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Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Adventures of Superman #603

Adventures of Superman #603

Scheduled to arrive in stores: April 10, 2002

Cover date: June 2002

Writer: Joe Casey
Penciller: Carlos Meglia
Inker: Carlos Meglia

"Baby Talk" (Mirror Mirror - Part 1)

Reviewed by: Nick Newman (

Superman descends from the clear blue sky, stopping short of the ground to hover a foot above the White House lawn. Flanked by his bodyguards, Luthor stands smug with his arms crossed across his chest. Lex praises the JLA messaging system, because he didn't have all day to wait for Superman to show up. Superman, very annoyed, proceeds to tell Luthor about the situation in Jarhanpur and its resolution (see the last three issues of JLA). Luthor tells Kal that information is the true source of power, and one can never have too much. Superman tells Luthor that while he respects the presidency, he may have to reevaluate how he treats Luthor. Rising into the sky, Superman tells Luthor not to call in case of an emergency, because Superman will know before he does.

In Metropolis, a group of doctors and one camera-toting expectant father cluster around a woman in the midst of labor. The father excitedly reports that it is a boy as the doctor tells the new parents that they have a healthy baby. Suddenly, the two parents look on in shock as a bright light begins to shine.

Outside of the hospital, panicked patients and staff run through the doors when suddenly a huge burst of energy shatters every window and sends people and cars flying. A bolt of energy extends from the top of the building, as a baby soars skyward. With a cry, the newborn send waves of energy through the Metropolis sky.

A news chopper flies in close, trying to get a shot of the child, but as soon as they get within range, the baby lifts its hands and bolts of energy lance out and across the helicopter. As the vehicle spins downward, a streak of red and blue suddenly appears and intercepts the craft. Superman easily hoists the copter above his head and heads toward a nearby roof. Setting the startled crew gently on the roof, he takes off toward the child.

Dodging energy blasts, Superman closes in on the baby. He realizes that the energy is tied into the baby's emotional state, and he's having a temper tantrum. With a cry and a blast of energy, Superman is suddenly knocked flying by yet another outburst. Kal crashes in to the ground as the baby begins to calm down in the sky above.

Three fighter jets soar over Stryker's island and toward Metropolis. Receiving clearance, all three let missiles loose, targeting the small child. The baby just looks at the incoming projectiles and screams. On the ground, Superman sees that all they are doing is scaring the child, and making the situation worse.

A huge ball of energy suddenly expands outward from the infant and knocks all three planes out of the sky. The energy blasts are getting worse. If Superman doesn't do something soon, they are going to consume the entire city.

Replacing the downed jets, a squad of Lexcorp troopers closes in on the child. After warning the newborn to cease its aggression, they open fire on the baby. Realizing that he has to contain the baby soon, Superman turns from the battle and heads out from Metropolis. With another outcry, the child sends all five attackers tumbling down toward the ground.

Lying shocked on the ground, one of the incapacitated members of Team Luthor (are they still calling them that, or do they have something new?) looks skyward to see Superman flying back into the city with the sphere of his fortress held above his head. Depositing the Fortress in the holographic sphere of the Daily Planet to keep it hidden, Superman turns and heads toward the baby.

Superman swoops in and intercepts the screaming child. Crackling with energy, Superman streaks toward his fortress, hoping to reach it before the child lets loose with another outburst. The pair of Superman and Super-baby enter the sphere just as the child erupts again, lighting Metropolis up with a globe of energy.

Inside the fortress, Superman holds the exhausted child. Improvising a holding cell, Kal proceeds to study the child and try to figure out what is happening with it. Turning away from the child, Superman begins to study the computer readouts. He finds that the child is emitting traces of anti-matter with its energy outbursts. Suddenly a huge explosion sends chunks of the fortress flying. Superman turns, to find Ultraman hovering above him.

3Story - 3: I enjoyed this story, especially on the second read through. It was a little incredulous, but I feel that Ultraman showing up at the end makes up for that. However, then the annoying things start. One, why did Superman and Luthor meet in the beginning? The encounter really didn't do anything other than restate that Clark doesn't like Lex, and I'm pretty sure we all know that. These pointless fights between the two of them are really getting old. I'm really hoping that Luthor attacks Superman soon. It has been way too long. Secondly, Superman isn't saving anyone this whole issue. The jets get knocked down and Supes sits on the ground and doesn't move. Team Luthor gets decimated and Superman leaves town. This was way out of character. Third, I understand the need for the fortress, but why did he have to bring it to Metropolis? If he had to fly it to Metropolis anyway, why didn't he just take the baby all the way to the South Pole and not have to make a round trip? Not only does that shorten the time needed and gets the danger out of the city, but that also avoids having to bring the fortress into the city. I will admit that putting the sphere inside the planet globe was clever, but it still doesn't make it any less conspicuous. I'm sure plenty of people noticed when he flew into town with a forty foot globe in his hand. Bringing it there just doesn't make any sense. So overall, it was a clever story with a great last page, but it was spoiled for me by seeming completely out of character for Kal. I am looking forward to the next two parts though. Ultraman is so cool.

1Art - 1: And then there is the art. Complete lack thereof is more accurate. Believe me, if we had a rating of zero, this issue would get it. What is this crap? Maybe it has its place, but it is definitely not anywhere near the Super-titles. I don't even know what to say about it other than it's horrible. There is no detail, Luthor looks like an ogre, and Superman looks like a moron. I'm fine with a little style in my art; I don't always need totally realistic art. This, however, is not what I want. Luthor does not weigh three hundred pounds. Clark doesn't look like a three-year old drew him. There are ten-year olds out there that have a better shot at getting our hero right than Meglia did. I don't know why the decision was made to bring him on, but get rid of him. There are plenty of good artists that would love to do Superman. Why not bring back McKone? He was great. But this is just scribbling. I should not have to pay US$2.25 for this. I expect quality art, and this definitely isn't it.

1Cover Art - 1: Again, I wish there was a zero. This is horrible. Even if you completely ignore the baby with the Popeye arms, what the heck is wrong with Superman? His palm is curvy! Why is his palm curvy? He looks absolutely horrible, which is exactly how good this cover is. I'm angry enough that we have what looks to be a decent story ruined by a horrible artist. He had better be gone after that. If this crap continues, I don't know what I'd do. I can't stop collecting one of the titles, but this is just insulting to us. At least next month we get a cover by Pacheco (but before you get your hopes up, Meglia is still doing the art). Ah well, I suffered through years of Jon Bogdanove, I can put up with this for a few issues. I just really hope that DC gets its act together.

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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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