Mild Mannered Reviews - Superman Adventures

Superman Adventures #65

Superman Adventures #65

Scheduled to arrive in stores: January 2, 2002

Cover date: March 2002

Writer: Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer
Penciller: Aluir Amancio
Inker: Terry Austin

"Power Play: Part One"

Reviewed by: George O'Connor (

The media world is a-buzz with news that Lex Luthor has won rights over STAR Labs to contain the super villain Livewire. As the multi-billionaire watches his newly won possession, still inert, transported into a large, armed vehicle, he notices that the Man of Steel has arrived to watch the proceedings as well. Luthor makes a snide comment and then drives away from the area, speaking with a bandaged man inside the vehicle, who somehow possesses the technology and the ability to wake Livewire from her coma.

Livewire awakes to learn that she has already been arranged by Luthor to accompany the bandaged man "out-of-town" on a special mission. Rebelling against the plan, Livewire attempts to draw upon her electrical powers when she is threatened, only to find herself inside a specially prepared, insulated interior. At first, she sees no way of reinvigorating her powers, until she spots the cigarette lighter and leaps towards it when the driver, Mercy, slams on the brakes.

Draining the car battery, Livewire lets off a blast that blows open the entire front end of the car, already draining her short-lived electrical charge. As Mercy rushes to capture her, Livewire hits her with a hubcap that has been blown off the car, and dodges a snare weapon used by the strange, bandaged man.

Superman arrives a minute later, thinking that Livewire is up to her old tricks again, only to discover that it is Luthor and his bandaged friend who are the real instigators of the conflict.

Blasted by an energy weapon, the Man of Steel drops backwards. The bandaged man raises another weapon at Superman, claiming it contains explosive Kryptonite shells. Supes heats the barrel of the weapon, causing a misfire, and then delivers a powerful swing at the bandaged man, unraveling the white cloth and revealing Kanto, the Apokolips hunter, underneath.

Superman foils weapon after weapon in Kanto's arsenal as Mercy and Livewire fight on the sidewalk. Dodging a kick meant for her, Livewire laughs in glee as Mercy accidentally connects with her employer, knocking the angry Luthor to the ground.

Just when Mercy thinks she's finally caught the slippery Livewire, the heavy form of Kanto lands on top of her. Superman shows himself, apologizing to Livewire for thinking she was responsible for the chaos. A second later, Kanto grabs hold of a hostage and threatens to kill her. Superman slams into the ground at full force, causing rocks to shoot up and connect with the Apokolips man. He drops the woman, and the Man of Steel saves her, just before Kanto hurls three powerful claymores that stick to Superman's chest.

Supes manages to rip one off and charge Kanto before the other two can explode and blow the two combatants to the ground.

A wearied Kanto activates his boom tube and catches Luthor, Livewire, and Superman in the energy stream. When the confused trio looks up again, they find themselves in the midst of the planet Apokolips. Kanto screams in victory as the reinforcements of the planet converge on the trio, and especially Livewire, who is apparently an integral component of Darkseid's latest insidious plot.

To Be Continued...

3Story - 3: Not quite a "4" rating, really. It's a fun read certainly, but the entire issue isn't much more than one giant brawl. And Livewire... not exactly my favorite villain from the animated series. This is, of course, the second to last Superman Adventures issue. I guess I got a little worried when I read that the writers (Dorkin and Dyer) weren't even very thrilled about how the two-part story came out, mainly because they didn't realize it would be the final Superman Adventures story. Oh well. I'm hoping for at least a good battle between Darkseid and Superman next issue if nothing else. That would be a fair send-off for the comic series.

3Art - 3: Man! This was a tricky call... Amancio really doesn't stay very consistent in this issue. Either that, or Austin doesn't stay very consistent. Whatever the case is, I like the first pages A LOT. Page 8 in particular is gorgeous... but after this, things look a little rushed... and even the style changes a bit. Page 11 is an example. Something just doesn't click. It looks more like Jack Kirby than Bruce Timm... Page 18 on the other hand is really nicely done, but again it looks different... almost... almost like Alex Toth. Even the double paged spread on the final two pages is a little lacking. It's tough though because so many of these pages are gorgeous and then other pages are just really bad and then others just look like they were done by someone else with a completely different style. I don't know. Maybe it's just me....

2Cover Art - 2: Bad! Bad! Bad!!! Superman looks awful... I mean... look at his face for one, and the colors are hideous and everything else just looks completely uninspired. I know that energy for this series has failed especially since it's the end, but how about a decent couple of covers to finish SA off?

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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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