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Cover date: December 1999
1999 Triangle No. 46
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Penciller: Mike McKone
Inker: Marlo Alquiza
Reviewed by: Nick Newman (Nnewman8283@yahoo.com)
The next morning Lois Lane strides down the sidewalk to the Daily Planet. Once inside she runs into Jimmy Olsen, who tries to guess why Lex Luthor would ever sell the Planet back.
Emerging into the newsroom, Lois and Jimmy walk by walls filled with papers from the past. One in particular catches Lois' eye. A picture of a very young Superman, not even in his costume yet, effortlessly saving a huge space plane from certain destruction (see Man of Steel miniseries #1).
Lois walks through the bustle of dozens of people working to get a paper out. She spots Clark sitting at his desk working on a story. Suddenly a loud yell calls Lois, Jimmy and Clark to the editor's office. Inside Perry tells that as his friends, they should know about where things are headed. Perry says that even though he is the publisher now, he's still the editor and they still have to do their jobs. During the talk, Lois is distracted by a paper mounted on the wall, the headline screaming "The Death of Superman!" (see Superman #75).
In the midst of the discussion, Luthor suddenly enters the office. Perry demands to know why Luthor sold the paper back. Luthor calmly explains that even though he owns Metropolis, there should still be some small voice of opposition to make the fight seem fair. Perry starts to object but Luthor cuts him off:
"Got your blood pumping didn't I White? It's interesting, isn't it, how you rise to the occasion to defend this rage? You're as much of this newspaper as the ink on the page. You'll do anything to keep it running...even if it kills you..."
Luthor then turns and calmly walks out. As the three reporters comment on the confrontation, Perry cuts them off. "Are you all though? Then, what're you standing around from? We've got a paper to get out!" Lois returns to her desk and tapes a small newspaper clipping to her computer, "Lois Lane marries Clark Kent". Clark slips out of the Planet and streaks back to Kansas to talk to his parents, who convince him to stay for pie.
Back in Metropolis, Clark leans over Lois' shoulder when a comet streaks through the sky and impacts somewhere downtown. Lois, Jimmy, and Clark dash to the scene. Superman offers the crater's occupant a hand and out steps Mongul!
But Mongul confesses that while he shares his deceased father's name, this Mongul is in fact the son of the alien that Superman knew. Clark accepts this, and then informs him that he is not welcome on Earth. But Mongul says that Superman is the last hope for every one.
In Luthor's tower he talks to someone in the shadows, discussing their deal. That in exchange for him selling the paper back, that person would kill one story of his choosing, whenever he chooses. Lois steps out of the shadows, "Yes. We have a deal..."
Story - 5: This was such a great story. If you are a true fan then you have been waiting for this one for a long time, and it does not disappoint. The return of the Daily Planet, Luthor being evil again, Superman's mistake while changing (check out pages 20-21 very closely) all combine to make a great issue. Loeb is definitely one of the best Superman writers ever.
Art - 5: The art was fantastic; I hope we get to see McKone on a monthly basis. Superman is dynamic and Mongul looks awesome. But it would be unfair to only consider the penciler. The color is done beautifully. The red hue over Luthor when he threatens Perry, the highlights on everyone, finally Superman is up to stands with everything else.
Cover Art - 5: Phil Jimenez is a terrific artist. Superman is exciting and looks like Superman. But the main draw is the layout. Having Superman fly over his shield with "shards" of his past in the background was brilliant. In case you weren't aware, this week's cover is going to match up with the next three, which are all done by Jimenez. Awesome!
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