Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics
Adventures of Superman #611Scheduled to arrive in stores: December 11, 2002
Cover date: February 2003
Writer: Joe Kelly
Penciller: Dwayne Turner
Inker: Kevin Conrad
"Heart Broken" (Lost Hearts - Part 2)
Reviewed by: Nick Newman (NNewman8283@yahoo.com)
On the sidewalk, some Washington bureaucrat exchanges a wad of bills for a few vials of some controlled substance. He returns to his limo completely unaware of the eyes far above. Clark hovers above the street, dressed in a black trench coat and holding a picture of Lana. He slowly scans the area for her.
Inside a condemned old building Lana, dirty and tired, deliriously tells another man that she could have been Mrs. Superman, that life is just all about choices and she made the wrong ones. Then suddenly, a man appears, dressed in a suit and extending a hand. He tells Lana that it is her lucky day. He tells her that she is beautiful, and that she could pass for the Vice-Presidents' wife if she were cleaned up. Lana takes his extended hand, and after a pause tells him that her name is Lois.
On the street,Clark approaches people and asks if they have seen Lana. One thinks that Clark is a cop. After a long discussion, he admits that he hasn't seen Lana. Another complains that he is hungry, but when Clark offers food to him the man just demands that he give him five bucks and leave him alone.
Two men stand outside the home of "Traci Thirteen", discussing their task. Lana went 'slumming' and ditched her guard. One says that if they really want to find Lana, then they should find out where her boyfriend lives. The other questions this, but the first just asks why else she would come down here. There's only one real reason why she would come down here, to not come back. Around the back of the apartment building, some of the bars on the window have been forced open.
Clark crouches in the living room, looking for any sign of Lana. He wonders why he can't hear her heartbeat, why he can't even remember what her heartbeat sounds like. As he moves on, a lizard moves out from behind a plant and peers at him.
Dropping into the alley behind the apartment,Clark is met by a few dozen thugs. Clark quickly tells them that he isn't a cop and that he just wants to find a friend. He asks if anyone knows where Traci is, but they just tell him to empty his pockets. As the men grip their bats and knives, Clark tells them that he isn't in the mood. They all jump on him, beating with all of their might. After a moment they fall back and find him no worse for wear. He tells them of their problems, how their blood is full of poison and that many of them will die within the year if they don't stop using drugs. As they flee, he says that there isn't a thing that he can do about it. A voice from behind him turns him around.
Traci Thirteen stands in the shadows, and asks why he has been following her. He lifts up the note that the girl wrote to the White House. She just tells him to buy her dinner, since the Secret Service has seized her apartment.
Inside a diner, Traci practically inhales a huge meal, while her pet lizard just paces about on her shoulders. Clark keeps asking about Lana. She says that Lana came to her apartment and spoke about the neighborhood. Before she continues though, she asks for the salt. She then proceeds to form a salt circle on the ground around her, witchcraft she says. She mentions that he broke into her apartment, and when he asks how she knew that she just tells him to be quiet. Then she seems to talk to her lizard for a moment, and mentions that Clark has a double aura, but she thinks he is okay.
Traci then tells him that Mrs. Ross came down wanting to help, the only person that had ever really wanted to. But before she could, she wanted to see it for herself. Traci took her to the place where her dad disappeared, believing that Lana would be stronger than everyone else. But she wasn't strong enough, no one is. She tried to bring Lana back, but Lana had the look that "they" love. Clark asks who they are, but Traci just asks what his relation to her is. He says that they are just friends, but Traci says that she had better be more than that if he wants to get her back. As they leave the diner she tells him that he should call his wife, sometimes a loved one's voice can help where they are going.
Traci leads him past prostitutes and fights, finally stopping in a scrap yard. She tells Clark that this is where they gather. Clark looks inside and alarmed, asks what they are. Shocked, Traci tells him that she thought that she was the only person who could see them. The people in the yards huddle together, all looking forlorn and tired. On each person's chest, an ethereal creature clutches to them. Traci says that she calls them the heart-breakers, but she doesn't really know what they are.
Inside a studio, Lana sits on a faux beach clad in a bikini and dress shirt. The man who picked her up tries to get her to open up as he mans the camera. He tells her that this is all for fun and that she is so beautiful. As a tear runs down her cheek she relaxes. As she begins to unbutton the shirt, a tentacle from one of the heart-breakers appears from within.
Clark asks about them, and Traci says that sorrow breeds sorrow. The creatures find hurting people and attaches to them, feeding off of their sadness. Clark wonders where they are from, whether they are magical or some kind of experiment. Traci says that is what everyone thinks like, that there must be a cause for it. There isn't though, they are as natural as hate. She tells him that there isn't anyone to hit here, they need to find a different way to make things better. Traci moves over to a man and hands him a burger. He says that he hasn't seen her father, but instead she asks about Lana. The man asks if Clark is her husband, but he just says they should leave. Traci ignores this, but then Clark becomes insistent. He just wants to get out of there. Traci turns around and looks at Clark. Attached to his chest, is a huge heart-breaker, the parasite already sapping his will.
Story - 4: This story turned out pretty well. While not as good as the previous chapter, I enjoyed it. It is nice to see a story where, as Traci said, there isn't something to hit. While you do have to wonder why Clark can't just fly above the entire place and look for her with his x-ray vision. I'm sure it would take a little while, with his apparent inability to locate her heartbeat, but it can't possibly take longer than this is taking. Ignoring that fact though, the undercover story is a nice change of pace.
My major issue with this story, and the one that almost completely changed my opinion on it was the fact that the heart-breakers are natural. I'm not letting it affect my judgment, because we don't know that it is true yet, but if this story is centered on creatures that appear in sadness naturally then I am going to have serious issues. It just isn't very plausible if there isn't another reason behind their appearance, mainly because there have been thousands of times throughout history when a group of people were without hope, and they weren't plagued by spirit-sucking parasites. We will have to wait and see how the storyline turns out. Overall though, I enjoyed the issue, and want to see where it takes us.
Art - 4: On first glance I thought that the art was just average, but on my second read through I enjoyed it more. Turner captures the right amount of "grittiness" in his art to make this look authentic. When we see Lana we can tell that she is depressed and worn down. All of the homeless people are clearly that. This is definitely not an issue for someone like McGuinness or Kano, and this style fits it well. I liked it, and it fits the story very well.
Cover Art - 4: At first glance I didn't like these covers. Upon reading the story though, I am growing to like them. This is a very different story, and the different covers work well. I wasn't a big fan of last week's cover with Clark's face on it, but I really like how everyone is silhouetted in this cover. The coloring effect is also very nice, with the splash of light coming from behind Clark and everything else in shadow. I'm not really sure what else to say about it, other then I like it.
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Mild Mannered Reviews
2003Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.
- Superman #188
- Adventures of Superman #610
- Superman: The Man of Steel #132
- Action Comics #797
- JLA #75
- Justice League Adventures #13
- Superman: Day of Doom #1
- Superman: Day of Doom #2
- Superman: Day of Doom #3
- JLA/JSA: Secret Files & Origins #1
- Superman #189
- Adventures of Superman #611
- Superman: The Man of Steel #133
- Action Comics #798
- JLA #76
- JLA/JSA: Virtue & Vice
- Justice League Adventures #14
- Superman: Day of Doom #4
- Superman/Aliens II: GodWar #4
- Superman: The Man of Steel #134
- Superman: The 10 Cent Adventure
- Action Comics #799
- Adventures of Superman #612
- Superman vs. Darkseid: Apokolips Now
- JLA #77
- Justice League Adventures #15
- Superman/Batman: Generations III #1
- JLA/Spectre: Soul War #1
- Action Comics #800
- Adventures of Superman #613
- Superman #190
- JLA #78
- Justice League Adventures #16
- Superman/Batman: Generations III #2
- Superman: Metropolis #1
- JLA/Spectre: Soul War #2
- Action Comics #801
- Adventures of Superman #614
- Superman #191
- JLA #79
- Justice League Adventures #17
- Superman/Batman: Generations III #3
- JLA: Scary Monsters #1
- Superman: Last Stand on Krypton
- Smallville #1
- Superman: Metropolis #2
- Action Comics #802
- Adventures of Superman #615
- Superman #192
- JLA #80
- Justice League Adventures #18
- Superman/Batman: Generations III #4
- Superman: Metropolis #3
- Superman: Red Son #1
- JLA: Age of Wonder #1
- JLA: Scary Monsters #2
- Action Comics #803
- Adventures of Superman #616
- Superman #193
- JLA #81
- Justice League Adventures #19
- Superman/Batman: Generations III #5
- Superman: Metropolis #4
- Smallville #2
- JLA: Age of Wonder #2
- JLA: Scary Monsters #3
- Action Comics #804
- Adventures of Superman #617
- Superman #194
- JLA #82
- Justice League Adventures #20
- Superman/Batman: Generations III #6
- Superman: Red Son #2
- Superman: Metropolis #5
- JLA: Scary Monsters #4
- JLA: Welcome to the Working Week
- Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trinity #1
- Action Comics #805
- Adventures of Superman #618
- Superman #195
- Superman: Birthright #1
- JLA #83
- Justice League Adventures #21
- Superman/Batman: Generations III #7
- Superman: Metropolis #6
- JLA: Scary Monsters #5
- Smallville #3
- Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trinity #2
- Action Comics #806
- Adventures of Superman #619
- Superman #196
- Superman/Batman #1
- Superman: Birthright #2
- JLA #84
- JLA #85
- Justice League Adventures #22
- Superman/Batman: Generations III #8
- Superman: Metropolis #7
- JLA: Scary Monsters #6
- Superman: Red Son #3
- Action Comics #807
- Adventures of Superman #620
- Superman #197
- Superman/Batman #2
- Superman: Birthright #3
- JLA #86
- JLA #87
- JLA/Avengers #1
- JLA-Z #1
- Superman: Blood of My Ancestors
- Justice League Adventures #23
- Superman/Batman: Generations III #9
- Superman: Metropolis #8
- Smallville #4
- Action Comics #808
- Adventures of Superman #621
- Superman #198
- Superman/Batman: Secret Files and Origins 2003
- Superman/Batman #3
- Superman: Birthright #4
- JLA #88
- JLA #89
- Avengers/JLA #2
- JLA-Z #2
- Justice League Adventures #24
- Superman/Batman: Generations III #10
- Superman: Metropolis #9
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Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2003.