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Cover date: June 2001
Writer: Dan Jolley
Penciller: Neil Vokes
Inker: Terry Austin
Reviewed by: George O'Connor (LukeSky500@mindspring.com)
The little man introduces himself as Nyjl Fomalhaut and politely explains that he's won the Earth in a game of chance against the intergalactic bounty hunter, Lobo.
Superman, realizing that the man is pudgy, short, and looks completely harmless, suggests a physical contest in order to determine the real owner of Earth. Oddly enough, the little man agrees and decides that the tournament should take place on his spaceship. Lobo, who has been teleported to the scene by the little man as a prisoner, is forced to come along and serve as spectator for the games.
Aboard the ship, the little man reveals himself as a robot, and then reveals his true form as a hulking, brute of a monster, easily twice as tall as the Man of Steel. Despite his fearsome appearance, he is still exceptionally polite and fair, making a deal with Superman that if he can defeat Nyjl in just one of the three tests, he can have Earth back.
The first test requires both opponents to hold a large rod above their heads at a g-force of one. At this mass, neither contestant strains, but as the g-forces increase gradually to sixty three g-forces, even the mighty Superman can no longer hold the massive weight, and is forced to surrender.
In the next test, each contestant plays a slightly more painful form of dodge ball against his opponent. The beastly Nyjl Fomalhaut begins by hurling explosive rocks at Superman. He connects with two of the rocks, forcing Superman to come back in the next round by hitting Nyjl with two or more of the rocks. Superman fails, only hitting Nyjl once.
The final test results in Superman and Nyjl facing off in a ring, where the loser is the first one to fall out of the boundaries. Superman tries his best, but a swift kick to the stomach sends Superman flying out of the ring, and thus failing his adopted homeworld.
A defeated Superman agrees to show Nyjl around the Earth as agreed, and the hulking beast stays aboard his ship and sends the robot of himself, the slightly plump, gentlemanly caricature. As Superman and the robot walk across town, the Man of Steel tricks Nyjl into thinking that all Earthlings have pyrokinetical powers by using his heat vision whenever they pass a human being that is performing some sort of task. After a few examples of these amazingly destructive powers, Nyjl decides that taking over Earth could be incredibly destructive to his robot forces, and decides to leave it be. Instead of taking the Earth captive, he keeps Lobo as hired help for his intergalactic parties.
Story - 3: This was just a plain old entertaining issue with a humorous catch to it. Personally, I thought what made it succeed was that this hulking, beast-like creature looking to take over the world was such a darn nice guy!
Art - 3: Well now! This is an unprecedented event that I say anything good about Neil Vokes' work, but I have to say that it was appropriate for this issue. The cartoony caricatures actually seemed to mold with the story quite well for this issue and I thought page eight was certainly an impressive image.
Cover Art - 3: It certainly conveys some action and Lobo on the screens in the background is a nice touch, but Supes himself does look a tad rushed. Overall, a pretty "average" issue.
Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2001.