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Cover date: March 2003
Writer: Steven Seagle
Penciller: Scott McDaniel
Inker: Andy Owens
Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Amok tells Superman that he's nothing but a primary color dictator, and puts some heat to the Man of Steel. It hits him like a shot and knocks him through a building, a picture of President Luthor, three skyscrapers, a column on a bridge, and into some water.
He returns, and Amok tells him that the Futuresmiths have provided him with a Zerarch cannon, something that will be invented in 18 years. Amok continues to berate Superman with ideas that he is a danger to humans, asking him how many people he crippled after he was hit. Superman looks to Lois, newly on the scene, and she tells him an anonymous "someone" called media outlets and said Superman would label himself a potential weapon of mass destruction and turn himself in to the police that day.
Amok reminds Superman of their first encounter. Superman can hardly remember, as the fight was, let's say, brief and embarrassing for Amok.
Amok spurts off with his new powers, and Superman intercepts him in space. As he's taking him to Stryker's, he disappears mysteriously.
Later, Clark worries with Lois about Amok's true motives. He couldn't have been there just for the attempt to make Superman feel he's a terrorist, could he?
In Metropolis, the Futuresmiths confer with Amok and examine the hair from Superman's head they've taken. Amok asks for his reward, the ability to defeat Superman. They give him the power he wanted, and it hurts him terribly.
Meeting in public and thus risking Clark's status as an undercover reporter, Perry confronts him with a passport and a change of clothes found in the Planet building. He asks how Clark can travel without his passport. Clark bluffs his way out of the passport by saying he sees Jimmy Olsen and leaves to talk with him.
Amok appears, and knocks the monorail off its tracks. Superman stops it, telling him that he will not harm the people of Metropolis.
Amok is soon overcome by his newer powers and explodes.
Superman consoles a child in the crowd, saying Amok brought his own end on.
In their hideout, the Futuresmiths unveil the "sleeper". They awaken Cir-El, otherwise known as Supergirl.
Story - 4: Well, the Superman strand of hair thing has been done before, and in a VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY bad place. That's right, we're talking Superman IV. Lenny. That's all I have to say. Lenny.
FAHHHH-THER? Some of you know what I mean. Others, good for you.
I like seeing Amok. I don't exactly know if he was really there four years, six months, and eighteen days ago, as the comic implies, but the date itself means several things...
First off, I seem to lightly remember the scene with Amok they re-do here. If it never happened, I'll feel real stupid, but still, they make an interesting point. If you get hung up on continuity, as I tend to do, you end up having to deal with things like Amok. But the point is speared, because Amok here makes a wonderful closed end and the start of a larger story. Also, there is the fact that such a reference actually messes up continuity, because, while it draws attention to it, which is good and not oft done, it also gives age to Superman. When he ran into Amok? Well, that was a while back. Because if we say four years, six months, eighteen days, etc, that gives Superman an age, and that age would probably be near 35 instead of holding steady at 30 as it should. Still, it's nice to know someone cares about continuity out there.
The Futuresmiths are interesting, and they're coming off well so far, but they don't seem like that original an idea to me. I mean, if they can send things from the future to the past, why not send Doomsday of the future against Superman? He's obviously going to have adapted again and again and would be a far greater challenge than Cir-El, which I'm guessing is probably Superman and Lois' daughter.
I also think that the timing of Supergirl is untimely, given the recent events in the Supergirl comic. We just lost a Supergirl comic, along with Man of Steel (UGH!), and we just had the other Supregirl brought to the fray. I didn't read the last Supergirl, to be honest, so maybe that's resolved, but I don't know. If Supergirl is Lois and Clark's kid, as well (and she LOOKS the part), then why would the Futuresmiths have her, and why would she have no memory, and why would she be used in an attack on Superman? Better to wipe Lois' memory and make her an antagonist. That would REALLY do a brain trip on him.
But still, good action, a better rehash of the basics than most issues, and generally a good introduction. The comics are looking up of late, and I am extremely grateful.
My one big complaint is that this issue doesn't really accomplish anything that a regular issue couldn't. This could easily have been Man of Steel #135. There is nothing overly different from the regular run in this issue, save brief references to Superman's powers, his origin, and his belief system. Every comic should have this. Still, I guess you've got to kick off a big storyline with something. But wasn't the big storyline supposed to be Zod? And what about Darkseid coming to town? Things are going on concurrently again, and this is what screwed up continuity royally two years ago. Remember Lois' mom, and Lois' hair? And even Krypto?
Still, a fun read.
Art - 5: Check out the Hunchback De Supre Dame on Page 3.
Other than that, you won't find much to complain about in this issue. The colors are vivid, the characters are well drawn, and while Amok isn't consistent, hardly anyone will remember him anyway, so there's no real need for consistency, only beauty, and that is there, and in abundance. Well done.
Cover Art - 3: Interesting, but it really has nothing to do with the issue at hand, and if you're going to do something representative of the general Superman, as this issue seemed to be trying to evoke, then do a dramatic, American flag, breaking chains in the foreground type of thing. That's what makes Superman for me. Like Adventures #505, Superman in the sky, with birds of freedom, in a colorful world with idealism and the true American spirit of freedom, hope, and beauty. Not some schlub reporter in the back alley spotlight who can shoot heat beams from his eyes.
Still, it's nice in the sense of a pulp comic cover, which it was trying to evoke, so I have to give it the old average.
Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2003.