Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Superman #170

Superman #170

Scheduled to arrive in stores: May 2, 2001

Cover date: July 2001

2001 Shield No. 26

Writer: Jeph Loeb
Penciller: Dale Keown
Inker: Cam Smith

"Bad Dog! A Tale of Krypto the Superdog"

Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (

Special Note: Pictures of picture-book style Krypto drawn by Kyle Rayner (wink, wink)

Clark Kent and Lois Lane are walking Krypto in the park when Mongul shows up, from the sky, and demands a fighting congress with the Man of Steel. Krypto attacks him, giving Clark enough time to change into Superman. Superman knocks Mongul far through the air, sending him through the Lexcorp headquarters, where Talia scowls and berates Superman for his actions. Superman prepares to take Mongul off planet when he's blind-sided by Mongal, Mongul's sister. She shoots a beam at Superman, who uses Mongul to block the beam. Superman tosses Mongul to Krypto, who uses the "fetch" move that Superman taught him to knock Mongul about.

Mongal, meanwhile, tries to elude Superman, who knocks her into a building. She tries to pull out of the rubble to continue the fight, but the building's B-13 nanites attack her, forcing her to pull out of the fight in a boom tube. Superman suspects Darkseid for such, obviously, and the fight continues with Krypto.

Mongul attacks Lois, and Krypto freaks, tearing his teeth into Mongul's throat, nearly killing him. To put it mildly, he's out of the fight. SCU arrives to take the body for jailing, but the DEO arrives, asserts authority, and takes Mongul away.

Superman, realizing Krypto's danger to villains as well as his benefits, takes him to the Fortress, where a Superman Robot is told to release the Superman pheromone to keep the dog happy, and provide it with exercise. Superman flies off, unhappy.

4Story - 4: This is such a hard issue to review. I'm torn between the fact that hands down, it's just a great, creative, well written story with an intellectual and strong way of conveying it while still keeping the kids with it (Krypto picture book entries), and the fact that this issue is full of so many inconsistencies that it drives a nit-picker nuts.

Why does Mongul stop in that place, at that time, and why, of all the people in Metropolis, Clark, Lois, and their Superdog?

Jimmy is supposed to have Krypto. Superman, as I noted in a previous review, is not Clark Kent to the general public, and things putting the two together (i.e. Krypto) don't fly with me.

Mongal? What purpose does she serve, except to double the threat? But she doesn't. Superman hands them both their respective rears. So quick, in fact, that we find no reason at all that they've come, nor why they're utilizing Darkseid's technology. That's frustrating.

The DEO is nice. The Super-Robot's existence being acknowledged is nice. But Jimmy could have just as easily have been walking the dog, and Superman could have heard the commotion. You might argue that Lois might not get to characterize, then, about how terrible it was that Superman revealed his secret identity to the League, but then, why is that necessary? Why even include that scene? These Super-teams seem dedicated to keeping the books autonomous, and thus they NEVER seem to mention what happens in other issues in their respective books unless it's essential to the plot. So why throw in the JLA, of all things? This is Superman. Alone. And it's irrelevant information to the story, save a reason for Superman and Lois to be talking. But here's a better reason for them to be talking: last week, Lois was a slave of Viroxx. She remembers nothing, and needs to be refreshed. AH! But who needs that?

But for all of this critical, nit-picker reviewer crud, I have to say, I never thought about any of these things until I looked at the issue critically. I enjoyed the issue so much, I actually felt sorry for the dog and Superman at the end, where I am typically cynical and apathetic. Loeb has one heck of a way with words. And the art! Lordy...

5Art - 5: If this is the artist who's going to be around when McGuinness is out getting a brewsky and doing covers or something, then by all means, keep it coming. The action was amazing. I didn't even blink with all the splashes, and usually I'm up in arms. They're really great in this issue, and greatly utilized in almost a children's book fashion in order to give the reader the feel and atmosphere that Loeb is working to provide. I loved it.

5Cover Art - 5: Great, striking, and relevant to the contents. It's a bit frightening, but so is having your throat torn out by a dog from a far off galaxy. The little boxes in the eyes bug me on critical viewing, but you don't see them unless you're looking.

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

January 2001

February 2001 March 2001 April 2001 May 2001 June 2001 July 2001 August 2001 September 2001 October 2001 November 2001 December 2001 Annuals

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