Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Action Comics #781

Action Comics #781

Scheduled to arrive in stores: July 25, 2001

Cover date: September 2001

2001 Shield No. 37

Writer: Joe Kelly
Penciller: Kano
Inker: Marlo Alquiza

"Thousand Yard Scare"

Reviewed by: Nick Newman (

Superman burrows deep into the crust of the Earth, firing his heat vision in an attempt to disable Imperiex's hollower. Suddenly a fist appears from nowhere and Superman and Imperiex begin to fight. Across the ground, the broken and bloodied bodies of the Titans lay defeated.

Back in Washington, Luthor discusses the progress of the hollowers with Doctor Magnus. In three days the giant machines will cover the entire planet. And the destruction of Earth will bring about the destruction of the entire multiverse. If Imperiex succeeds, the next Big Bang will occur. Luthor tells of a plan to defeat Imperiex, but before he can reveal it he gets the warning that an Imperiex Probe is coming to them.

Superman flies toward Imperiex, musing that the only thing he can feel is his broken arm. Imperiex questions why he continues to fight, Imperiex cannot be stopped. Superman stops and starts to talk to Imperiex.

In space, probes tear across the space ark. Green Lantern and Hippolyta fight to hold the ark together when suddenly the Amazon discovers that her daughter has left.

Inside the White House, Lois waits nervously while her father goes to fight the Imperiex Probe. General Rock and Same Lane, both driving tanks, approach the probe, as Sueprgirl and Black Lightning try to fight it off.

In space Hippolyta battles the probes while trying to find her injured daughter.

Imperiex has Superman trapped in a choke hold. As the probe brings a giant laser close to the last Son of Krypton, Superman spins through the robot's chest, leaving a powerless husk behind him.

In the White House, Lois continues to call for Superman, trying to get him to come and help, but Superman just hears a buzzing. He knows he's forgetting something. Suddenly he sees Wonder Woman fall from the skies. As he approaches the fallen heroine, a scream from behind forces him to back away as Diana rushes to her mother. He stands back as Wonder Woman embraces her mother. Suddenly, he realizes he has forgotten Lois.

Black Lightning pours all of his power into the probe, as Sam comes up behind him. Sam Lane detonates the nuclear core of the tank and Black Lightning funnels the energy straight into Imperiex. The alien is destroyed, but at great cost. Inside the White House, Lois softly cries to Lex, wondering why Superman didn't come. Then Kal walks into the room. Lois mutters a few words, and then stumbles from the room.

Defeated, Superman turns to Lex, and admits he doesn't know what he is doing anymore, and he will sacrifice anything to win this. Luthor tells him that he knows what to do.

4Story - 4: A very good story. The Hippolyta scenes tie in very well with this week's issue of Wonder Woman, which you should pick up if you want the entire story of her demise. It was quite good. This issue finally showed how much the war is beginning to wear on Superman. He doesn't know what to do anymore. The death of Sam was a big suprise. Enough heroes have died that we've become numb to them, but seeing a 'normal' person die was weird. This issue lacked the same feel as the Aquaman death scene, keeping it from a five, but it was a good solid read.

3Art - 3: The art was good, don't get me wrong, and I like Kano's stuff a lot, but it just didn't fit the issue. It's kind of like from Action Comics #775 when the art just didn't fit the story. Kano, while a great artist, has the wrong style for this kind of story. It turned out better than I would have thought, but it is still hard to see such emotional scenes with such a cartoony style, and before I get twenty emails about how much I love McGuinness' style, that is a very different style. Ed's is very dynamic while Kano's has more of a simple, Animated Series look to it, setting them apart.

4Cover Art - 4: I like the color scheme very much. It definitely fits the issue. Also, I liked how it shows what happens in the issue while still leaving so much as a surprise. We see the cover and expect Diana to suffer something and instead both Sam Lane and Hippolyta die. Good stuff.

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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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