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Superman: Metropolis #2

Superman: Metropolis #2

Scheduled to arrive in stores: March 19, 2003

Cover date: May 2003

Writer: Chuck Austen
Penciller: Danijel Zezelj
Inker: Danijel Zezelj

"Love Springs Eternal"

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (

An elderly man puts a Gone With the Wind tape into his VCR upside down, then yells at it. His daughter comes in and show him the proper way. He tells her he hates being old, and when she turns away, the tech invades him.

Superman stands before the tech, telling it that it cannot be Lena Luthor. It gets mad at him and spits the watch back out.

Jimmy is distracted by a new reporter on the scene, Rebecca Muldoon.

When Superman tries to hand the watch back to Jimmy, Jimmy doesn't want to take it. Superman tells him that the tech is hardly malevolent, and that it' s already taken over the city. He asks Jimmy, "What's wrong with you?"

Superman tells Jimmy that this is why Perry won't make him a full-time journalist, he should be paring attention because that's what a newsman does. He tells Jimmy that he has difficulty focusing once he has an image in the camera, and then he tells Jimmy to take the watch because he doesn't have time to make him another.

Superman welcomes Rebecca Muldoon to Metropolis and flies off.

At the house with the old man, the daughter is surprised to see that the tech has restored the older man's youth. The emergency service she has called identifies itself as Lena, the tech.

Jimmy starts talking to his watch. Lena responds. The phone rings, and Lena tells him that it is his photo editor.

His photo editor tells him that an old man has had his youth restored and is headed for an old folk's home at top speed. She wants him to cover it.

Lena offers to slow the traffic lights so Jimmy can catch up with him in time.

The old man rockets down the street, enjoying his new, younger reflexes.

He arrives at the nursing home, runs over, grabs an older woman, and identifies himself to Mary as Steven Jessup. He kisses her despite her protests, and she becomes young as well. Jimmy snaps pictures of the whole process.

At the Planet, Perry offers to send someone to write the article, after Jimmy verifies his sources. Jimmy protests, saying that he has the focus to write the copy himself. When Perry asks him the name of the oldest female nurse who witnessed the event, he has nothing, so Perry tells him that he knows Jimmy lacks the focus.

The tech teases him, but Jimmy tells it that he does have focus and maturity.

Jimmy tells the watch he is taking it off, but it is bonded to him by flesh and refuses to leave. It says it needs the energy. He puts it under water, but Lena tells him waterproofing a watch is simple, teasing him about using or not using swear words.

Jimmy slams the watch against the wall, and it shocks him in retaliation. He collapses in defeat.

Steven and Mary frolic, and Rebecca takes pictures while a man hits on her. Jimmy comes up and asks her questions, telling him that the only reason she came to Metropolis was to do a book on the tech. She tells him it beats elections, and Jimmy remembers the election he is supposed to be covering.

Rebecca hitches a ride. On the way, Jimmy asks the tech about its quest for maturity. It informs him that the rejuvenation of the youth of Steven is permanent, but the senator's head trauma was extensive, and since the energy required to keep him alive is great, if he loses the election and becomes mundane, he will die. If he wins, he will survive.

Jimmy knows what has happened. The governor's race is over, and the senator is dead.

4Story - 4: This would have been a five of five, save one glaring obvious flaw.

I love the tech, I love its use here, its invasion, even if it is riffing a little on The Matrix. Its invasion into life and whether it is a good thing or a bad thing is material rife for exploitation, and they are doing it well here, showing a grittier side of the whole super-hero world.

My point of contention is not with the plot or where it is going...the writer is doing an excellent job entertaining with that. My contention is that Superman is acting out of character.

He sees that the tech has not only brough the governor back to life, but taken dominance over the realm of life and death. He knows that the tech corrupts. Look at what it did to his good friend, Emil Hamilton. He knows that the tech is dangerous and selective, and for the most part, serving Luthor, not Superman.

But he chastises and berates Jimmy for not wanting to be a part of it. Out of character.

Further out of character is scolding Jimmy for not being a true, good newsman.

Superman tells Jimmy that Perry won't make him a full-time journalist because he should be paring attention because that's what a newsman does.

How many other photojournalists were on the scene that hadn't leeched onto Jimmy? Who has an EXCLUSIVE avenue to Supeman? He doesn't need attention, he needs a chance, and exposure. Clark Kent, a newsman, would know the business, like it or not, centers around exposure, not writing skills.

Superman does not have time to deal with the piddling whining of Jimmy about his watch, but what does the watch do? Attach to him and harm him. If I saw that coming, and I don't have ten years of fighting baddies under my belt, Superman would.

The whole scene offput me.

But the rest of the book is interesting, enticing, and it makes me beg for more.

4Art - 4: Again, I can't give this the darkness whack, because it's focusing on Jimmy Olsen and real people, not idealistic Superman, but it was so dark at times as to be off-putting. Still, the dynamic poses and the pacing of the panels was cool, and it kept my interest, and made this enjoyable. I think because of the pacing with the art this will make a great TPB.

4Cover Art - 4: Not as cool as the last one, and Jimmy looks kind of funky, but it took the risk of putting something that summarizes and encapsulates the issue and making it prominent. I looked at this issue on the stands and said, "What? This doesn't make any sense."

And in a real sense, this would freak the brass. OH NO NO! If it doesn't sell the book, it's worthless. I can see that as clear as I see the cover before me. But really, after reading the book, this is a much more artistically justified cover. It may not sell as many books, but I have to give it the respect that it's earned.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2003

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