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Cover date: July 2008
"Superman in Excelsis"
Writer: Grant Morrison
Penciller: Frank Quitely
Inker: Jamie Grant
Reviewed by: Neal Bailey
Lex Luthor, now causing havoc in Metropolis, goads the Daily Planet journalists, encouraging them to decide who lives or dies, and manipulating definitions of truth.
Jor-El explains that Superman's return is for the better, and sends Superman back. Superman asks his father not to forsake him, to send someone else.
Clark wakes up, and challenges Luthor with a gravity gun, blasting him out to the ground as it's revealed that the sun has turned blue because of Solaris.
Jimmy notices that Clark has no glasses on, and brings him a spare Superman suit, telling Superman that he's sure Clark's been safe in the Fortress all this time. Superman springs into action.
Luthor begins to get ideas as he seeks Superman behind lead. As his powers go away, he begins to see life as Superman does, and it moves him to tears as he wears down.
Superman knocks Lex out, exhorting that brain beats brawn, and takes the last few seconds he has to tell Lois he loves her before hurtling into the sun to change it back to a normal sun.
Time passes, and there is a memorial to Superman. The supporting cast wonders at when he will return, and P.R.O.J.E.C.T. 2 is indicated to be in the works...
Story - 5: The first read led me to roll my eyes through the "collective ur unconsciousness of the thermodynamic resonant trifecta biblica menstruum" crap. Beyond that, it was gold.
Now, reading through the second time, it's even better. This'll sound horrible, but I actually expected better. You know how there's a baseline for five, and a baseline for one? Where something can suck and be a one, and REALLY suck, and still be a one, given the criteria "really bad!" and how far it can reach?
This story is "excellent," but previous issues have been beyond excellent, and I believed the Lex confrontation would fall into that class. Instead, it was just brilliant. Don't I sound like an ungrateful idiot? But that's the classification I was warring with in my head, and so I had to mention it.
Luthor seeing through Superman's eyes and bawling. The idea of Superman willing himself back to life. Most poignantly for me, the Superman version of "Eloi, Eloi, Lema sabachtani!"
As an accomplishment, this is unparalleled. I stand by my only formative criticism, that this thing should damn well have been released on time, because time has dulled its efficacy for me despite its utter brilliance.
Art - 5: From the fire falls to Lex as a supervillain to the gravity gun to every sneer, this art pulls you in and kicks you and keeps kicking until you spit neo-realistic teeth from the ultra-sphere of menstruum. Or at least it's really good art, anyway.
Cover Art - 4: Minus one for the odd expression on Neanderthal Supes' face, but the rest is absolute gold.
Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2008.