Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics
Superman: The Man of Steel #127Scheduled to arrive in stores: June 19, 2002
Cover date: August 2002
Writer: Mark Shultz
Penciller: Yvel Guichet
Inker: Walden Wong
Pantheon (Part 1): "Scenes From A Marriage Between Heaven And Earth"
Reviewed by: Nick Newman (NNewman8283@yahoo.com)
Lois hovers in the sky above Metropolis, glowing with her new power. Superman tries to talk her down, telling her to realize that what they have done to her isn't right. But Lois dismisses it. She is now the goddess of integrity, and that means she has to find the truth. She ignores the fact that she just maimed all of the evil gods that were with Superman. Clark tells her that she isn't thinking clearly, but Lois has the power now.
As Lois vanishes, the decimated gods pull their forms together and turn towards Superman. Spinning around, Superman yells at them. They should not have involved Lois in this; she isn't ready for the power. One of the evil deities simply responds that they want Superman to join them, and if they have to drive his wife mad to coerce him, then so be it. Superman, however, refuses to give in to their demands. Taking to the air, he vows to find Lois and save her himself, and then he will come back for the gods. As he heads away from the rooftop one of the gods notches an arrow and sends it flying towards the airborne hero. The energy bolt pierces Superman's chest and drags him back down. As the gods lay into him, they goad him on by questioning what Lois is doing with her new found power.
In a military Cemetery, Lois hovers above her father's grave. Too much was left unsaid when he died.
Back in Metropolis, Superman fends off his attackers and once again takes to the skies with the gods in hot pursuit. As he heads away from Metropolis, Superman suddenly realizes something. All of them are stronger now than they were inside the Steelworks, and they definitely seemed uneasy while they were inside Steel's fortress. Formulating a plan, Superman turns and takes the fight back to them. A weapon to the chest, however, sends him plummeting to a rail whale track below. Hiding his intent, Superman weakly flies into the nearby tunnel. As the gods approach him, ready to make the kill, Superman turns to them and calmly says: "Welcome to my parlor said the spider to the flies".
Back in the cemetery, Lois begins to tear up the ground in a rage. She knows that she can raise her father, she has the power, but she doesn't know how. Her tantrum is stopped suddenly when Wonder Woman appears near her, leaning against a tree. Lois lands next to her and questions whether Diana is going to try to stop her too. Wonder Woman admits she wouldn't, but she does want to talk as friends. Diana then asks Lois why she wants to raise her father. Lois is quiet for a moment, and then she says because he died too soon and because she has unfinished business and because of her mother cheating on him. But finally, because Lois cheated him her entire life.
With a torrent of might blows, Superman drops his last assailant to the ground. He should have realized it sooner. The gods of legend began to lose their power during the Age of Iron. It saps their strength just as Kryptonite steals his. The last of the gods appears at the mouth of the tunnel and confirms his deductions, but that won't save him. Raising his staff, he once again summons Midas. The giant golden being reaches out to the wall and begins to transmute the entire tunnel to gold, and thus removing the iron from the structure.
Lois and Diana sit together in the shadow of a large tree. Lois tells Diana that she is so angry that Superman was off with Diana instead of saving her father. However, Diana says, her father did what he had to do, just as Clark did. Someday, Lois will realize that it is all right. She then tells Lois that divine power is not a beneficial thing. It drives most people mad, completely corrupting them. Clark is an extraordinary exception to the rule.
Suddenly, the Queen of the Underworld bursts from the ground infuriated that Diana has ruined their plan for Lois. Summoning skeletons from the graves, she launches herself at Diana. Warning Lois back, Diana moves to the attack.
In Metropolis, Superman desperately tries to keep the golden behemoth from destroying half the town. Recovering from his collision with a building, Superman looks skyward and glimpses a falling object. Smiling to himself, he watches as the Metal Man Iron falls directly upon the sole remaining god, trapping him in an Iron sphere.
As Midas vanishes with the loss of his creator, a ground of new deities appears in the sky. Zeus, Ale, Thoth, and Odin (if anyone knows where Superman met Odin before please drop me an email) greet Superman, and then apologize for not stopping this rebellion sooner. I.D.C.A.P. may be real, but these rebels were not working for it. Odin thanks Superman for his assistance, and then they prepare to remove the gods from Earth. Flying towards Zeus, Superman questions him about Rao, the god of Krypton. Turning swiftly, Zeus tells Superman that Rao has nothing to do with Earth, and his name should never be spoken in Zeus' presence again. Diana suddenly appears on a nearby roof and offers them the sole remaining god, unconscious. As the gods vanish, Diana tells Clark that the gods really needed his help, never to mention Rao to them again, and to get to the cemetery now.
Clark walks down towards his wife. Still in her goddess form, Lois tells him that if she truly rejects it in her heart, then the power will fade. Sitting down beside her, Lois tells him that she just couldn't handle the power, but Clark tells her that he married a mortal for a good reason. Clark again apologizes for her father, but there was no other way. Lois knows, and then tells Clark that she loves him. As the last of the power fades, the couple rises together and walks away arm in arm. Her powers may be gone, but the magic will always be there.
Story - 4: I enjoyed the concept of the first part of this story, and I think it just got better with the second helping. Superman versus gods is always a good way to show how powerful he is. The iron weakness was a very clever idea, at first I thought it was stupid, but with the explanation of the Iron Age coinciding with the disappearance of the gods it worked very well. The appearance by Zeus was also good. I kind of wished Lois would have done more than tear up a cemetery with her powers, but I suppose that would have taken another issue, and I wouldn't have wanted that. So overall, it was a very good and entertaining story. Something a little different that what we normally get, which is always a plus.
Art - 3: I'm not sure what to think of this team. Sometimes it's great art, and sometimes not so much. Lois looked good, for the most part, and I thought Diana looked great. The action scenes were well done. However, there were plenty of close ups that were just bad. Superman's face in particular had some rather bad scenes. It all averages out to a 3.
Cover Art - 2: The cover however, does nothing for me. The art isn't bad. On the art alone I would say probably a 3 or 4. However, can you tell me when Lois attacks anyone in this issue, much less Clark and Diana? I'm all for symbolic covers, but other than Lois disobeying Clark, there is no conflict between any of them. This cover had me expecting Diana and Superman to have to battle Lois to win her back. This didn't happen. Nothing even close to this happened. However, because Lois' face is so large, there is no room for a blank monochrome background. While I realize that this cover still doesn't have a background, rather the lack of space for one, at least it was a cover without half of its space occupied by the same color. That's just enough to pull it up to a two. Plus, I do like the cover; someone just put it with the wrong story. We just can't seem to win with these covers lately, can we?
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2002Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.
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