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Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Adventures of Superman #648

Adventures of Superman #648

Scheduled to arrive in stores: January 25, 2006

Cover date: March 2006

Writer: Greg Rucka
Penciller: Karl Kerschl, Renato Guedes
Inker: Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir, Jami Bernard

"Look! Up in the Sky!"

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Click to enlarge

Through a news story by Lois Lane, the fallout of the attack on Bludhaven is told.

Chemo falls, then reporters converge on city hall looking for news. Superman flies over, heading into the problem, with a quick stop to speak with Nightwing, telling him to move aside, no matter how hard, so the radiation doesn't kill him.

A host of heroes, including two Green Lanterns, the Metal Men, and Steel arrive on scene to help, trying to save people in the radioactive fallout. Even Lupe.

Chemo begins to reconstitute. Hal Jordan is overwhelmed at the loss of another city, forced to sit in memory of the past.

Superman fights the reconstituted Chemo. Looters nearby see what he's doing, watch him as he's hit aside, and with Superman as an example, start helping others instead of stealing.

Superman battles Chemo harder, which the other heroes don't understand, because fighting Chemo only makes him stronger. Finally, Green Lantern helps them realize why...fighting Chemo that hard helps suck up the radioactivity from the city. As soon as Chemo becomes as large as he can possibly be, Superman sucks him into space, saving the day before taking one last flyby of the city and moving on to help others.

4Story - 4: My summary doesn't really do this story justice, because most of what makes it good is the reporting angle and the characterization of Lois Lane. Top to bottom, it's an incredible story of why Superman inspires us. It also ties in directly and in a timely fashion with what's going on in Infinite Crisis, allowing for a lot of understanding as to what's going on when in the Infinite Crisis they say "Yeah, a bunch of heroes are in there fighting."

The reason I knocked a point is that mostly, not using any character speech was a neat experiment, and it did a lot to create an interesting story, and it has worked for Rucka INCREDIBLY well in the past, but when you have a story like this, while seeing Hal Jordan sit down as he did says about a thousand things, you want to know just what he said. The agony of what Hal was going through can't be said through Lois Lane, though the story did a pretty good job of doing so. For that matter, what was Superman thinking? He lost Coast City too, recall...

But for that criticism, this is still a great story. By any other writer, it would be a five, but since I set such a high bar for Rucka with myself, I have to say, I wanted a bit more, even if I can't put my finger on it beyond a little dialogue...

5Art - 5: Supporting the story through and through, epic, heroic, and strong imagery all throughout. The fact that it had multiple artists didn't really hinder it at all. The story is well told through the pictures.

5Cover Art - 5: I still very much like this colorist working with Kerchl's art. I'm not sure why I liked this so much, given that the background is rather indistinct which is usually a big problem for me, but here it works, mostly because of the way the colorist makes it constrast with Superman's costume and what he's doing.

Good work.

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

January 2006

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