Mild Mannered Reviews - Superman Adventures

Superman Adventures #66

Superman Adventures #66 [Final Issue]

Scheduled to arrive in stores: February 6, 2002

Cover date: April 2002

Writer: Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer
Penciller: Aluir Amancio
Inker: Wayne Faucher and Terry Austin (on pg. 22)

"Power Play: Part Two"

Reviewed by: George O'Connor (

Throngs of parademons advance on Superman, pulling, punching, and biting as the Man of Steel struggles against them. Finally finding an opening, Superman smashes his way through the troops, only to run into the Female Furies. Lashina's whip captures him briefly before he turns it on the Furies for use as his own weapon.

As Superman does battle, Luthor, Kanto, and Livewire attempt to avoid the chaos erupting around them. Granny Goodness enters moments before Superman engages against the Furies and knocks Livewire unconscious with the blunt handle of her energy lance.

An explosion knocks Superman off his feet and to the ground, where he guesses the identity of his attacker before hearing the telltale mocking of Kalibak. Rising again, Superman rolls with a punch and delivers a kick against the alien, only to be thrown back by Kalibak's staff. Smashing through the ground below, Kalibak and Superman tumble to the underground, where the larger creature holds Superman roughly over a pit of molten liquid.

Superman utilizes his heat vision to stun his foe, but cannot prevent Kalibak's capture of a slave. Hurling the man into the molten pit, Kalibak readies his staff as the predictable Man of Steel rushes into the pit to attempt a rescue. An energy blast from Kalibak's staff hurls the Man of Steel out of the pit (and kills the slave?), dropping Superman to the hard floor, unconscious. Kalibak readies for the killing blow until Darkseid intervenes with a much more cruel fate for Big Blue.

When Superman awakens, he finds himself strapped to the barrel of a gigantic cannon. Superman turns his head and sees that Livewire has been secured as well in an energy flux compartment of the super-weapon. Desaad proudly explains that the cannon is powered by molten heat from Apokolips' pits and then converted into the proper form of energy by Livewire.

The evil plot involves using boom tubes to transfer the massive destructive potential of the cannon to target New Genesis. However, in order to test the cannon, the planet Earth has been chosen.

Upon learning this, Luthor is enraged, even when Darkseid promises the multi-billionaire a place of power within the hierarchy of Apokolips. Using "slaymore" mines he recovered from the battle between Kanto and Superman in Metropolis, Luthor destroys the cannon controls, which aid in freeing both Livewire and the Man of Steel from their bindings.

Superman uses the barrel of the cannon itself to bludgeon Kalibak, saving Luthor's life in the process. The two arch-foes suddenly watch as troops converge on them. Darkseid pushes the Female Furies aside and shoots omega beams from his eyes. Suddenly, however, the ground shakes and Darkseid's beams miss both Luthor and Superman, taking out a legion of Darkseid's loyal troops.

The source of the sudden quake emerges from a niche in the cannon, sending out immense energy all around her. Livewire, now possessing the full power of the planet's energy begins to destroy everything in the room. Understanding that Livewire may go critical at any time (and possibly destroy the entire planet), Superman hurls Luthor, himself, and Livewire through the open boom tube to Metropolis.

Carrying Livewire, the Man of Steel rockets out into the desert with her in tow. Finally, the full energy is released, causing a massive explosion that leaves Livewire dazed and Superman dead.

Using the last of her electrical powers, Livewire resuscitates the Man of Steel and consequently drains herself of her electrical power. The media believes that Leslie will no longer be Livewire, but it is only a few weeks later that a lightning storm restores her electrical abilities.

"See ya in the funny papers," she says.

4Story - 4: This was a surprisingly well-done issue that not only provides an exciting, fun story, but also wraps up the comic series nicely. While a planet-destroying cannon isn't anything exceptionally new or original, the use of the characters, the dynamics of the fight scenes, and the character interaction was classic animated Superman. Darkseid and Luthor in the same room had to be the highlight of this issue, and minor complaints aside, the story continued to offer new thrills and challenges and then resolve them satisfactorily. The issue was even slightly revolutionary as it marked the first time in the comic series that actual change manifested itself within the pages. The entire Livewire/Superman relationship has been altered, Superman actually died (even though it was just for a page), and Livewire temporarily lost her powers. While it didn't quite measure up in terms of shock value to the final two-parter for the animated television show, it revealed that this comic book series has always had the potential (even if it didn't ALWAYS take advantage of it) to share great stories.

5Art - 5: Amanico explodes on the comic page with fantastic battle sequences, a beautiful, sexy interpretation of Livewire, a frighteningly evil Darkseid, and a determined, heroic Superman. Every page is a treat in this issue and the full page illustration at the end is gorgeous. Faucher fills in well for this issue, providing inks that match up nicely to the final page illustrated by Superman Adventures staple, Terry Austin.

5Cover Art - 5: A fond farewell is provided by the talented Mike Manley and Terry Austin. Superman soars off into the air, away from the Daily Planet, Lois Lane, and the Superman Adventures itself and into brand new adventures in our hearts and minds... and in the animated Justice League, of course.

A Final Word: I've been reviewing the Superman Adventures almost since its very beginning. In 1997, I joined the Superman Homepage and began writing monthly reviews for Superman Adventures and I haven't stopped since then. Almost sixty consecutive issues later, the comic series has ended. For those who have been here for the long haul (if any have), they might be able to recall how much has changed since then. The Superman Homepage has undergone significant alterations, the Superman Animated Series has arrived and left the airwaves, and the comic series itself began a slow, downward spiral from its initial originality and success. There have been some bright spots along the way, however, and the talents that have worked on this book in its five-and-a-half year history are significant, to say the least. Most notably, I'd like to point out illustrator Aluir Amancio once again. Upon first seeing his work, I was unimpressed, but over the course of the series, he has remained loyal to the work and developed into an amazing penciller, animated or otherwise. I now consider his work in the same breath as other talented, renowned animated illustrators such as Rick Burchett, John Delaney, and Mike Parobeck. In closing, thanks to everyone who has stayed with the series and tuned in to read my reviews, and remember to check out my reviews for the brand new Justice League Adventures for what I hope will be many more exciting years for the animated Superman and his many, wonderful exploits.

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Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2002

February 2002 March 2002 April 2002 May 2002 June 2002 July 2002 August 2002 September 2002 October 2002 November 2002 December 2002

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