Cover date: December 2000
2000 Shield No. 49
Writer: Mark Schultz
Penciller: Doug Mahnke
Inker: Tom Nguyen and Walden Wong
"In The Zone"
Reviewed by: Nick Newman (NNewman8283@yahoo.com)
In bed together, Clark tells Lois about the Phantom Zone... and about Luna being trapped in it. He needs to go in and rescue her. Lois tries to talk him out of it, but he is adamant in his decision.
In the Steelworks, John Henry works on his returned armor, now free from the Prankster, to check it for any bugs or other modifications. After the armor gets a clean bill, Superman tells John about his planned mission into the zone. The two heroes head for the fortress. Once they arrive, they begin to plan for the mission.
Outside of the zone, Superman prepares himself as Steel fires the beam that sends Kal-el hurtling into the Phantom Zone. Clark is immediately disoriented. He has no idea which way is up.
Back in Metropolis, Luthor continues his campaign to win the presidency of the United States. Meanwhile, Lois practices her Rao-state.
In the zone, Superman begins to perceive Kem-L. His ancestor shows him the way to Krypton, but Clark resists. Suddenly Kem-L changes into a huge creature and engulfs Kal-el. Drifting through the zone, Clark finally finds Luna. He reaches for her, as creatures begin to envelop him.
Back in Metropolis, Lois concentrates and enters the Rao state. She soars toward her husband.
Inside the Phantom Zone, Superman sees the image of his wife and reaches for her. Grabbing Luna, he moves toward the exit and escapes. Outside of the portal, Steel helps Superman to his feet, and then notices the life form Luna is holding around her neck.
Story - 3: Good story, except for the whole Rao state thing again. LOIS IS NOT A SUPER HERO. DC needs to do some quick work to forever erases this new power from Lois, and while they are at it, from Superman too. I'm not liking the whole mental powers idea. When Clark battled in his apartment (Kem-L I think) that was fine, but this whole astral plane thing is way too Marvel for me. Oh, and Steel got his armor back. About time.
Art - 3: I still like Mahnke's art, but some of it is starting to get to me. I think that he has gotten too comfortable in his art and it is getting more and more stylized as we go on. He can do a great monster, but we need to clean up Superman a bit.
Cover Art - 3: And the issue gets marks for consistency. The cover was decent, but that's about it. Nothing stood out. There are some of those great Mahnke monsters though.
Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2000.