Necessary Evil: Super-Villains of DC Comics [Blu-ray]
THE JOKER, LEX LUTHOR, CATWOMAN, DOOMSDAY, BANE. What makes them so thrillingly watchable? So terribly wonderful? So extremely vital to our super heroes and their worlds? This new feature-length documentary explores these questions across seven decades of DC Comics' hallowed Rogues' Gallery of infamous evildoers.
Cover date: April 2001
Writer: Dean Motter
Penciller: Aluir Amancio
Inker: Terry Austin
"Kryptonite No More!"
Reviewed by: George O'Connor (LukeSky500@mindspring.com)
A new, cleaner, more powerful source of energy is what the citizens of Superman's Earth are looking for especially after a large tanker leaks oil into the Northern Pacific Ocean during a lightning storm.
Lex Luthor, ingenious and humanitarian benefactor that he is, has an idea that will result in large financial profits for his company and unlimited control over his most formidable opponent.
Arriving at the Daily Planet one day, Luthor announces his new plan to use Kryptonite as a form of energy capable of supporting the Earth's power necessities. Knowing that Superman would refuse to aid him in acquiring the necessary reserves of Kryptonite in the Argo Asteroid Field, he has set up this meeting to speak with Superman's closest friends: Lois Lane, Perry White, and Professor Hamilton. When the trio remain dubious over the advantages of the new power source, Luthor tells them something that causes Perry and Hamilton to lower their heads in defeat and Lois' eyes to snap open.
Later, Superman finds himself in his spaceship, rocketing through the Argo Asteroid Field, where he begins to collect giant Kryptonite asteroids and store them in a lead containment chamber. When Superman finally returns, he reluctantly hands the Kryptonite over to Luthor, whose propaganda fills newspapers' headlines and controls television airwaves.
However, during the grand gala in which LexCorp plans to introduce Kryptonite power into the states of Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, the reactor begins to approach critical mass. Clark Kent, sitting in the audience, waiting for the demonstration to commence, suddenly overhears the threat of detonation and rushes off to change into Superman.
Lifting the reactor out of the plant, Superman carries it into the desert, where it detonates in a green mushroom cloud before Superman can escape. Hurled from the explosion, Superman's figure buries itself into the desert ground before he regains consciousness and heads back to the plant.
After a quick examination of Superman, Professor Hamilton reasons that the Man of Steel had no ill effects caused by the explosion, and soon discovers as well that the Kryptonite has reverted into a non-radioactive state. Superman, testing the theory, picks up a piece of Kryptonite and tosses it into his mouth, chowing down on the rock before exclaiming "Needs salt."
Later, during a meeting at the Daily Planet, a sudden shaking is followed by a crash as a sandy figure in the form of Superman crashes through the building, even as Clark Kent begins to visually weaken.
To Be Continued...
Story - 4: Taking cues from Superman #233 (1970), and the post-Crisis version of the story, Superman Special #1 (1992), the "Kryptonite Nevermore" tale is told here with a new, modern-day spin. This story is miles ahead of recent Superman Adventures issues although it is a trifle upsetting that they are adapting an old story instead of coming up with a brand new one. Nevertheless, I'm definitely looking forward to the continuation of this tale. I'm curious as to what Luthor's real plot is and how writer Motter will differentiate this tale from the other interpretations.
Art - 4: I never get tired of Amancio's style. His Lois Lane is gorgeous, his Luthor is cunningly sinister, and his Superman shows signs of wrestling with the conflict of giving Kryptonite to his deadliest foe. On top of Amancio's pencils was more great work by Austin's excellent inking and some great colors provided by Marie Severin, especially in the tanker scene.
Cover Art - 4: A dynamic interpretation of the original cover by Neal Adams, presented here in animated action by none other than Manley and Austin.
Other recent reviews:
Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2001.