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Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Adventures of Superman #620

Adventures of Superman #620

Scheduled to arrive in stores: September 10, 2003

Cover date: November 2003

Writer: Joe Casey
Penciller: Derec Aucoin
Inker: Derec Aucoin

"Martyr Party People"

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (

A rogue entity known as Cannibal Planet enters the solar system, intent on eating our sun.

The Candidate, meanwhile, campaigns through kitschy slogans and general proclamations.

Lois and Clark talk about a potential assassination attempt on The Candidate Lois learned about from a source. Clark determines to go and speak with The Candidate.

Superman goes to speak with the candidate, who brushes him off. Superman then notices Cannibal Planet, and goes off to take care of it.

Superman streaks for Cannibal Planet, bending space with his super-speed. Time slows down.

At Giants Stadium, the assassination Bug mentioned last issue starts inebriating himself, screaming, "HEDONISM NOW!" and generally talking in a street style.

Luthor responds to The Candidate on the news by dismissing him.

Superman streaks into Cannibal Planet.

The Candidate gives his speech, with similar platitudes to everything we've heard him utter thus far.

The assassin charges the stage. Superman flies into either the core of the sun or the core of Cannibal Planet (all that is indicated is Super Brain Freeze, whatever that means), and comes out seemingly super-charged.

The assassin stabs a bodyguard and continues charging. Lois heads for the action.

The Earth starts freezing under the effects of Cannibal Planet on the sun.

John Stewart works with Superman in the JLA Watchtower, giving him updates.

The Candidate, further in the building, rushes away from the scene using his bodyguards to create safety.

Lois and her cameraman catch The Candidate for several words.

Superman uses his heat vision from far away to heat the entire Earth.

The Candidate talks to Lois, and moves too close to a window. The assassin attacks.

Lois hits the assassin with her camera and crumples it, but not before The Candidate takes a hit from a piece of the assassin's flying hand.

Superman arrives.

He pulls the assassin up into the air, and the assassin tells him he brought Cannibal Planet to the system to get Superman off-world so he can complete his mission. The assassin blows up.

The Candidate tells Lois that he hired the hit-man for publicity.

Lois and Clark share a laugh over the whole silly fiasco.

1Story - 1: Again, a one.


Let's start with the simple total crap.

First, the Hanna Barbera/Gilligan's Island moment at the end, since that's the page open to me right now. Oh well, Gilligan. The world was threatened, the monster is beaten, so let's pose and laugh before the credits roll. Don 't worry about the fact that The Candidate (though I like this part of the equation) is BLEEDING TO DEATH while they joke. Eh.

The Candidate hired an assassin. Sounds like what Lex Luthor did for his campaign. Too bad there was no correlation. Could have been.

How did the Candidate communicate with an alien species so far away?

The Candidate's dialogue is so atrociously horrible that I will here concede that after the first five pages of it, I stopped reading it.

What's this, folks. An assassin can cause a planet that can destroy an entire solar system to come to a particular solar system, but it lacks the ability to kill a flesh and blood man.

Or Superman, for that matter.

And what's this here? Oh, wow. When The Candidate is attacked, a killing machine that can cause solar system destruction is heading for The Candidate. So is Lois. Lois gets to him first. That makes Lois faster than a man who can destroy solar systems, a trained/programmed professional killer.

Wow. I say that wow with no wow whatever.

But I further wow you with the fact that not only does the assassin move slower than Lois Lane, but apparently, after not being put down by The Candidate's body guards when they shot him with BULLETS, she takes him down by hitting him with a mostly plastic (we can assume) video camera.


The assassin, though from a different special area entirely than our galaxy, trash talks. Talk about your street-talk kick in the super-books.

How about this, folks. Superman's powers just went up a few notches. Now he bends space and time when he flies, and his heat vision is strong enough to encompass the entire Earth. Remember when it was posited that Superman's sneeze could blow the Earth apart? I had thought those days were over.

Hey, writer guys. Guess what. WE KNOW SUPERMAN IS POWERFUL!

Now we want to see his character tested by cool villains.

Like, say, maybe, a rhetoric spouting man in a white suit, or a bug alien with no real powers to speak of.

How will Superman, the man who can melt the Earth with his eyes, oh, how, oh, how will he EVER STAND UP TO THAT?

Maybe get another guy who can melt the Earth with his eyes in there. Or at least a guy who can make Superman do more than posture.

Joe Casey, right now you are the king of posture with Superman, and it wasn't on a personal level before, but with me, now, it is.

I abhor what you are doing to Superman.

Of the email I get, 9 of 10, at very least, agree with me. You need to take a new approach, or find your own medium where people like random impossibility and posturing thrive. I recommend sitcoms or English teaching.

Now on to the realm beyond just the crap. Now on to the theory.

If the Earth freezes, heat vision will not fix it.

All fish are dead.

Cellular structure in plants, I'm assuming, is irreparably damaged. No more air.

Clouds fall from the sky and impact major cities. Then those cities are flooded when the ice melts.

The sun's lost power was not restored. The Earth was heated up. The heat vision would only be a temporary fix, at best. What of the sun?

Oh well.

HOW IN THE H@!L can a planet eat a sun? I mean, suspending belief is suspending belief, but this is retarded.

And there are ramifications to Superman bending time as well. But I'm not into physics enough to know that. Last time I complained because gravity was taken away from Earth, and a lot of people corrected me or tried to modify things...not that I mind, I'm just labeling it theoretical so people know I'm no expert, nor do I claim to be. This is just what was going through my head while I read this issue. Not Superman, but stupid physics of impossibilities.

Does he move faster than light? When did he get faster. Time slows for his super-speed in Earth's atmosphere, but why does that apply in a place with virtually no gravity?

I could go farther but right now I'm just sick.

I'm sick of what's going on in the books right now.

It's a low point in Superman history, with everything but Metropolis. Birthright is written well, but it's still trashing continuity in bad ways.

Austen, Rucka, save us.

(sign of the Superman across my chest)

The title is "Martyr Party People".

Who's that? Us for Superman?

3Art - 3: Nothing leaps out as great or horrible. It's pretty plain, actually, with the exception of the Candidate, who kind of stands out, but he's such a worthless character I could care less.

Lois, at least, looks like Lois. I'll give Derec that. Otherwise, forgettable in ways.

1Cover Art - 1: Look at the covers for the last few months.

Shall we do the list? Okay. We've been saying this for a while, but why not. Heck, I'll do it dada minimalist, just for kicks.

Beetle beetle hoople catfight


Hep hep skittle the run jumps over gate

Contorted look on Superman, like passing gas

Ishka klatu, berada, Bruce Campbell disco,

Words on the cover.

Bebop bebop bebop bebop monkeys monkey

Didn't happen in the issue

Goat cheese goat cheese goat cheese nipples.

No background.

And that's all that I have.

Twibble, twibble.

I'm off to read For All Seasons again and dream.

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Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2003

February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003

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