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Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Action Comics #880

Action Comics #880

Scheduled to arrive in stores: August 12, 2009

Cover date: October 2009

"Codename Patriot" - Part 2

Writer: Greg Rucka with James Robinson
Penciller: Julian Lopez
Inker: Bit
Cover: Raul Fernandez & Mazi

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

Click to enlarge

Continuing from World of New Krypton, assassin Ral-Dar has made it to Earth with Supergirl and Superman in hot pursuit. Mirabai, Hollister and General Lane watch bemused as their plan falls into place. A crew of fighter jets is scrambled to intercept the outlaw Kryptonians and as they do Lane leaks information to the media so the world watches the destruction in the Kryptonian's wake.

Jimmy in the Daily Planet rushes for the scoop, Mon-El, forgets his struggle with mortality and leaps to the rescue while Kal and Kara take on Ral and clean up his destructive behavior.

Ral makes a getaway while Mon, Kal and Kara rescue the fighter pilots from their heavily damaged planes. For now they've lost Ral's trail.

Over in Hollywood Chris and Thara are scanning the surrounding area intently with their array of visual powers. Even exposing themselves to publicity to try and attract their quarry Az-Rel and Nadira. Unfortunately all they attract is an army of fans who lust after Chris and try to interview Thara. One reporter lets slip that three Kryptonians just arrived on Earth and off race the two heroes.

Lois is watching Edge of Reason when she sees the stunning story of the Kryptonian 'invasion', her Blackberry Storm goes berserk and Perry orders Lois to get on the case before another media outlet steals more of the story. Luckily Lois has an insider... Clark!

Superman and Mon-El meet Guardian and the SciPol to explain Ral-Dar's plot and the attempted assassination of Zod. Guardian listens and is very cautious of Kara who is still on the planetary blacklist. Superman brings up his past relationship with Jim and Earth but Lois arrives to break up the tension.

Mon-El provides an excuse for Lois and Clark to share some time together and during their strained reunion Lois reveals much to Clark's shock, that their son is back on Earth.

General Lane is watching streaming news footage deep in the confines of 7734. Hollister interrupts telling him that Patriot, their Kryptonian Sleeper has arrived, as has Atlas. Curiously Ral is concerned for the safety of the pilots he attacked. As it turns out they were just fodder to misdirect his arrival in 7734. Even now Ral is suspicious of Lane and his motives. Waxing lyrical eases him for now but the cracks already exist.

Elsewhere, Thara and Chris are flying through cityscapes. Thara has a jealous tantrum over the attention Chris was getting back in Hollywood and gets even angrier when Chris suggests they enlist Supergirl to help them in their Sleeper's quest. Romance takes centre stage and Chris comforts his companion in an embrace.

Delayed they may be but Nadira and Az-Rel appear and attack luring the heroes into a subway tunnel. A blaze of gold and green Kryptonite bathe the lovers as they are in pursuit and the weakened duo are devastated to learn they've been tricked by Metallo and Reactron (with a little help from Mirabai) and a masking spell.

To Be Continued in Supergirl #44...

3Story - 3: The Sleepers story has kind of died a death of whimpering proportions right now so this breath of fresh air is a welcome one - though still rife with some plot issues.

The biggest of which is in Supergirl #43 & World of New Krypton. We already know Clark has been sneaking off planet at least twice and the most recent time was to see Lois (off camera) to speak to her about Kara murdering her sister. "Lois asked you to stay away from Earth". Yet suddenly this issue somehow never happened. Lucy Lane isn't mentioned even though Lois is in mourning. Then the big reunion... is a chat. Now say what you will but Lois and Clark are two of the universes most famous and legendary lovers - and they act like two uninterested parties. Who actually shares the most love and passion in the book? Not Lois, not Clark but Thara and Chris? I get that they're 'lovers of universal significance' and blah blah, but sorry, to promote them over the couple we really want to see? BLAH.

Plot elements seem to come and go willy nilly. Is Lois crushed by Lucy's death or not? Is Sam or is he just spending his days mimicking Lex Luthor? Is Clark happy that Chris is back? Does he love his wife anymore? Does he come back to Earth stealthily - or not? 7734 is Jimmy's big story yet he hasn't worked on it at all since the pre New Krypton special. Is Steel dead or captured? Who is Mirabai and do we give a damn? Why are DC promoting real cell phones in its books? Are Mon-El's powers fluctuating - or not? Maybe we'll have the answers soon - but since New Krypton ENDED with NO END and they launched a new story arc altogether - I'm not sure I hold out much hope...

Besides these niggles, it is a worthy follow on from "World of New Krypton" but it's still full of failings and that makes me feel very guilty for pointing them out...

4Art - 4: YEAH! Something this issue excels in! This is awesome stuff. The inking is a little feint in places forcing the colorist to needlessly patch up depth issues but overall this has some of the best art of the New Krypton/Patriot arcs. I hope this artist sticks.

3Cover Art - 3: Love the House of El's distressed shield, I also like the 'Neo blowing up Agent Smith from the inside out' effect but I'm not sure I understand it? Are we saying Thara and Chris are the polar opposites of Metallo & Reactron? If so that's incorrect on many levels. Plus I really hate these two rock hearted bozos. They've become the most one dimensional characters in the DCU and that's said considering before they were sucked into this story they were far from 'Rocksteady & Bebop/Tokka Rahza' syndrome. I am however a fan of the Nightwing and Flamebird pairing. It's a nice cover worthy of a four but as we've already endured a whole year of the meaningless poses in Trinity to last a while, I have to give it a 'middle of the road' rating.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

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