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Cover date: June 2009
"The Sleepers" - Part Two
Writer: Greg Rucka
Penciller: Eddie Barrows & Sidney Teles
Inker: Ruy Jose & Julio Ferreira
Cover: Andrew Robinson
Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel
Thara tending to Chris points out it's a useless act as she is as invulnerable as Ursa, turns out Zod's lover was playing games and smashes her prey deep into the Fortress of Solitude.
Ursa then turns to her son... disgusted with the mutant Kryptonian freak she gave birth to, she awards him a swift kick to the jaw before turning to chase down her prey, the youngest in the house of Ak-Var.
She goads Thara with lies about the Ak-Var family and while her combatant is blinded by rage Ursa beats her to a bloody pulp. Ursa draws a knife and slashes hard and deep into the young woman. Thara with a second wind demands a proper fight and learns she has again underestimated her opponent.
The blade Ursa used was laced with kryptonite fragments now splintered deep within. Blood spurts everywhere, decorating the Fortress' walls. Thara begins to succumb to the fragments but Chris arrives slamming Ursa away.
When Ursa learns that they've been carving a 'happy' life as the legendary Nightwing and Flamebird she screeches at her boy and unleashes a flurry of blows. Ursa growls that Lor is a bastard, born of Kryptonian blood but mutated into a bizarre halfling by the very nature of his birth place - the Phantom Zone.
Chris, as he points out is his real name, now admits he isn't as Kryptonian as Zod or Ursa, but despite the fact he is less strong, less invulnerable he has learnt many abilities, some voluntary - like tactile telekinesis and some involuntary such as sun bursts and age fluctuations.
Knowing of Ursa and her aversion to direct yellow sunlight, Chris uses his TTK to shatter the protective goggles she wears, and lifts the kryptonite blade to his own birth mother's chest. Kryptonite may harm Thara, but unlike Ursa, Chris is partially invulnerable to the crippling element.
Thara demands that Chris kill her and end the battle for good but Chris points out his father would never kill. Chris drops the blade and dashes to the aid of his friend and flies skyward.
Ursa swears revenge but blinded by the sunstones and bright yellow sunlight she realizes too late that the roof of the Fortress is falling, burying her alive.
Meanwhile Lois and Jimmy are working on the story of the strange power rangers and their attack on David Carter the CEO just hours earlier (see Part One).
Jimmy tells Lois, until two years ago, David Carter doesn't seem to have existed... or at the very least was bizarrely camera shy. Naturally Lois & Jimmy don't buy into that but something catches Lois' eye... something that reminds her of her father.
Jimmy has his desk strewn with the Project 7734 and the 'upside down' puzzle was one of Sam's favourites. Dismissing the coincidence Lois heads home. The puzzle however eats away at her and she calls her sister, suspecting something more, personal to Jimmy's story.
A red and blue blur flashes past the window and Lois smiles that Clark has popped in for a visit quicker than she thought. A bolt of lightning in the horizon reveals the houseguest to be her foster son, holding a bloodied body!
To Be Continued...
Story - 4: Not a lot of story this issue, but a well thought out smack down, providing a little action to the story. The character moments were good, the revelations were written in such a way they seemed to flow naturally. From explaining more of how Chris came to be, to Lois' natural journalist skills kicking in.
Sounds odd but I didn't miss Clark or Superman not being there, then again that proves the writers really know what they are doing! If Rucka can make Lois Lane a reporter again and make Chris and Thara fun and compelling to read, then he's won half the battle!
Art - 3: Meh... it took four guys to churn this issue out and this issue artistically looks a little too busy in places. A great shame as some of it looks fantastic, but in some places it feels like the artwork was fighting itself in places, over complicating some parts and being very vague in others.
Cover Art - 4: Being honest, Alex Ross has killed the painted cover for me. Perhaps because painted covers have been slapped on Superman, Batman and JSA books for months and months AND months. Overkill has happened and now when I see a painted comic I put it back on the shelf. That brings me to this issue's cover, which has moved away from that look last issue and gone with a more emotive and atmospheric cover. Urse looks like she's ready to rip their heads off, sadly though it's their costumes she destroys with heat vision, not the robo outfits...
Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2009.