Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics
Superman: The Man of Steel #112Scheduled to arrive in stores: March 21, 2001
Cover date: May 2001
2001 Shield No. 20
Writer: Mark Schultz
Penciller: Yanick Paquette and Olivier Coipel
Inker: Ray Snyder and Andy Lanning
The Adventures of Krypto! Superman's Alien Super-Hound... As He Confronts "The Menace of Mr. Bloat and Shrew-Face!"
Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Krypto rips the Kent household door to pieces, whimpering to be let out. Lois yells at the dog, to no avail.
Clark arrives home just in time to face the wrath of Lois. He soothes her, assuring her that the bad behavior is just because Krypto is adjusting to his new powers, gaining in strength due to the yellow sun. Clark agrees to find Krytpo a new home and take him out for exercise.
On Stryker's Island, Stravech, a corrupt attorney, tries to convince newcomer villains Mr. Bloat and Shrew-Face to escape from the prison. They are simple minded, however, and cannot catch the clue until Stravech directs them. They break out of prison, reluctantly.
In Metropolis proper, Superman launches an old boiler through the air, and Krypto fetches. Superman notes how good it is to have a piece of his Kryptonian heritage finally.
They playfully shoot heat vision together at the moon, and Flash, Green Lantern, and Plastic Man are thrown back with the glare.
Krypto hears Jimmy Olsen on the top of the Daily Planet and barks.
Superman goes down and chats with his pal, who offers to take Krypto in. Maggie Sawyer calls Jimmy and asks to see Superman. Superman goes, and Sawyer briefs him on the situation with Shrew-Face and Mr. Bloat.
Shrew-Face, Mr. Bloat, and Stravech break into the LexCorp technology holding facility, using Shrew-Face's teleportation powers, and Mr. Bloat's ability to absorb matter into himself.
A few LexCorp guard thugs hear the commotion and try to stop the trio. Bloat goes nuts and absorbs all that he can.
Superman, with the aid of Krypto's super smell and a garment belonging to Mr. Bloat and Shrew-Face, finds the commotion just as the building is exploding.
Superman pulls the guards and Stravech from the destruction and seperates Mr. Bloat from matter in order to stop his rampage. After he finishes, he goes in to find Krypto, pinning down the criminals who are not making any attempt to escape.
In Steelworks, members of Luthor's Department of Extranormal Operations, or DEO, arrive and arrest John Henry for his involvement with the Citizen's Army for Economic Liberation, and for conspiracy to overthrow the United States Government.
Story - 4: The pace was great, and the parts with Krypto knocked my socks off. Loeb has his weak point in Krypto, and Schultz steps in to fill the gap. I love the way that Superman bantered and played with his dog. I was worried that Krypto wouldn't fit in, and I worry no longer. I also like that Schultz took the time to catch up with little inconsistancies that bothered me and other readers from general consensus I've been keeping in the last few issues... for instance, he notes that Luthor is ressurecting the fallen Washington Monument with Spider-Bots. I thought that this was going to be like the Millennium Giants destroying Stonehenge, forgotten and done, but it wasn't, and that was a pleasant surprise. I was also worried that Krypto would end up living with the Kents, which would not make any sense at all.
It's bad enough that Superman is Clark Kent sans glasses, but it would be terrible if he had a dog, just like Superman. This was my problem way back when he cut his hair again. Anything Superman does as Clark has to be staggered with Superman, or vice verse, or someone should catch on.
I absolutely hated Shrew-Face and Mr. Bloat. They were silly, easy to dispatch, and boring. As was Stravech. Another gone in one issue, never to return, Mort of the Month. Read Wizard magazine if you don't know what a Mort is. They're bad.
Also, isn't Mr. Bloat just another character we've already seen before with a different name? In early issues of Man of Steel, when John Irons was in charge and Supes was dead, the Bunny had a little sidekick who could bloat up, and almost crushed Steel once. This is essentially the same guy.
It's good to see Jimmy back. And though Maggie Sawyer wasn't necessary for Superman to happen on to and dispatch Bloat and Shrew, it was certainly nice to see Maggie again. Keep her coming.
Art - 3 and 5: I know, I know, that's confusing, but I'll explain. There were two pencillers, and two inkers for this issue, and one set did three of five, the other four of five. The one that did the very dark and well defined work that doesn't really fit in a Superman comic, with pages 12-16 as an example, gets a three. The one that has a more idealistic, and more cartoonish yet still as defined and detailed, on 6-11 for an example, gets a five. I know that there's a splash, but it's a decent one, and it's necessary, given the gravity of how happy Superman seems to be.
Cover Art - 4: Very well composed, very well drawn. A four instead of a five because nothing really jumps out of it. And you can't help but laugh if you've ever seen Half Baked or Strange Brew when you think of a flying dog and its actual execution. This does it quite well.
Other recent reviews:
Mild Mannered Reviews
2001Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic was on sale.
-  Superman #164
-  Lex 2000
-  Adventures of Superman #586
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #108
-  Action Comics #773
- JLA #49
- JLA: A League of One
- JLA: Act of God #1
-  Superman #165
-  Adventures of Superman #587
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #109
-  Action Comics #774
- JLA #50
- JLA: Seven Caskets
- JLA versus Predator
- Justice Leagues: JL? #1
- JLA: Act of God #2
-  Superman #166
-  Adventures of Superman #588
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #110
-  Action Comics #775
- President Luthor: Secret Files and Origins #1
- JLA: Act of God #3
- Justice Leagues: Justice League of Aliens #1
- Justice Leagues: JLA #1
-  Superman #167
-  Adventures of Superman #589
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #111
-  Action Comics #776
- JLA #51
- Legends of the DC Universe #39
- Superboy's Legion #1
-  Superman #168
-  Adventures of Superman #590
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #112
-  Action Comics #777
- Superman Adventures #55
- JLA #52
- Superboy's Legion #2
- JLA: Black Baptism #1
- Batman: Gotham Adventures #36
-  Superman #169
-  Adventures of Superman #591
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #113
-  Action Comics #778
- Superman Adventures #56
- JLA #53
-  Superman #170
-  Adventures of Superman #592
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #114
-  Action Comics #779
- Superman Adventures #57
- JLA #54
- JLA: Incarnations #1
- Super Friends! Trade Paperback
- Superman: Where Is Thy Sting?
-  Superman #171
- Green Lantern: Our Worlds At War #1
-  Adventures of Superman #593
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #115
-  Action Comics #780
- Superman: Our Worlds At War: Secret Files and Origins #1
- Superman Adventures #58
- JLA #55
- JLA: Incarnations #2
-  Superman #172
-  Adventures of Superman #594
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #116
-  Action Comics #781
- JLA: Our Worlds At War #1
- JSA: Our Worlds At War #1
- Superman Adventures #59
- JLA #56
- JLA: Incarnations #3
-  Superman #173
-  Adventures of Superman #595
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #117
-  Action Comics #782
- World's Finest: Our Worlds At War #1
- Superman Adventures #60
- JLA #57
- Superman & Batman: Generations II #1
- JLA: Incarnations #4
-  Superman #174
-  Adventures of Superman #596
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #118
-  Action Comics #783
- Superman Adventures #61
- JLA #58
- Superman & Batman: Generations II #2
- JLA: Incarnations #5
- Joker: Last Laugh #1
- Joker: Last Laugh (Secret Files & Origins) #1
- Joker: Last Laugh #2
-  Superman #175
- Joker: Last Laugh #3
-  Adventures of Superman #597
- Joker: Last Laugh #4
-  Superman: The Man of Steel #119
- Joker: Last Laugh #5
-  Action Comics #784
- Superman Adventures #62
- JLA #59
- JLA: Gatekeeper #1
- Superman & Batman: Generations II #3
- JLA: Incarnations #6
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Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2001.