Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Adventures of Superman #601

Adventures of Superman #601

Scheduled to arrive in stores: February 13, 2002

Cover date: April 2002

Writer: Joe Casey
Penciller: Pete Woods
Inker: Jose Marzan Jr.

"Cult of Persuasion: Part One"

Reviewed by: Nick Newman (

In his cell on Stryker's Island, Cole Parker sleeps dreaming of his first meeting with his cellmate and his futile battle with Superman. Jerking awake in his bed, Cole looks over to his cellmate to find his body exuding an image of a riot. With his eyes glowing, he tells Cole that he knows Cole has the ideas in his subconscious, but he hasn't yet made the leap to acting on it.

In Space, an astronaut works on a damaged satellite when a power surge suddenly sends the astronaut reeling away into space and the satellite crashing into the tail of the shuttle. As the astronaut drafts further away, the shuttle erupts in a huge explosion. A red and blue streak suddenly splits the void of space. Grabbing the shuttle and giving the astronaut a hand, Superman helps the doomed astronauts land safely.

Inside Stryker's Island, Cole and his roommate walk though the lunchroom, discussing the power that he is going to grant to Cole. And he is going to give it to him that night.

Flying across town, Clark lands in his apartment and presses the answering machine. He pauses when he hears Lois' voice. She tells him that she is having a great time with her mom, but the trip isn't really giving her the distance from him that she wanted. He can always hear her, and sometimes she wants him to stop listening and let her depend on herself for awhile. She closes the message by telling him that she loves him.

Inside his cell, Cole is awakened by his roommate. He tosses Cole an axe and then brings his hands together, lightning flying from his fingertips. A lightning bolt flies across the cell bars, releasing all of the inmates from their confinement. As the former captives rush out of their cells and the prison guard quickly don their riot gear, the newly transfigured Cole swings his axe and blows a hole through the wall of his cell and into freedom.

The next day, a group of reporters surround the warden of Stryker's island, asking questions about the previous night. He claims that the storm hit a transformer, causing the damage and releasing the inmates. However, no one was able to escape during the confusion. After the crowd breaks up, Clark and Jimmy head into the prison and enter the clerk's office. He had given Lois information earlier, and Jimmy hopes that he will again. Jimmy is in the midst of looking around his desk when the clerk suddenly returns. Clark tries to ask him some questions, but the clerk refuses to surrender any information. Looking down through the stack of papers the clerk is holding, Clark sees a classified report of Cole's escape. Taking Jimmy with him, Clark quickly heads out of the office.

Down in Suicide Slum, Cole's followers all meet in a darkened warehouse. None of them can explain it, but they all suddenly felt an urge to come down. Suddenly, a flash of light illuminates the gathered men. A huge silhouette of an axe-wielding figure towers before them, and tells them that this time everything will be different.

Inside the Planet, Clark tells Perry that while it is 'unconfirmed', he heard that Cole Parker escaped and maybe Perry should be careful in the future. Perry begins to tell Clark that he won't be scared that easily, when a huge force shakes the entire building. Looking out the window, Jimmy admits his disbelief that it was a man that caused it.

At the base of the building, the Persuader, clad in body armor and swinging a huge axe, prepares to demolish another section of the Daily Planet with a swing of his axe.

3Story - 3: I was torn with what to give this story. On one hand, the good is that I like the idea of the Persuader being a Superman villain. While there are others that I would rather see Supes fight, this could turn out alright, so there are points for that. However, I don't like Cole Parker. The whole 'social unrest' topic is getting kind of old. We saw a 'Fight Club' style story last month with Luthor and an alternate personality, and now we see the return of Cole. I guess it's something new for Superman, but I would rather see Superman fight someone powerful rather than battle some upset middle class citizens. Also, this issue displayed Clark as being a bumbler when it comes to reporting. He's been doing this for years now, and is good at it. Does he really need a copy boy-turned-photographer telling him how to work the 'city-beat'? What exactly has he been doing since 1987? Another problem I have is the lack of continuity with Lois and Superman. First, Lois is confronted by her mother about an affair with Superman. Then she sees them kiss. However, Lois hasn't responded at all to this. Also, the last three issues (I believe) Clark has flown over to see Lois and she was overjoyed to see him. Now she wants space? I'm getting sick of Lois wanting to be independent of Superman. She has known for years that this is what it is like being with him, and she is also smart enough to realize that she would be dead a hundred times over if not for him. She doesn't need space from him; the writer just needs a better way to handle their relationship. They can have their problems, but Lois and Clark shouldn't go from perfect to needing space over the course of one issue. Also, a completely random thought, but would Stryker's Island really keep dangerous metahumans in normal cells like everyone else? When we saw the Slab in "Last Laugh", everyone was in specialty cells, but in this issue, there are alien-looking prisoners (see page 11) in with everyone else. Probably not the best idea on the part of the warden. Alright, back to the review. Despite the fact that my rant on the bad was much longer than my two sentences of good, I feel the issue as a whole balanced out. It was a decent average, albeit a low average, issue.

3Art - 3: I was also undecided about the art. It's hard to review a Superman comic with a new artist that doesn't have Superman in it. Woods does handle most things well though. Everyone looks nice and clean and well defined. Jimmy looks a little too old for what he normally looks like, but it was still good art. However, this falls into the same category as our last artist. It just lacks any definition. This would fit better into the (former) Superman Adventures, not into Adventures of Superman.

3Cover Art - 3: I like the concept. It keeps the Persuader shrouded so we still don't see him until the end of the issue, and has the cool idea of reflecting Superman in the axe. However, I do not like the art. It is too 'sketchy' for my tastes, and doesn't really attract attention to it. It needed some other color to make it stand out more. An average cover, but I suppose it went well with the average issue.

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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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