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Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Superman #199

Superman #199

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 26, 2003

Cover date: January 2004

Writer: Steven T. Seagle
Penciller: Scott McDaniel
Inker: Andy Owens


Reviewed by: Nick Newman

Lois reports on the chaos enveloping Metropolis. As citizens of the city turn violent, a shadowy figure with a familiar S symbol is always present in the background. Turning to the police chief, Lois asks about the recent events. The chief tells Lois that the common thread behind all of the attacks is Superman. He shows a close-up of the shadowy figure, revealing a robotic figure bearing an S on its chest. He then shows a picture of Superman fighting Bizarro, clad in a suit exactly like the robotic figure's except, save for the absence of a mask.

In Smallville, Clark walks through the fields of corn, marveling in their beauty. Pa walks up beside his son and tells him that lately it has looked more like work to him. He's thinking about selling the farm. Clark is shocked, and tells his father that they can't sell his home. Pa just smiles and tells Clark that everything has its time and place, and Clark's home was in the sky. Flying his father back to the farmhouse, Clark tells his father that he came looking for parenting advice. Before his father can comment, they touch down at the front porch and Ma rushes out to meet them. She asks Clark what he had done, and when Pa asks she tells them about Lois' newscast. In a blur Superman is in the air and heading for Metropolis.

Lois is giving a news report when suddenly the madness sweeping Metropolis affects her. She leaps up on the desk, hurling her bottle of Yes! across the room and scream that they are all going to die.

Superman arrives in the Fortress to find Mia waiting for him. She demands to know why he abandoned her there after Natasha and Traci left. He tells her that he wants to help her use her powers, but at the mention of Supergirl Mia becomes upset. Then suddenly a burst of energy replaces Mia with Supergirl. Grabbing his daughter's hands, Superman heads to Metropolis.

Arriving in the city, they find the streets deserted. Then they are suddenly overcome by a mob of people, all chanting "Yes". Pulling Supergirl above the crowd, Superman looks around to figure out what they are running from. Suddenly a blur knocks the two out of the sky. Getting up from the ground, Superman accepts the hand of Dr. Metropolis. The doctor tells them that the whole city has gone nuts, and the mechanical Superman is always there. The three take off together to stop him.

Superman tries to catch the robot, but proves unable. Supergirl tells him to lead him to them and they'll take care of him. Lead by Superman, the robot is caught by Dr. Metropolis and Supergirl and brought down. Landing beside him, Superman asks the robot who he is. The figure replies that he is Superman. Supergirl confirms it a moment later when she remembers him as Superman from the future. The future Superman says that he has come back to prevent his future from happening. He tells Superman that it all began now, with the beverage Yes! He tells Kal too look closer into the drink. Superman does, and finds nano-organisms swimming through the liquid. Superman suddenly realizes that Lois is still out there. Taking off into the sky, he finds his wife across the city in the middle of a crowd, crazed by the trendy coffee. Picking up his wife, Superman asks how he can cure everyone. An electromagnetic pulse would disable pacemakers and kill those using them. He could try radiation from his heat vision, but then he risks irradiating those he is trying to save. But there is always a risk, and with a burst of energy Superman destroys all of the nano-organisms infecting the crowd.

Superman moves toward his wife, but before he can speak to her she charges off for more Yes! The future Superman says that in order to win, they must take the battle to the Futuresmiths. Superman says that it is not his place to alter the course of humanity, but his future self tells him that in the future, Lois is dead. Clark needs no more convincing as he soars skyward to the Futuresmiths' stronghold. The future Superman follows a second later.

Moving though the portal, Superman finds Metropolis burning.

1Story - 1: There was one thing I liked about this issue. One. I'll get that out of the way real quickly so I can begin my rant. I liked seeing Clark fly over the cornfields. I don't think that we see him enjoying his powers enough and seeing him do something simple like this is fun.

On to the bad part, which consisted of the other 98% of the book.

First off there was the choice to go with a time format. These little notes weren't needed. The entire story happened chronologically so the notes are just extraneous information. Plus, all they really do is confuse the reader. Then we take off to Smallville where Pa is going to sell the farm. What? I'm sorry. I accept that progress is needed, and characters can't all be static, but there is no reason to have his parents sell the farm. This really bothered me. Then there is his father's remark of Clark's home being on Krypton. We've had 17 years of storyline establishing that Clark is an earthling. His own father wouldn't say that his home isn't with them. Next we have an appearance by Dr. Metropolis. Enough said. Then later Superman risks killing thousands of people because there is "always a risk". This doesn't sound like Superman. He wouldn't make a quick decision that could possibly kill thousands. This was sloppy and irresponsible. Overall we had a pointless issue in a bad story arc that I can't wait to be over. Normally I look forward to the landmark issues. I really don't even want to see issue 200 next month.

2Art - 2: The same art we get every month, poor facial expressions and strange bodily contortions on every page. I don't like this art, and I really can't wait to get some decent artists on these books. We've just got two more months.

Under expectations.

3Cover Art - 3: An average cover. It doesn't really strike me, but it is an improvement over the covers we've seen in past months. There is no lack of a background, and the cover actually relates to the issue, but beyond that there isn't much to say.

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

January 2004

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