Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics
Adventures of Superman #602Scheduled to arrive in stores: March 13, 2002
Cover date: May 2002
Writer: Joe Casey
Penciller: Pete Woods
Inker: Jose Marzan Jr.
"Cult of Persuasion: Part Two"
Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Inside the Daily Planet, people are awestruck at the man with the axe below trying to chop the building down. Clark says that he is off to check the other floors for damage, and Perry sends him off. Clark bursts to super-speed and takes off, causing other people on the floor to wonder what the gust of wind was.
Below, seconds later, Superman confronts Persuader.
Persuader insists, despite Superman calling him Cole, that Cole Parker is no more. He says, "Swarm", and the thousands of his army behind him attack Superman, who hadn't noticed them there before.
Superman uses his super-breath to blow them all away for the cops to round up. Persuader chides Superman, telling him that he may think he can stop him and sweep him under the rug, but perhaps he can "persuade" Superman to think otherwise, by destroying the Daily Planet.
Superman attacks, and Persuader knocks him into space.
Superman regains his senses and flies back down.
Persuader uses his axe to chop the Daily Planet once, knocking a number of windows down in the process.
Jimmy tries to get Perry to evacuate. He refuses, complaining that if no one stops Persuader, he will knock the building down. He also wonders where Kent went.
Persuader rants at the Daily Planet, claiming that one more blow will knock the thing down.
Superman plows into Persuader and knocks him all the way to Stryker's Island Penitentiary. They duke it out a bit. Superman gets his rear handed to him, somewhat.
Persuader, not fully comprehending the ability given to him, raises his axe and accidentally opens up a portal to old Krypton, the Byrne Krypton.
Superman uses his heat vision to melt the ground beneath Persuader. Persuader falls over and disappears, leaving his axe and a shock wave (seemingly benign) that washes across Metropolis behind. Superman takes the axe to put in his fortress, leaving the warden to get the mess cleaned up.
Then we have a two weeks later scene where Lois is getting used to being back at work. Lois and Clark have the conversation seen in the last few issues of the other Superbooks of late, where Clark expresses his doubt that Lois is fully confident/in love with him, and she reassures him that she is.
Story - 1: First off, there was yet another villain (how many of these have we seen, of late) with powers that are not defined, but still, sufficient enough to tear the fecal matter out of the Man of Steel. He got his powers in Stryker, where everyone is supposed to be jailed separate, from a guy who shouldn't have had powers in the first place. Did they learn nothing from Joker? Where's Deathtrap, and why isn't he in charge of this place? He has an axe that can rip across dimensions and knock Superman into space. But somehow, we're supposed to believe, one blow cannot level the Daily Planet? Sure. Right.
Superman acts out of character on several occasions. First off, he transforms into Superman IN FRONT OF EVERYONE ON HIS FLOOR OF THE DAILY PLANET. Whoops. This is like the time Loeb "forgot" Clark flying around and repairing the Kent farm might be a bad idea. Second, Superman descends to fight the Persuader. There are what, a hundred, a thousand goons sneaking up behind him, and with his super-hearing, his previous experience with more villains than you can count, and knowledge that Cole has an army, he didn't expect/see it? This is Superman, not the Incredible Hulk. Come on. Third: He takes out the army once, with super-breath, then they just never attack again (?), and after the fight with the Persuader, instead of going back to stop the HORDES OF PEOPLE PROBABLY STILL INTENT ON DESTROYING THE DAILY PLANET or REPAIRING THE STRUCTURAL DAMAGE TO A PLANET THAT WAS ONE CHOP AWAY FROM DESTRUCTION, he takes the axe back to his Fortress of Solitude, for all we know to polish the hilt. Or at least find out what the old Krypton was doing inside of it. Fourth, he just leaves Stryker when there is obvious structural damage. Fifth, he has a conversation with Lois he's already had five hundred sixty-seven times in the last five issues. GRR. Sixth. A shock wave of no apparent consequence floats across Metropolis (and is made evident by the artist), and Superman makes no attempt to make sure it hasn't hurt anyone. Even paging Steel or Emil. BAH!
As one of my colleagues pointed out last month, this plot has been done already, and to death in the last few months.
The Planet didn't start evacuating, despite structural damage and a super-villain intent on destroying it? I hate to put it this way, but after September 11th, don't you think they'd be more than willing to evacuate in the event of catastrophic imminent structural destruction? Sorry to bring up a bad memory, but if we're not aware of how we portray things, especially in media, people could take it very wrong, very quickly. Thus why I have to disclaim a reference to September 11th, and why Casey should have had the building evacuated.
Lois and Clark's conversation. COME ON GUYS, WRITERS. Get it through your heads that this continuity *&$(*# is driving the fans BONKERS. I know you think this is just me, Neal Bailey, ranting and raving, but seriously. I am a fanboy. I hang with fanboys. I spend an hour a week in the comic store, when I'm not buying comics, just chatting up Superman with my buds. General consensus is: the continuity currently sucks. This kind of stuff is why. It may not register on your sales rating, but it does in the respect that a portion of your most dedicated fans give you.
After a long fight in which Persuader is defeating Superman, a simple fall of perhaps five feet made him disperse into energy? Yeah. Right.
Perhaps I can "persuade" you to think differently.
GYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Enough said.
And the big one. LEX LUTHOR HAS KNOWLEDGE THAT CLARK KENT IS SUPERMAN, AND WE ARE READING ABOUT ONE OF FIVE OF THE LEGION OF SUPERHERO'S CADRE OF VILLAINS! ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!
One of two redeeming qualitie of this issue, that it gave Superman a new villain to toy around with, is kind of shallow for me, as I've never been a fan of/understood the Persuader and his villainous buds. Perhaps this is because my only exposure to the Legion is the Superboy's Legion series, which, if you read, was very confusing. If the Fatal Five are anything like they were in that series, they deserve to be nowhere near the Man of Steel, simply because they are no threat. Even on Warworld he waxed them all, easily. I plead ignorance here. This aside, my criticisms of this issue stand even without any knowledge, or with all knowledge of the Fatal Five.
The other redeeming quality of this issue almost made it a two on principle. Krypton. Some hint that we may finally understand why Loeb felt it necessary to change Superman's history. I've been waiting for that for a while. Longer than I've been waiting since LUTHOR FOUND OUT CLARK KENT WAS SUPERMAN. Not that I'm bitter or anything. No no no no no no. Yes. Well, yes. Quite bitter.
Art - 5: With the exception of one page, it almost made me weep that such great art was a part of such a messed story. This man had great pencils. Very McGuinness-esque, but with a great deal of care to color as well, I would almost say that his art in this issue was as good as MC2's. The special effects were also nice as well, like the blowing wind blur. Bless that Photoshop. Wonderful. The one beef I had was the splash opener panel that all comics have, the attention grabber. The top and the bottom of the page was wasted, when it could have had a full-on of both Supes and the Persuader. But a great job, nonetheless. It was only under later scrutiny that that came up. Otherwise, marvelous. Keep it up.
Cover Art - 2: On the other hand, the cover stank. It's a dramatic pose, sure, thus two instead of one. But 1) The gang never touched Superman. 2) Normal mortals couldn't hold Superman down. Even a hundred of 'em. 3) There is no background, and there should have been. The Planet, in taters. That would have grabbed my attention a lot better, and it would have actually, perish this though for its actuality and the sarcasm, RELATED TO THE PLOT. It would prove that yes, covers can relate to what the issue is really about, instead of becoming a cheap ploy to sucker in readers, and it would also prove that something neat happens in this issue, like a major threat to a Superman convention, the Daily Planet.
This issue disappointed me. The last one, part one, while a bit hokey, seemed a fairly good set-up to a nice battle royale. It was, I guess, in the art, but the plot? I'm fuming.
Other recent reviews:
Mild Mannered Reviews
2002Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.
- Joker: Last Laugh #6
-  Superman #176
-  Adventures of Superman #598
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #120
-  Action Comics #785
- Superman Adventures #63
- JLA #60
- Justice League Adventures #1
- JLA/Haven: Arrival
- Superman/Tarzan: Sons of the Jungle #1
- JLA: Gatekeeper #2
- Superman & Batman: Generations II #4
- Superman #177
- Adventures of Superman #599
- Superman: The Man of Steel #121
- Action Comics #786
- Superman Adventures #64
- JLA #61
- Justice League Adventures #2
- Just Imagine Stan Lee with Jerry Ordway Creating the JLA
- JLA: Gatekeeper #3
- JLA: Incarnations #7
- Adventures of Superman #600
- Superman #178
- Superman: The Man of Steel #122
- Action Comics #787
- Superman Adventures #65
- JLA #62
- Justice League Adventures #3
- Superman/Tarzan: Sons of the Jungle #2
- Superman #179
- Adventures of Superman #601
- Superman: The Man of Steel #123
- Action Comics #788
- Superman Adventures #66 [Final Issue]
- JLA #63
- Justice League Adventures #4
- JLA: Shogun of Steel
- Superman #180
- Adventures of Superman #602
- Superman: The Man of Steel #124
- Action Comics #789
- JLA #64
- Justice League Adventures #5
- Superman #181
- Adventures of Superman #603
- Superman: The Man of Steel #125
- Action Comics #790
- JLA #65
- Superman/Savage Dragon: Chicago
- Justice League Adventures #6
- Superman #182
- Adventures of Superman #604
- Superman: The Man of Steel #126
- Action Comics #791
- JLA #66
- DC1st: Superman/Lobo #1
- DC1st: Flash/Superman #1
- Justice League Adventures #7
- Superman/Aliens II: Godwar #1
- Superman/Tarzan: Sons of the Jungle #3
- Superman #183
- Adventures of Superman #605
- Superman: The Man of Steel #127
- Action Comics #792
- JLA #67
- Justice League Adventures #8
- JLA: Destiny #1
- Superman #184
- Adventures of Superman #606
- Superman: The Man of Steel #128
- Action Comics #793
- JLA #68
- Justice League Adventures #9
- JLA: Destiny #2
- Superman #185
- Adventures of Superman #607
- Superman: The Man of Steel #129
- Action Comics #794
- JLA #69
- JLA #70
- Justice League Adventures #10
- Superman/Aliens II: Godwar #2
- JLA: Destiny #3
- JLA: The Island of Dr Moreau
- Superman #186
- Adventures of Superman #608
- Superman: The Man of Steel #130
- Action Comics #795
- JLA #71
- JLA #72
- Justice League Adventures #11
- JLA: Destiny #4
- Planetary/JLA: Terra Occulta
- JLA/Haven: Anathema
- Superman #187
- Adventures of Superman #609
- Superman: The Man of Steel #131
- Action Comics #796
- JLA #73
- JLA #74
- Justice League Adventures #12
- Smallville: The Comic
- Superman/Aliens II: Godwar #3
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Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2002.