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Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Adventures of Superman #628

Adventures of Superman #628

Scheduled to arrive in stores: May 19, 2004

Cover date: July 2004

Writer: Greg Rucka
Penciller: Matthew Clark
Inker: Nelson

"Battery" - Part Two

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Superman stands over the dead Replikon, declaring that he didn't kill it.

Lupé reassures Superman that any action would have been self-defense. Superman tells her that it is never okay for him to take a life, even in self-defense. He also remarks that Replikon had children.

Meanwhile, Skeeter (of the SCU) tells Lupé that Clark Kent fell out of the helicopter and into the dumpster. Superman disappears and Clark appears in the dumpster, wondering what has happened.

Lupé tells Skeeter to get Clark out of the battle zone.

Clark is escorted back to The Shack by Skeeter, where he meets "Jerry", Geraldine Frank, the young black woman from last issue. She lights into him for bothering her, as she has a story to finish about Replikon. Clark asks her how she got the story without being there, and she indicates calling the SCU. Clark politely tells her that that's sloppy reporting, and indicates that a little research would tell her that Replikon had children and give the story a better angle.

She remarks that Superman must have hit Replikon too hard. Clark corrects her, and points her toward the device that likely killed Replikon.

Meanwhile, as Lois packs for her foreign correspondent assignment, Wonder Woman shows up to personally respond to the request Lois sent for a favor.

Lois explains that she wants Wonder Woman to remind her husband to eat, sleep, and do the laundry.

Jerry is about to leave on Roller blades. Clark asks her why she's so flip and cruel to him. She explains that it's because Clark was a real reporter, and she read him a lot, so it's strange to see him washed up.

She leaves, and Clark laments to himself that he's still a reporter.

Clark gets a call from Bill, haranguing him for missing his deadline.

Clark runs into Lupé in the parking lot. They talk a little bit, and Lupé finds out that Clark is married, which she can hardly believe. She asks Clark to tell Superman that she wants to talk to him, because she likes keeping a line on all of her deputies.

In space, Green Lantern searches for Replikon's home. Superman is dazzled by a vision of Jupiter.

Lantern finds the rock, and Superman goes to it a bit too fast for Stewart, cradling the dead Replikon child in his arms as they survey the damage. Superman tells John that she was only a child, and you can see real pain in his eyes.

At home, Lois comforts him and tells him about Diana's visit. Clark tells her that he can't come save her in Umec when she's there, because Superman can't be seen as taking a side in a conflict. She teases him, and says that she'll be fine.

Lois insists that Clark stays home for the night and have dinner with her.

Later, Clark lays in bed and says goodbye to Lois, who leaves.

On the last page, a Replikon holds what seems to be Kryptonite and a voice off screen indicates that this time they're going to try to hurt Superman.

5Story - 5: I was talking with Steve (the webmaster) online and we got to talking, and he pointed out that Lois Lane, in this issue, he thought, was characterized well. I agreed. Then I stepped back, and typed and thought something to the line of, "Well, heck, that's the first time we've seen that in a long while."

And it's true. Think. When's the last time (and specials don't count, I'm talking regular books) you saw Lois not acting like a total b!@#%? And yet here, with this issue, we have Lois acting enough like Lois that we're sad to see her go.

Then there are moments. You know moments, I've mentioned them before. Things that are indelibly etched into memory (like Lex on the island when he knows the secret, etcetera). For me, there were many in this issue. Half of the credit goes to Clark, but the other half goes to Rucka, who wrote the idea down.

Mine were the moment with Jupiter, cradling the dead Replikon, Clark Kent in the Dumpster, and Wonder Woman's appearance.

I also, when speaking with Rucka for my interview a while back, found out about the moment where Lupé ribs Clark for being married, like, "Hey, how can this loser even have a girlfriend?"

And when Rucka explained it, there was this glee, this obvious love for the character despite frustration with the expectation, and you can see the way that his love for the characters come through here. Rucka's Superman is all about character. There is less BIFF, BAM, SOK, but if you follow his Wonder Woman run, his Queen and Country, his Wolverine, you realize that there is a lot of set-up (which is great good fun) and then a wham bang conclusion, typically. I read Rucka for No Man's Land, but lately, I've become a fanatic.

The storyline is still building. We have Replikon, who I always thought was cool, and some odd force trying to kill Superman. Okay. That's on its way.

We also have the introduction of some characters to the Superman mythos... though they were around last week, this is still kind of introductory. Jerry, Lupé, and for some odd reason, my favorite, Skeeter, Lupé's little kickball assistant. I don't know. It's just the name. Cool name, I guess.

Clark is spot on, Lois is spot on, within two issues I feel like I know Lupé, that's just something.

Top notch all the way. You'll note that I can't find a SINGLE inconsistency, ME, the guy who wrote ten pages on your average Casey issue.

We have arrived, folks. Rucka's gold, Loeb's gold, Azarello's starting off on an interesting (if cathartic) foot, and Austen, say what you will about his teenage Superman dialogue, has already delivered on the Action.

I am VERY pleased to be reading Superman comics right now.

Way to go, guys.

5Art - 5: Clark just rocks.

I saw the pencils of this issue, and they really did justice to them with the colors and the dialogue, as they did last issue. I like Matthew's human take on the characters, his consistency, his pacing, and his setup.

I saw a touch of that gal from Resident Evil in Lupé when she rolled her eyes at Clark's dumpster dive, and it was just a great moment for me.

And Jerry, man, HOT HOT HOT! Coolness, there.

The Jupiter page, that was amazing, the Wonder Woman reveal, and all of the moments I mentioned above, which would never have been pulled off without the pencils to Rucka's words.


Even down to the cool way that the cape falls. Look at where it's tucked. That's neat.

5Cover Art - 5: I looked at this cover a few months back in previews and said, "Man, this guy's too cartoony." Now that I'm looking straight at it, with the logo, with the context, I can't believe it, but I've completely changed my mind. I never read Trinity (because it sold out before I could get to it), but I hear really good things about this artist, and though I couldn't see it at first, it really came to me with this cover. The classic pose, the Daily Planet, even the guest star logos were cool.

And speaking of LOGOS, BOOOYAH! Look at that one! Way to go, Eddie! ROCK!

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

January 2004

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