rigid than our normal covers. Perhaps this was changed a few weeks ago and I just never noticed, but as my collection (with the exception of this issue) is about an hour away I can't really check. For those of you that didn't notice, it is almost like it is made out of a mix between cardstock and normal paper.

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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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Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2001.