Mild Mannered Reviews - Superman Adventures

Superman Adventures #58

Superman Adventures #58

Scheduled to arrive in stores: June 27, 2001

Cover date: August 2001

Writer: Michael Reaves
Penciller: Aluir Amancio
Inker: Terry Austin

"What Lurks Below"

Reviewed by: George O'Connor (

An ancient volume is uncovered during the renovation of a bookstore in downtown Metropolis, and is adjacent to the unveiling of a new mall that brings Clark, Lois, and Jimmy to report on the proceedings.

While the Daily Planet trio mingles, the elder shopkeeper attempts to unravel the secrets of the book, but instead becomes overwhelmed by the magical powers that it somehow possesses. An explosion of light and a clamor of sound bring Superman to the scene where he saves the shopkeeper from a maelstrom that almost pulls him in as well.

Upon escaping, the Man of Steel learns of the magical book and takes some relief that it hasn't yet fallen into sinister hands. Switching back into his Clark Kent identity, he begins looking for clues as to the origins of the volume, entrusting the book's safekeeping with the bookseller.

As the bookkeeper is about to stow away the volume inside his personal safe that evening, he is attacked by a strangely clad sorcerer, who steals the book for his own, even as Superman's acute hearing picks up the sounds of a struggle and a cry for help.

Arriving at the bookkeeper's residence, he learns of the book's disappearance and explains to the shopkeeper the origin of the volume. A sorcerer by the name of Sandor Trimegestus created the book, opening the portal to magic and setting his own town on fire when residents complained of the strange spells that were being cast upon them.

Now, still alive after two centuries, Sandor has finally found his book and plans to use it once again for evil.

Finding Sandor is not difficult at all for Superman, who simply follows his super hearing as the sorcerer's voice begins its first verse of an evil spell. The Last Son of Krypton surprises Sandor and attempts to engage in combat, quickly beaten back by Sandor's superior powers.

Distracting Sandor for a moment, Superman darts at the sorcerer, stealing the book from his hands. Unfortunately, it is already too late, as Sandor's spell is created and an immense monster consisting only of long slimy tentacles springs out of the ground, threatening to consume Metropolis. Sandor's laughs of triumph are ironically ended as the magical creature consumes him, and then it turns to face Superman.

The Kryptonian dodges and darts out of the way, avoiding the tentacles and blasts of energy spurting out towards him. As Superman dives into the monster, hoping to carry out a plan to end its existence, the creature strikes out with a tentacle and grabs Lois, hurling her into the air as Superman speeds toward the center. A blast of energy is directed at Superman, who uses the book as a shield, disintegrating the volume and causing the beast to return to its own dimension.

3Story - 3: I've never been a big fan of magic stories because they all seem to have the same kind of resolution. This story wasn't really much of an exception to that rule, but it was a fairly entertaining, decent read. I was a little disappointed with this tale for the sole reason that it was written by Michael Reaves, who has penned both a very entertaining Darth Maul novel, as well as several episodes for the Batman animated series.

4Art - 4: Amancio is at the top of his game here. His character portrayals, action scenes, and layout are fantastic here. And on top of that, Lois looks sexier than ever!

4Cover Art - 4: Alex Ross created this very stylistic, interesting cover for this month's cover because he wanted to bring more attention to Amancio's fantastic artwork. Mission accomplished.

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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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