Superman: The Unauthorized Biography
Glen Weldon (Author)
A celebration of Superman's life and history - in time for his 75th birthday. How has the Big Blue Boy Scout stayed so popular for so long? How has he changed with the times, and what essential aspects of him have remained constant? This fascinating biography examines Superman as a cultural phenomenon through 75 years of action-packed adventures, from his early years as a social activist in circus tights to his growth into the internationally renowned demigod he is today.
Hardcover: 352 pages
Cover date: May 2001
Writer: Dean Motter
Penciller: Aluir Amancio
Inker: Terry Austin
"Kryptonite No More!" (Part 2 of 2)
Reviewed by: George O'Connor (LukeSky500@mindspring.com)
Bursting through the wall of the Daily Planet, the Sand-monster attacks the staff of the Daily Planet. Clark jumps out a window and changes to Superman, distracting the monster from his destructive fury against the newspaper corporation.
Superman has a brief scuffle with the creature outside until he realizes that just being near the creature weakens him for some reason. He hightails it away from the scene and goes to see Professor Hamilton in order to examine his weakness around the super-powered monster. Hamilton reasons that the creature is a quantum doppelganger designed to replace Supes in the physical universe. Later, it is revealed that the Kryptonite Reactor that exploded (last issue) did not affect Kryptonite at all but instead Supes' molecular structure, as well as creating a separate quantum entity, a shadow (or anti-matter reflection) of the Man of Steel, that for some reason can severely weaken Supes.
Anyway, Luthor learns of the creature and recognizes his part in bringing it about. He decides to lure the creature and Superman to a test site where he can wipe the both of them out with some sort of mega-bomb.
Meanwhile, the creature finds Supes and engages in a battle that brings both gladiators beneath the surface of the Earth and into volcanic deposits. Superman thinks he has finally defeated the monster when it falls in a giant lava pit, but the creature leaps out with a lava exterior and proceeds to again combat the Man of Steel.
After battling the creature once more in a city, a helicopter from LexCorp helps out Superman by pummeling the monster with twin missiles. It broadcasts to Superman, notifying him their plan to destroy the creature at the test site. What they do not tell Superman is that he is in danger as well.
Suspecting a trap, Superman complies anyway and lures the creature to the test site where the bomb goes off, engulfing both Supes and the monster.
Crawling out of the wreckage moments later is a clay-encrusted figure that reveals itself as the fatigued figure of Superman, the survivor of the blast.
Later, a scientist for LexCorp explains everything to Luthor, including that the atomic explosion that blasted both the creature and Superman destroyed the anti-matter Superman and reverted Superman's molecular structure to its original state so that he is vulnerable to Kryptonite again.
Story - 3: It was okay, but things were a little too convenient. Like the explosion at the end that killed the monster but just reverted Supes to his original molecular structure. I did like the explanation that the Kryptonite explosion from last issue didn't affect all the Kryptonite in the world, but instead gave Superman immunity to the green meteor. It makes a little more sense... though it still seems like it should have killed him... but oh well. I enjoyed the little back-story with the shark and Luthor, but didn't think it important enough to include in the summary. Overall, though, it was just a giant fight between Supes and the creature, which got old pretty quickly.
Art - 4: This is very odd. The first few pages in this issue are really weak, which is surprising because Amancio can really do some great stuff with action sequences, but these looked weak and rushed. Starting with page four, though, things gradually get much better. And of course the double page spread at the end of the atomic explosion redeems Amancio's work for this issue immensely. It's gorgeous! Especially Supes' friends and family along the right. This page is Amancio at his best. Maybe he just spent all his time on this and that's why the first few pages were lacking.
Cover Art - 3: Strangely deficient for Manley and Austin. The monster leaping is cool, but Superman looks awful, his face is all messed up, his hands look rushed and his feet are small, stumpy triangles. Not too impressive overall.
Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2001.