Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Action Comics #786

Action Comics #786

Scheduled to arrive in stores: December 26, 2001

Cover date: February 2002

Writer: Joe Kelly
Penciller: Pascual Ferry
Inker: Scott Hanna


Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (

A couple of well-dressed Jewish women talk Chanukah and snowmen in the bustling arena of Metropolis. Their little boy, in tow, grouses about not getting to see Superman. Up in the sky, however, his wish is granted, as Superman attacks a gigantic rendition of a demon calling himself Iconoklash.

Superman quickly disables the mechanical concoction, revealing a little man inside. The police take Iconoklash away, remarking to Superman about his tough day, what with Iconoklash, jumpers from large buildings, and the like. Superman takes off to find the jumper, of which he had been previously unaware. He catches a young woman who promptly teleports him to a far off world in another solar system, B'Dartha.

The Tyrant, a being who feeds off of spirit, has initiated a reign of terror. The weak are sacrificed to make him more powerful, and he has created a new era of hell on B'Dartha. Though angry about being kidnapped, Superman accepts this quest. Then he sees the red sun. Undeterred, he goes to work on the forces of The Tyrant.

They are quickly taken out, but it taxes Superman, and when The Tyrant steps into play, he is almost a match for Superman.

Superman recognizes The Tyrant immediately as Kanjar Ro, and tells Kanjar that his reign is over. Kanjar promptly throws Superman into a flagship and hands him his tuckus. Superman is obviously weak and near beaten. The people of B'Dartha collapse and begin to worship Kanjar, who grows more powerful.

Superman talks with S'Allah, an impetuous rebel upstart female of B'Dartha, who asks him if he is failing. He decides to use his eyes to find out, and with his infrared vision, scans Kanjar to find that he is somehow feeding off of the spirit of the B'Darthan legions. He tells S'Allah to make her people not fear The Tyrant, and his power will dissipate.

Superman starts berating Kanjar, challenging him to soak up his spirit, because Superman knows that his will is strong. Kanjar merely beats him nearly to death. S'Allah rallies the troops and Superman, when Kanjar has been weakened by trying to absorb S'Allah, is allowed to take him out. They shackle Kanjar, take him away, and Superman goes home.

4Story - 4: I liked this issue a lot. It didn't tackle anything heavy, and it was kind of a one-goon never to be seen again kind of thing, but it was nicely done, and it wasn't too unbelievable. There is probably a history with Kanjar that I am not privy to. It would be nice to know who he is, perhaps next time through an editorial note of some kind. I know I could probably look it up in ten seconds, but I like to write the review like the average Joe, and remaining ignorant where I would be if I just read the comic on my own allows me to be.

I love seeing Superman pressured and tested. It doesn't happen enough.

Little things caused me to knock a point. Superman threatening to rearrange fingers is a Batman line. Infrared vision may not be able to read spirits. I could be wrong in this.

Oh. I remember where I saw Kanjar before. Silly me. "Spy vs. Spy". Just kidding.

5Art - 5: Though a little red, the art really depicted the story well. I can't say that there's much here I didn't like. Iconoklash was cool, albeit a little cheesy, S'Allah and Granite Mother were believeable, as was Kanjar. I liked the planet. I liked the action, well done. I loved the Superman S being taken off of his chest as a symbolic gesture. Nice. Very nice.

2Cover Art - 2: I have to admit that the cover was well drawn, but gimmicks aren't my thing. I don't like it when the industry suddenly decides to have homage month, or 'nuff said, or other things that shake up things unnecessarily. Do: Our Worlds At War. Don't: Gimmick covers, Last Laugh, 'nuff said, most fifth week events.

Aesthetically, good flight, very dramatic pose, but that's not clearly a red sun, the event never happened in the comic, and the title is kind of odd looking, only to be repeated in the upper part of the piece.

Other recent reviews:

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2002

February 2002 March 2002 April 2002 May 2002 June 2002 July 2002 August 2002 September 2002 October 2002 November 2002 December 2002

Back to the Mild Mannered Reviews contents page.

Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2002.