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Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Action Comics #878

Action Comics #878

Scheduled to arrive in stores: June 10, 2009

Cover date: August 2009

"The Sleepers" - Part Four

Writer: Greg Rucka
Penciller: Diego Olmos
Inker: Diego Olmos
Cover: Andrew Robinson

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

Click to enlarge

We join Az Rel and Nadira in New Mexico as they seek refuge in a stranger's house while on the run. The police hot on their trail, they arrive too late and discover the house razed to the ground save the bedroom. When they sheepishly enter, they discover an ice statue of the dead home owner and the two Phantom Zone escapees mid intercourse.

They make short work of the police and return to love making.

Thara meanwhile, awakens in Lois' apartment in an old Superman uniform top. Lois introduces herself as Chris' mother and the tired, bewildered girl struggles to accustom to the rapid changes. First, surviving Ursa's attack and then coming to grips with the fact that Chris has a human mother.

General Lane's new sidekick is tracking evidence while 4377 have discovered Superman's Fortress. They collect the dead body of media mogul David Carter (aka Tor-An) and some genetic evidence Chris left behind after being hit by the missiles.

The results are immediate and General Lane is presented the data. David Carter was a sleeper Kryptonian and the young man they attacked was Chris Kent, unfazed that his grandson is Kryptonian it is also revealed to Sam Lane that his grandson has grown to be a teenager and possibly murdered David Carter while on the run with Thara Ak Var.

Hollister, General Lane's consultant also informs him that all forces are on the look out for a male/female duo travelling around America.

Lane unravels the events with his own unique twists. The three of them were all sleepers and during a falling out they killed Carter. During the fight Thara was injured and that's why Dr Light helped heal her on Lois' roof. His daughter is a traitor to all humans and subject to treason.

Hollister puts forward another theory. Perhaps Thara and this unnamed boy were trying to help them find sleepers. Lane guffaws that people who can make coal into diamonds would have no need to seek friendship with us.

A call comes through that the Kryptonians have been tracked to New Mexico and they follow Az Ral and Nadira's trail of destruction. Hollister is puzzled and points out that they are watching Lois' apartment and Thara hasn't been spotted leaving.

Back at the Kent apartment, Thara is explaining she helped free Chris from the Zone when he contacted her telepathically somehow through her dreams. Chris returns just as they are about to explore the theory more and explains the goings on while Thara was out for the count.

Lois can't shake the feeling that somehow a ghost of the past is involved in the anti Kryptonian movement but again interruptions abound. Morgan Edge's TV bulletin interrupts with news of two illegal Krypton escapees on a rampage through New Mexico.

Chris and Thara suit up as Flamebird and Nightwing to give chase and Lois follows up on her gut theory. She quickly calls Jim Harper of the Science Police, better known as The Guardian to follow up on her investigation.

Nadira and Az Rel are digging for diamonds, horsing around romantically when they are interrupted by Flamebird and Nightwing. The two escapees laugh off the appearance of two teenagers dressed as Kryptonian legends and vow to crush them. Thara and Chris make short work of the pair however, putting their training skills to the test.

However - again we're interrupted, but this time by Codename: Assassin and an army of zombie orcmen!

To Be Continued...

2Story - 2: Sam may have been 'dead' but he kept a quiet eye on his family and given his hatred for all things Kryptonian, how is it that he doesn't recognise his own grandson? You can throw in the theory 'they've never met' but the whole 'Last Son' storyline made a big deal that the media was obsessed with Chris' arrival, kidnap and the battle that ensued with General Zod. So it's a big ask to look past that. As is the whole... Lois' son is Kryptonian from the DNA evidence thing... but still the dots are too hard to join... Why are the military in DC Comics being portrayed as bigoted and unintelligent?

How is it with all the information that 7734 has at hand, via media, genetics, surveillance and active duty that Superman hasn't been exposed? Or vice versa that Lois, with all the information from Clark, Jimmy, Kara, Lucy, Thara and Chris, hasn't figured it out from her end? This is getting to be very long and drawn out at chapter twenty nine...

Then last issue there was the jokey comment that Lois could call up Dr Light and there she was... but Lois seems to have everyone on speed dial on that phone of hers. I hope she's better with her Blackberry than Paris Hilton is.

The Fortress... post Infinite Crisis was shown to be chock full of secrets, robots, alien life, portals, vehicles and universal secrets... so soldiers intent on bringing down all things from Krypton... ignore it all and leave with a test tube of blood and Tor An's dead body?

Finally there is the interruption technique... ten times in one issue? Phew! Surely there are other ways to keep a story moving? Overall, lots of story elements carrying through but too many threads flying around and glaring issues make the story unravel.

The first two chapters flowed really well but now the story seems to be weakening mainly due to the plot points and issues I've brought up here. I hope some of this is addressed.

Can any Superman Homepage fan fill me in on the following?

I honestly can't find anything on:

The tracker with the glowing eye that appeared with attitude last issue...

And Chris' third new name... Christopher Kent.... Lor Zod... K'Riss? When did Chris inherit K'Riss?

4Art - 4: Blocky and rushed pencils and inks this issue, and normally in a none excessive story arc issue it probably would have made me rate it lower, this time round the artwork compliments the pace of the story. The artwork kept me reading on, Olmos did a great job this issue.

3Cover Art - 3: Cool fight scene, not sold on Nadira and Az Rel's costumes... I like their look inside much more... they LOOK evil inside, on the cover they look like evil Wonder Twins...

Still I like the cover as it has some real emotive action.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2009

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