Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

Superman: Where Is Thy Sting?

Superman: Where is Thy Sting?

Scheduled to arrive in stores: May 16, 2001

Cover date: July 2001

Writer: J.M. DeMatteis
Penciller: Liam McCormack-Sharp
Inker: Liam McCormack-Sharp

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (

Superman saves multitudes as part of his daily regimen of saving the world, when he's stricken with a feeling of dread.

Later, at the Planet, Clark is so nervous and anxious that he knocks coffee onto Lois. Lois, sensing that something is awry, takes Clark on a walk. Clark describes his fear, that of being the sole survivor of Krypton... perhaps he was SUPPOSED to die. Lois suggests a villain. Clark disagrees.

A robotic mass appears, and threatens them. One problem, however: It's a hallucination, and Lois doesn't see it. They decide Clark needs help.

Martian Manhunter probes Superman. Manhunter is thrown back, harmed by the severity of the visions of God that he's experienced. He tells Superman that he'll have to handle things on his own.

Back home, Lois and Clark further contemplate, when Clark sees a distant rocket. He goes and stops it from hitting Metropolis, only to find himself in the rocket, an infant, dead.

He goes into a funk, considering his mortality, and hallucinates more. He rips the Planet globe, thinking it Krypton, and Lois arrives to take him home. At home, they talk more, finally kissing, and Death bursts in, telling Clark that it is his time to die.

He shows Clark the future. Lois dies, but Superman is not aging. Luthor attacks all out, telling Superman that he spared him for all these years because he cared for Lois. Superman defeats Luthor, who transfers away and into another cybernetic consciousness.

Superman flashes back to Lois, who tells him that it must have been a good kiss.

Upset, they go to see the Kents. Superman ends up outside with Jonathan, talking, when Jonathan crumbles to dust in front of him and Death appears again. Superman asks him what he wants, and Death disappears.

Superman throws himself into being Superman, taking on alien armadas, delivering a baby. At a dinner with Lois, Death again appears.

Superman is thrown into the future, as Death tries to convince him to die. Death is having trouble killing Superman.

Superman sees an Earth where the sun has gone nova and everyone is dead. He goes further, where Superman is the sole survivor as the universe ends, and finally, with the end of existence, Superman ends as well, taking Death with him.

The vision ends with Superman brought back by Lois' love. Death thanks Superman for filling an emptiness in his soul, the emptiness that all is inevitably death, with the hope that Superman represents. Death decides to leave Superman be, and Superman goes back to Lois, happy.

2Story - 2: From a writer's perspective, there's no flaw to this story. It is very well crafted by a professional to fit the pages and the format. But there's nothing original here, nothing fun. Nothing Superman. You want someone confronting their own mortality? REALLY threaten Superman's life. Or go to Batman. Don't futz around through sixty four pages of a COMIC medium with philosophy, a heady, literature medium.

Superman does some Superman-y things in this book. No doubt about that. But they're forced, and they've all been so done that we don't need to see them again. An alien armada? Delivering a baby?

As for Death... why in the heck does Superman fear death? Or why does he even need to see how he will end? Assuming he won't age, which he will, wouldn't he already assume that this was his lonely path to the end of the universe? It's not like at thirty, thirty five, or whatever Superman's official age is, that he wouldn't have confronted that. And if Death wanted Superman because he was immortal, he would have attacked earlier. Death is eternal. Clark was immortal at seventeen, theoretically. What was Death doing, taking a coffee break?

Just boring and tiring and hard to plod through. Lots of words, no striking visuals. Lots of gothic crap, like DeMatteis seems to use a lot, but nothing really Superman.

2Art - 2: This is not a Superman book. This is something out of Ghost Rider, or Batman, or Wolverine even, maybe. It's dark. It's brooding. Lois is not Lois. Lois is some ditzy dish in this book. She doesn't even look human. She looks like the caricature of a Playboy bunny. And who doesn't in comics, as a female, for this is a mostly male dominated hobby, but still... sometimes, and I can't believe I'm saying this... sometimes it's just laid on so thick and so oriented towards males in need of female eye candy that it makes me sick, and this is the case. Lois is not a DD. She does not have Angelina Jolie lips. She does not wear slinky dresses to the Daily Planet.

And Clark does not wear a blackish blue suit. He wears a blue suit.

Check out page 14 and 15. That's all you have to see to get the tone of this story. A dead baby drawing blood from a dark Man of Steel. Sure, that's hope, idealism, and Superman. Not. I don't even need to buy Batman this month. I've got my dark and pessimistic fix right here.

2Cover Art - 2: Pretty dull. A big skull. An odd border. Superman looking longingly, very fifties-ish off into the distance. So? What's exiting here. If I saw this cover in a comic book store, I'd pass it right on by.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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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