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Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Superman #684

Superman #684

Scheduled to arrive in stores: January 28, 2009

Cover date: March 2009

"The Mind Of Rudy Jones"

Writer: James Robinson
Penciller: Jesus Merino
Inker: Jesus Merino

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

Click to enlarge


Rudy is on the run now, he feels strangely invigorated and Dr. Torval has faded from his personality completely. He recalls that some things stay with him and others pass quickly, Torval took a long time to fade but his sharpness of mind stayed, enhancing Rudy.

Hidden in the shadows of Metropolis alleyways Rudy remembers...

Superman reactivated the Phantom Zone projector to release his rogues' gallery back into Strykers. Rudy was one of the last and as he returns to Earth he smiles realizing that humanity distrusts Superman, hates him and his fellow Kryptonians for what they did.

Mon-El appears at the entranceway to the portal to warn Superman. Not everyone was released into custody but several people are unaccounted for. Chris, Bizarro, Non, Ursa, Zod, and their soldiers. Only the small time crooks and Mon-El himself are left in the zone... and Rudy grabs his chance!

He quickly drains as much power as he can from the Daxamite, a dash of Kryptonian. The Strykers guard holds back as they watch Mon-El howl in pain. Superman points out it's the lead in the air not Rudy doing the damage, but even so he severs their connection and subdues Rudy before tending to his "brother".

Superman reluctantly says goodbye again and Mon-El, more depressed than ever hides his feelings very badly. Rudy meanwhile, has a plan and allows himself to be taken into custody.

Long after Superman leaves and Rudy is in custody, the villain unleashes the stored Daxamite power within himself and is able to fly just enough to land safely near Hobs Bay.

Rudy is left to scavenge for power and steals it from passers by. He reveals to us that once with his abilities... before he became a sack of shrivelled sinew, he had posed as Lois Lane and stole Lex Luthor's heart.

Now a source of power even more powerful than Kal's is available, somehow if he can use Torval's left over genius he must figure out a way to rescue Mon-El, and make him his personal power battery!


Guardian has called a meeting with all the SciPol serving members. After the original team leaders were slain during the Anti-Kryptonian operation he explains that he is their new team leader.

He reveals to them in an offer of trust and respect that he is Jim Harper, or a clone of. Control, the brains behind SciPol has decided they must follow Jim's lead especially if the Kryptonians ever decided to come back for round two.

Only time will tell if he's earned their respect and loyalty...

Meanwhile in Keystone City, Nightwing and Flamebird enlist Jay Garrick's help in their mysterious quest on the condition it be kept a secret mission. Jay agrees and wishes them luck.

Superman meanwhile is soaring across the sun to New Krypton. It is an icy planet devoid of life aside from the biosphere currently housing Argo & Kandor.

It seems Alura has mellowed a little now they are away from Earth and welcomes her nephew, with reservations of course. Kal agrees to hold back on some of the issues till they can cultivate the planet. Alura leads Kal to a balcony to view the streets below. The Military guild is marching through the streets symbolizing their new order.

During the ceremony Alura admits she thought Kal was more Earthling that Kryptonian and that he'd divorce himself from them. Kal points out that New Krypton is a joy for him, to see his lost people alive, well and safe. He also admits he arrived to warn them of danger. Zod and his minions are free and out there somewhere...

Alura looks puzzled, they aren't 'out there' they are pardoned citizens, she herself saw to that before releasing them.

Superman is bewildered and questions his aunt's sanity, and demands to know where Zod and his minions are. Alura calmly points down to the Military Guard... Zod is the leader of New Krypton's army!

To Be Continued!

4Story - 4: As a chapter of New Krypton this is setting up even more twists and James Robinson is showing his strengths by amping up what otherwise was a story laid to rest. The gripe? Faces of Evil. It's a shoehorned story, I've read them all to date and they suck the life out of half an issue with a 'one shot' in all honesty this chapter works MUCH better than the 'Who Is Superwoman' tripe. Perhaps because Rudy has always been an interesting character, that's why the issue didn't feel too disjointed. If it wasn't Robinson handling this issue I doubt it would have gelled so well his 'long arc' style is what are making Superman so much more interesting to read these days - not that I don't like Geoff John's 'event after event' style, I just think Robinson deals with the long term with a more cryptic but interesting character driven narrative that's often overshadowed by the 'bells and whistles'.

Foreshadowing Mon-El's return to Earth, while quickly revamping Rudy, not as a simpleton merged with a brilliant scientist, but more of a sadistic cold calculating villain was brilliant, I had long thought Rudy was lost but his rotting appearance adds to his fear factor so much more than when he was a gigantic leech man and the fact he has Torval's calculative sharpness is definitely a new dimension.

I'm more than a little puzzled as to the line about his posing as Lois Lane to make Lex love him/her... I hope that's cleared up - unless I missed it? Anyone care to throw out a theory? In any case, BRAVO this is one of your best issues to date James, I'm just sorry the Faces Of Evil swallowed half the book otherwise it would have been a firm five out of five.

4Art - 4: Merino delivers. His style is a marriage of perfection with Robinson's script. I can't find fault - but now I sound like I'm gushing; I'll quit. Good stuff!

4Cover Art - 4: Another rinse and repeat... but this time instead of an elderly Superman we have a truly awesome rendition of Rudy, back to his most chilling, but this time looking more like a horror film character more than a comic book villain and I applaud that reinvigoration to the character. If only it wasn't just another crossover cover it would have stood out so much more.

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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