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Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Adventures of Superman #605

Adventures of Superman #605

Scheduled to arrive in stores: June 12, 2002

Cover date: August 2002

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

Mirror Mirror - Part 3: "Syndication"

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (

Brainiac, in the form of a super-powered child, in the Fortress of Solitude, has rebooted. The reviewer assumes that this is the Earth 2 version of Brainiac. He takes control of the Fortress' tesseract, sending Superman and Ultraman clawing for their footing.

Outside, Dan Turpin and crew hound the Lexcorp goons who are attempting to take control of the situation. The tesseract begins to expand, and they stop arguing.

Brainiac the baby explains that he used his will to manifest one of Ultraman's cells, began cellular division, and found a way into the anti-matter universe (our universe). There, he found a pregnant woman and let her give birth to him.

As Brainiac dispatches Ultraman, he also expands the tesseract in an attempt to destroy and take over the Earth. The Fortress expands as he taunts Ultraman.

Owlman pulls out what he calls a White Dwarf Ingot, the equivalent of Ultraman Kryptonite to take out Brainiac, in a negation crystal field. He tells Brainiac that he's going to use the Ingot to kill him. Ultraman, unable to accept that Owlman has the ability to kill him, charges him. Superman grabs him, stops him, and tells him that Owlman is right-and that Ultraman is a necessary sacrifice as well, to save both worlds.

Brainiac flips out, causes some kind of emission, and disappears into the Phantom Zone.

Superman and Owlman reveal that they tricked Brainiac with gum. The psychological aspect of being human caused him to fail, and flee.

The tesseract returns to normal, and outside the entire JLA stands at the ready.

Superwoman, missing through the entire comic, appears in the Phantom Zone, coaxes the baby over, and kills it, to Superman's horror.

Superman tells them all to stay in their own universe, lets them go, and takes the Fortress out to the north pole, setting it on a cliff. He checks Krypto, making sure that he's okay, and says that the Fortress looks better at the north pole.

2Story - 2: Well, I can't say there are any loose ends, but there was a lot of space filling stuff, some of which was interesting, some of which was unnecessary. For instance, let's take a whole page and use it to explain Brainiac's master plan to Superman. Who's already heard it. 342,968 times. Let's take a whole page and show the JLA, who do absolutely nada in this issue. Let's have a page with news reports telling us what Brainiac has already told us. And get this...on page twelve, is the map actually indicating that Metropolis is somewhere in South Carolina?

Was the Daily Planet destroyed? It must have been, if all of the buildings all around were as damaged as they looked. I wonder, oh, mercy, I wonder, if it will be there next week. Anyone want to bet me forty to one odds it will?

Okay, let's go through the list of crimes that Ultraman, Owlman, and Superwoman are guilty of, in OUR universe, where they are governed by our rules, theoretically. Or at least they should be, because Superman abides by alien rules in their cultures, thus that is his standard. Unless said rules are completely ignorant (the tribunal, etc): 1) Property damage, extensive, up to and including the Daily Planet, if the editor or writer were on their toes when talking about gross gravitational anomalies. Not to mention the damage to the Fortress. 2) Physical assault on Superman. 3) Any damage and crime caused by the global panic of the near end of the world. 4) Here's the big one: Slaughtering a baby. SLAUGHTERING A BABY.

Superman sees all of these things, and he just lets them go. The entire JLA is just sitting outside, and he just lets them go. No pursuit. Nothing. THEY SLAUGHTERED A BABY! I mean, I have a weird, twisted sense of humor, and a dark philosophical edge, but if I see a bad woman slaughter a baby, even a REALLY REALLY EVIL baby, I will run after that woman with a bat and handcuffs, even if it means my death. This is so out of character that it stinks. This is like the JLA:Predator special where a bunch of Predators are loosed on the world by evil aliens, and then the JLA defeats them and just sends the murderers back to their own galaxy, having "learned their lesson". Sigh. But at least in JLA: Predator, the Predators didn't SLAUGHTER A BABY! Have I mentioned that loud enough? There was an evident childlike side to the child, as well. If it were brainless meat, maybe it'd fly, but towards the end, it started talking about simplifying, growing up and learning, acting like a baby. And it was a baby for the first issue. Bad, bad, bad, bad form, Joe and Eddie. A dead Brainiac baby is still a dead baby.

Brainiac has Ultraman's powers, and a high intellect. He wouldn't think to check the chewing gum?

This issue had a lot of action, a lot of guest shots, and a lot of violence. I guess there's something to be said for that. In Punisher. In Fury. Not with Superman. Again, I say, this thing has the air of a special, and should have been a special, and one that I hadn't bought. It wasn't very bad, but it wasn't up to the par, up to the standards we've come to expect, at least half of the time, from the new artists. Can I still call them new? They're three years in, but you know what I mean. The newer crew.

4Art - 4: Really, I'm kind of surprised. This art grew on me. It still belongs in a special. It's too cartoony for Superman, thus minus one, but because I enjoyed it so much this issue (the last two were more iffy), I give it a four. It got better, somehow, though I'd be hard pressed to put my finger on it. I know, bad reviewer, but I could just lie and keep bashing it, or tell the truth without an explanation, and the truth is, it grew on me. Maybe I'm insane. Probably.

2Cover Art - 2: But this, this makes up for it. I have a really good reason for disliking this cover. First, it's something that never happens in the issue. They don't even get there until the baby is dead. Superwoman doesn't have Ultra-vision. There's a background, but it's just lines (WE WANT OUR BACKGROUNDS BACK!), and Owlman wouldn't even be able to stay standing if Superman broke wind at him, but we're supposed to believe that he can hold him back?

But Superwoman has big...uh, hair. That's a plus. But nothing but a cheap plus.

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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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