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Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Adventures of Superman #647

Adventures of Superman #647

Scheduled to arrive in stores: December 21, 2005

Cover date: February 2006

Writer: Greg Rucka, Nunzio Defilippis, and Christina Weir
Penciller: Renato Guedes
Inker: Renato Guedes

"Rack & Ruin - Part II"

Reviewed by: Nick Newman

Click to enlarge

Superman tries to stop Ruin (revealed to be Emil Hamilton), but red sun blasts hold him off. Fighting back, Superman is able to free himself and take off towards Pete, but he is too weak to move as fast as normal. Pointing her gun at Pete's back, Lupé fires.

Knocking Emil back one final time, Superman bursts through the wall and soars across the city. He arrives a moment too late to stop the bullet, but instead of hitting Pete it knocks a gun away.

Superman is shocked that she didn't shoot him, but she tells him that she knows when she is being set up. As they free Lana and baby Clark, Ruin teleports into the room. Ruin attacks Superman with his red sun generator, and Superman falls to the ground. A shot from Lupé destroys the sunlight, and Superman attacks Ruin. As the others run, Ruin tosses a grenade after them. Ruin holds Superman back and the rest of them are on their own.

Running out of the warehouse, Pete tries to shove Lupé out. She refuses to let him sacrifice himself after what she did to him in prison. She shoves him through and takes the grenade blast herself.

Shocked, Superman grabs Ruin and pushes him out into the yellow sunlight. He punches his mask away, snaps the wires from the back of the head, and stands triumphant. Hamilton laughs, as his armor begins to explode...along with half of the city. Superman tries to talk him down, but Hamilton says that his Phantom Zone trips have doomed him anyway. Superman uses his speed to remove the armor from Hamilton, takes it up into the sky, and lets it explode far above the city. Crashing back to Earth, Superman tells Emil that no one dies, not even him.

At the hospital, Superman watches them take Lupé away. Her body armor protected her and they expect her to make a full recovery. Walking over to Pete and Lana, Superman tells them that they all need to talk. Walking outside, Pete and Lana realize they both know Clark's identity. Superman tells Pete that he's his best friend, and he'll clear his name with a front page story.

4Story - 4: I have to admit, I'm torn on this issue. I've enjoyed (nearly) all of the Ruin storyline, and I'm happy to see it end with a good resolution for pretty much everyone.

However, I'm still upset at the identity of Ruin, and I really wish he didn't need to be evil again. Emil was always a great supporting cast member, and I was hoping that Rucka would return him to something of his former glory. I mean really, what's next, an evil Bibbo? I've got a real soft spot for the 'Jurgens era' characters, and I'm sad to see Hamilton removed again.

Everyone (with the exception of poor Emil) was spot on in this book. Lupé shows that she's not an idiot, Superman is pretty super, and Lana isn't evil. I also really liked Superman confirming Pete as his best friend. This is a dynamic that has been largely ignored post-crisis (when did post-crisis Pete even first appear, anybody know?) and I can really appreciate Clark keeping a strong bond with his high school friend. I hope this concept is continued into the future of the books.

I'm kind of disappointed that Lupé didn't head to the big SCU in the sky. And surprisingly enough, I don't think that because I don't like the character. When she first showed up, I really didn't like her, partly because I wished Rucka hadn't stolen Maggie Sawyer for one of his other books. But Rucka really made me like her. And because of that, I would rather he ended her than give her to some other writer to ruin (or, more likely, simply ignore that she was ever there). There's also the question of surviving a point-blank Kryptonian-based grenade just because you're wearing some Kevlar, but I digress.

It was mildly annoying to see that Greg only did the plotting for this issue, leaving the actual script to others, but I honestly didn't feel it detracted from the book. And with Greg busy on everything DC is doing right now, I can understand his need for a little extra time.

With this being Rucka's second-to-last issue, its nice to see him tying stuff up. Pete's name is cleared, and it looks like the Rosses are back together again. Hopefully this will put the Lana vs. Lois thing away forever. I would also guess that Clark's first page story implies that he's back in the Daily Planet like he should be. Rucka put all of his toys back where he found them, which is always nice with a character like Superman.

Overall, this was a strong issue, and one that I definitely enjoyed. My qualms with Hamilton's villainy aside, this was a solid issue.

And, as I won't be reviewing Greg's final issue, let me take this opportunity to thank Greg for a great run. I really enjoyed it.

5Art - 5: I'm going to talk about an element of the art that I normally ignore. Luckily, Guedes did everything, so I get to praise the same guy for everything. Sure the pencils are terrific. Lupé looks particularly great, as does everyone else. The inks are also fine.

But those colors.


This is some absolutely beautiful work. And it's the type of work that you normally don't see in a Superman book, and especially in one of the 'regular' titles. I really like what it does for Superman, when his costume gets more shading in the blue areas.

Everything about this book was just beautiful.

4Cover Art - 4: I like this cover. It's eye catching, symbolic of what happens inside, and has Superman looking pretty cool. I knock it down for a few minor points. The lack of a background is always annoying, but I'm not really sure what would have been appropriate here, so I don't fault them too much for that. My biggest problem would have to be the blur effect they used on Superman. I appreciate the effort guys, and I realize that you don't want to distort Superman too much, but it looks like something I could throw together in Photoshop in a few minutes. Overall though, a nice cover.

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