Superman: The Unauthorized Biography
Glen Weldon (Author)
A celebration of Superman's life and history - in time for his 75th birthday. How has the Big Blue Boy Scout stayed so popular for so long? How has he changed with the times, and what essential aspects of him have remained constant? This fascinating biography examines Superman as a cultural phenomenon through 75 years of action-packed adventures, from his early years as a social activist in circus tights to his growth into the internationally renowned demigod he is today.
Hardcover: 352 pages
"Superman: Unbound" Animated Movie
Superman battles Brainiac in order to save his home planet's city of Kandor which has been miniaturized on Brainiac's ship. Based on Geoff Johns' mini series.
Cover date: September 2004
Writer: Brian Azzarello
Penciller: Jim Lee
Inker: Scott Williams
"For Tomorrow" - Part Four
Reviewed by: Nick Newman
Superman tells Father Daniel that evil can only be defined by its opposite. Daniel tells Kal that evil is a lot like genius, a word that falls far short of describing it accurately.
Superman slams Equus down into the ground and then rushes back to General Nox. He finds the general looking at the Vanishing weapon. Superman tells him to get away from it, but the general tells Kal that he owns it. Superman questions the executions, but the general tells him that they were war criminals and Superman can't impose his will here.
Equus suddenly appears in the room and tells Superman to say his prayers. Nox tells Equus to back down, but Equus bats the general aside. Charging, the beast tackles Superman and forces him to the ground. Looking inside Equus, Superman sees that beneath all of the high technology, Equus is human. Knocked across the room by Superman, Equus grabs Nox and threatens him before tossing him towards Superman. Superman catches the general as Equus lunges for the Vanishing machine and activates it, causing Equus, Nox, and another three thousand people to vanish.
As Superman leaves Daniel to patrol the city, the priest asks if the vanishing will happen again, but Superman tells him that it won't, he has his word.
Flying over the desert with the machine, Superman sees his symbol burning on the ground. Landing, he finds a soldier standing beside it. The man introduces himself as Mr. Orr, and he tells Superman that he has something that belongs to his employers.
Story - 2: I received a lot of comments on my review of Superman #205 complaining that while I had said the story was good, the dialog was confusing and difficult to understand. And upon further review I realized that they were right, and I was wrong. As I told those that wrote me, I normally read the comic three or four times before I review it, and that was the only reason I thought it was good. So this time around I only read it once before writing this. And boy did it make a difference. Azzarello is really trying, but so much of the dialog in this book is just excessive. We have pages and pages of Superman waxing poetic about all sorts of things: evil, will, sand, and yet nothing seems to be accomplished in this issue. We are a third of the way through this series and what has really happened? Superman has spent way too much time talking, we've introduced a few characters who have now vanished, and other than that, not much has occurred. Superman doesn't even seem like Superman either. I realize that Lois is missing, and that could make him more violent, but ripping the claws right out of Equus' body? That's crossing the line, especially when he hadn't checked if he was human yet. The overall plot is strong, but the individual stories just fall flat. I'm looking forward to the upcoming developments, and seeing the JLA should be nice, but I'm not expecting too much from this story anymore.
Art - 4: Jim Lee's work on the book continues to impress, but that's hardly a surprise. His Superman is looking great and his action and flight scenes are terrific. Equus really bugs me though. He looks like a reject from the Image universe, circa 1993. At least he's vanished now, so we won't have to worry about him anymore. Apart from him though, Lee's work gets better with every issue, and is definitely the high point of this arc.
Cover Art - 4: This is exactly what a cover should be, a great symbolic representation of the story. You've got the battle between Kal and Equus. Lee worked in the mass grave into the ground, and even the mysterious Mr. Orr shows up in the background. And Superman looks fantastic. The only thing that bothers me about this cover is Equus himself. Again, it looks like an Image crossover. Superman meets the WildC.A.T.s, or something along those lines. Apart from that, it's a fantastic cover.
Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2004.