Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Action Comics #793

Action Comics #793

Scheduled to arrive in stores: July 31, 2002

Cover date: September 2002

Writer: Joe Kelly
Penciller: Pascual Ferry
Inker: Cam Smith

"Dreams End" (Return to Krypton II - Part 4 of 4)

Reviewed by: Nick Newman (

Fighting continues on the surface of Krypton as religious zealots clash with the followers of science. And with every moment, Krypton's great sun grows larger in the sky. Looking over the battle, Superman turns to his father and tells him that this Krypton was meant to destroy him. While Jor-el questions what he means and Faora questions his ego, Kal tells them that the only way for him to learn the whole truth is to get inside of the Heart Of Krypton. Turning to the giant construct, Kal doesn't know how to explain to his father that it is clearly built from two different technologies, that of Brainiac 13, and of the Krypton that Superman has always known.

Across Krypton Lara floats protected in a glass tube. As the workers move frantically around her, wondering how they will cope when she goes into labor, she does just that. One man urges Jor-el on, or his child will be born into hell.

At the verge of the Heart Of Krypton, Xon-ur calls forth another of his followers and pushes the man into the Heart. Like all the others, he is immediately killed by the construct. Xon-ur anguishes over this. He does not understand why the holy one can not see their faith and deliver them the power. Turning back to the cultists, he calls out for another volunteer. One man speaks out. Xon-ur calls him forward, and then pauses, and strikes at him with his fire sword.

Throwing off their disguises, Superman and Jor-el leap forward and send Xon-ur leaping back. Grabbing a fallen saber, Kal-el pushes Xon-ur back. Suddenly, a huge explosion rocks the chamber. Faora appears, brandishing a sword and a detonator. She urges the two men on while she deals with Xon-ur. Diving forward, Superman leaps into the Heart Of Krypton.

Superman sees himself fighting Brainiac 13 for the first time. After his defeat, Brainiac fled to Krypton of the past. There he attacked Jor-el, but was unable to kill him. He did, however, obtain a copy of his diaries. Then, having learned of the golden age of Krypton via Jor-el, he studied the Eradicator matrix. Could it be used to create life? Inside of the Phantom Zone, Brainiac transformed an inhabited planet into Krypton, right down to the molecule; the perfect trap for the Man Of Steel. It was meant to draw him in and destroy itself, but instead Superman saved the planet and the program continued to run.

Xon-ur finally reaches into the construct and pulls Kal-el out. Dazed from his experience, he can only mumble on the floor, until he sees Faora lying broken next to him. Rising to face Xon-ur, the zealot asks Kal what Rao told him. Kal responds "Love Kills". Suddenly, Krypto leaps onto Xon-ur's back and tears into his armor.

As Xon-ur prepares to finish the dog once and for all, Superman leaps up and plants a blade into his chest. As the sword detonates and Xon-ur is left barely alive, Superman lifts Krypto up hugs his friend. Turning around, he suddenly sees his father walking into the Heart. Jor-el turns and says that he was willing to give his soul, so at least he can face the truth.

As Krypton explodes, Kal suddenly finds himself standing atop a building. The landscape around him is completely unscathed from any battle. The sun in the sky is no closer than it should be. Kal suddenly hears his father's voice, and turns to see a floating image of a robotic head. Jor-el tells him that this is a dream. He will maintain the reality. With his influence, Krypton will continue in a golden ago. However, it must completely be sealed off from the rest of the world. Either he must stay, or he needs to leave forever. With a sad look on his face, he thanks Jor-el for being a good father, and touches the energy crystal.

Inside the Fortress, Superman feeds the crystal into the Eradicator, and hopes the truth about the other Krypton can cure his madness. The giant tells Superman that he feels healed and complete for the first time in a long time. He then tells him that the Krypton he saw was one of 80,000 years ago, a period that Jor-el had loved and therefore written about in his journals. Then he tells him that Jor-el had been a perfect match to the real Jor-el, and that only he could have restarted the program. Superman then tells the Eradicator to leave the holograms of both his parents. While they weren't real, he learned more from them then he ever could his "real" parents. Plus, he still has Krypto.

Inside the completely isolated Krypton, Jor-el and Lara sit on a hilltop picnicking, and waving. Across the field, a young black-haired boy waves back as he rides an animal. On his chest is a very familiar pentagon.

4Story - 4: I really enjoyed this final issue to the story, despite the number of small problems it had. The Brainiac 13 tie-in was well done and works, except for the fact that he failed to kill Jor-el, but I suppose we can deal with that. This story nicely tied up a lot of things. The Eradicator is whole again, and finally able to be used in stories again. And the new Krypton is still there, but will never be used again. Just the way it should be. Plus, we've still got Krypto. The problems with this issue did annoy me though. First, Krypto is alive. Much like the Lara scene, we were lead to believe that he had died, only to see his return this issue. Not that I wanted him to die, I just don't like fake scenes. Two, Kal tries to KILL Xon-ur. Remember 775? Superman does not kill. Of course, right after he says he can still hear him breathing, but he still STABBED HIM IN THE CHEST. This is not Superman. Those two aside though, I enjoyed the ending. All in all, it was a good series.

3Art - 3: I really can't say anything for or against this art. It looks alright, but no scenes really captivated my attention. Then again, nothing really bothered me either. Just normal, average art.

3Cover Art - 3: A pretty average cover. There isn't much detail, and the background is just the sun exploding. I really don't like the art used. Superman doesn't look as super as he should. I felt like giving this cover a two, but it connects to the others. I love connecting covers. So I give it a three.

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January 2002

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