1999 Triangle No. 48
Writer: Mark Schultz
Penciller: Doug Mahnke
Inker: Tom Nguyen
Reviewed by: Neal Bailey
Jimmy sits around Lois and Clark's apartment enjoying the fact that he's back with the Planet and that the Daily Planet itself is back in action.
From the fireplace, a beeping sounds, and Jimmy pulls out the head of Kelex. Clark explains it away as an alarm clock, and says that the beeping was to remind them of a meeting. They send Jimmy off.
Clark asks Kelex what the alarm is.
Kelex explains what has happened with the Luthor goons. Clark decides to go investigate, taking Lois along after she begs him.
Arriving, they find the shell of the Fortress from the Dominus battle. Clark and Lois talk of how Clark may or may not be preserving his Kryptonian heritage enough.
Superman asks the robot why it didn't stop the Lexcorp goons, and the robot explains that Superman asked it to observe, the parameters were not broad enough.
The ground rumbles, and they are swept underground to the Fortress ruins. A giant Kryptonian beast erupts out of what seems to be a perversion of Clark's birthing matrix. Superman tells the robot to take Lois to safety.
Superman pounds at the creatures, who tire him, because as they are birthed of the matrix, they too gain powers with the sun. Superman realizes that the Eradicator is trying to re-establish Krypton by bringing its life back with the matrix.
Superman recalls, briefly, the story of the matrix, how he was brought to Earth in it from Krypton.
The creatures press on, but once the battle moves beyond the heated remains of the Fortress, the beast begin becoming sluggish. Taking advantage of this, Superman creates a front and freezes the monsters into retreat, sending them back to the wound.
Superman realizes that Kelex was wrong, the Fortress is not withering, it's trying to will itself back into existence.
Superman melts as much of the Fortress as possible to slag, but even as he picks up Lois from Ned. He tells Ned to watch for any strange activity, then leaves, because human presence agitates the matrix.
Meanwhile, executives in Metropolis review and accept a model for a new battlesuit for the SCU, welcoming its creator to Metropolis.
John Henry thanks them, shaking their hands.
Story - 4: This is a review done in retrospect, 5 years after the issue came out, simply because this review didn't get done a while back. Thusly, I can't comment on future implications, because they have all come to pass.
What is this issue in the large scheme of things? Well, it's the start of the modern fortress. It's a pretty stand-alone issue where Superman fights monsters. It's nothing amazingly huge.
But what it is makes it good. An issue without too terribly many flaws, a consistent, "on" Superman, and there is attention to continuity and fun, technology and philosophy. This is a just plain fun Superman story. At the time, I took it for granted, but with 2003, I missed it. Heading into 2004, it looks like things are looking up, but reading this issue is a nice bit of nostalgia.
I do notice that, however, if Birthright is continuity, this story can't happen, because there is no birthing Matrix. Alas. But that's a very modern comment that may look dated in time as well.
I subtracted one point from my rating because nothing really big did happen, and though it's a good read, it's not a FANTASTIC read.
Art - 3: Pretty average. Nothing really stood out except the colors. It's also the start of that dark, rather angry looking Superman trend that started and continues with these issues... across the board, but especially in this title.
Cover - 4: This cover on its own is a little plain, but put into context with the other covers, it really rocks. One of the best covers yet. It does what the Millennium Giant covers tried to do, only it doesn't fail. :)
Superman looks normal, although the eyes are a bit off, and there are letters on the cover, but the logo makes up for that. Old school, cool logo!
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