Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Adventures of Superman #599

Adventures of Superman #599

Scheduled to arrive in stores: December 12, 2001

Cover date: February 2002

Writer: Joe Casey
Penciller: Derec Aucoin
Inker: Derec Aucoin

"Borba Za Zhivuchest"

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (

In the Barents Sea, an Oscar 2 class submarine experiences a technical difficulty which causes it to sink, ever faster and faster, into the depths of the ocean.

Decks flood, men drown. Silence takes the ship.

Above, floating on the water, the Russian crews of aircraft carriers debate how to save the men, or whether to. An incoming red and blue man in a suit renders the point moot, raising the ship back to the surface.

Cut to the present, in Avino, Russia.

The captain of the vessel, Gussev, explains that his farm was never a part of the Communist agenda. He also explains that as his wife has died, and his family, all interred on the farm, it is his turn to die as well. He experienced radiation on the ship, but the radiation didn't give him the cancer, a point he waxes upon as ironic. He laments that he will not see the harvest.

Superman grabs a number of tractors, promising Gussev that he will see the harvest. He harvests the field, and Gussev, tired, leads Superman inside. Superman confesses that he too grew up on a farm, and they agree that farmers don't see the world as divided, but rather united. Gussev dies. Superman buries him and flies off.

2Story - 2: Well, I can see the reason that this story was put out. I can see its point. I can see that the writing is solid. I can see that it doesn't really do much, either, however. I can't say that we've seen this exact piece before, but I can say that it's kind of boringly redundant, based in the many such scenes I've seen before in my life. It's well written, sure. Poignantly done. But it's just not interesting. The lines seem forced, the death too coincidental, and Superman has no real reason to be out fooling around in Russia anyway. If he visited everyone important he'd rescued, or even 1/1000 of them, he'd never have time to fight justice, so I have a hard time seeing how this situation could have even occurred. And also, where does a poor Russian farmer get 6 tractors, and why would he need that many? Perhaps he got them from neighboring farms. Also, the pace is very, very, very slow. Slow and boring. You want the comic to end by the tenth page, because you know what's going to happen.

3Art - 3: And thankfully, because of the art, it almost does. I can read this comic in five minutes. Why? Because half of the issue is silent action. It has its arty place somewhere, but not in Superman, not with this particular issue. Note: I'm skipping out on Marvel this month for just that reason. It's boring. I pay my two dollars for art with words.

Wait. Two twenty-five, now.

The art is not bad. That's not the problem. It's just not great. It's in line with the story. It moves things along, and it's done well, but it doesn't really stick out at all. It's been done a million times before. It's also a bit dark for Supes.

And though this is irrelevant to Derec's work, what the heck is up with that Starburst add, with the lady with the hoop earings and the wide eyes and the open mouth full of Starburst!???? ARG! It frightens me. It's like aversion therapy for comics! If they put this on a quick, almost subliminal flash in my computer, I'd quickly lose my lunch and never go online again...someone keep this from the government, and for the love of Mike, get it the heck out of our comics! Okay! I'll buy a thousand Starburst if I never have to see that woman again! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

3Cover Art - 3: Great cover, aesthetically. Very nicely formatted, with an obvious center of attention, and a good relation to the plot. It irks me that the cover of the paper tells of the Russian sinking as current, whereas the plot revolves around Superman visiting the old man what seems to be obviously some time in the future, after that event. And the headline indicates a Russian event, but Superman is staring out. It makes for a good aesthetic, but when you try to make sense of it, it doesn't stand up as well as it could.

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Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2002

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