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Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Superman #691

Superman #691

Scheduled to arrive in stores: August 26, 2009

Cover date: October 2009

"Codename: Patriot" - Part 4

Writer: James Robinson
Penciller: Renato Guedes with Eduardo Pansica
Inker: Jose Wilson Magalhaes with Sandro Ribeiro

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Click to enlarge

Supergirl and Mon-El pursue Nightwing and Flamebird into the sewers. Nightwing and Flamebird ambush Mon-El, and Supergirl turns on Mon-El as well, screaming "For Krypton!"

Supergirl, Nightwing, and Flamebird shift their shapes to become Metallo, Reactron, and Mirabai. They put Mon-El down for the count.

The sewers explode, rocking Metropolis.

Superman pursues Ral-Dar all the way to Markovia, where the United States President is meeting with the Markovia president.

Superman stops Ral-Dar, only to be confronted by General Lane with members of Squad K and his own troops, with kryptonite infused weapons and Kryptonian battlesuits.

Lane orders them to open fire, and the hail of bullets kills Ral-Dar. Superman demands answers, but is called away by Alura.

Lane confers with Mirabai, and we find out that she's working with Lane because he's promised to help her world, a world of magic. It's also where Lane's headquarters has been moved to.

Morgan Edge makes Kryptonians look to be adversaries, and Superman returns to New Krypton bearing Ral-Dar, hearing the chaos.

3Story - 3: As a continuation of the ongoing Patriot story, this rocked. I love seeing the hammer fall.

There were a few rudimentary errors that are semi-explainable, but which bugged me enough to pull me out. One is probably the fault of the art, the other is just bad storytelling.

It's hard for me to believe, firstly, that Mon-El can be taken out by Metallo and Reactron. Mirabai I can buy, if she used magic, but that wasn't what happened here. Mon-El has Superman's powers, but no weakness to Kryptonite. Therefore, Metallo and Reactron could punch on him all day long, and he'd be fine, unless their power was augmented somehow. If it was, that was not made clear. A simple move by Mirabai indicating she was making them stronger, a small line of dialogue, anything. But otherwise, it was a pretty glaring flaw.

The other is the simple unbelievable moment when Superman is coated in a HAIL of Kryptonite bullets, comes out the other end SMOKING GREEN SMOKE, and is somehow still flying and doing just fine, thank you very much. That just made me fall out of my seat going, "What?"

BUT, I can see beyond these flaws and enjoy the larger story at work. The intrigue, coupled with the hammer falling, makes this issue enjoyable anyway, and balances the scales to average. I like Lane popping out and making himself known, although his choice of words is pretty... well, lame.

"FEEL THE MIGHT OF AMERICA!" Sounds like dialogue from an adult film, to be honest. But the clunk of that line is made up for with amusement at the one guy standing next to Lane. Take a look at him. His weapon isn't raised, he's kind of like, "That embarrassed me so much, I just quit the secret army." That gave me a chuckle. It's funny, because that soldier thereby becomes the focal point when it should be Lane. I was waiting for a punchline.

4Art - 4: For the most part, the art is excellent. The two pages where Superman is hit with a hail of bullets are ABSOLUTELY ABYSMAL. Just miserably bad.

But everything else seems to be in good shape, rocking along. My guess is that it was some kind of fill-in work or something, drug me right out.

4Cover Art - 4: I'm digging the Patriot covers. Now that they make sense, it's got a kind of menacing, awesome quality to it. It's a little rough hewn, but I'm a sucker for gimmick covers whose subject I'm enjoying, as opposed to, you know, say, Trinity.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

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