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Superman: Birthright #4

Superman: Birthright #4

Scheduled to arrive in stores: October 1, 2003

Cover date: December 2003

Writer: Mark Waid
Penciller: Leinil F Yu
Inker: Gerry Alanguilan

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (

Clark Kent arrives in Metropolis via a cab, and has a difficult conversation with the driver about the state of the world, what with different colored alerts and terrorist hysteria.

When Kent arrives, he finds the bustling Metropolis newsroom packed with frantic people trying to meet deadlines.

He finds Quentin Galloway, the publisher, dumping a trash can on Jimmy Olsen's head for not bringing him a strawberry drink rather than a berry banana.

Lois arrives and gives Galloway what for... Clark is intrigued. A normal person standing up for those who appear to be weaker. Clark is VERY intrigued.

Lois notices Clark and pegs him as the man who wrote the Asuru piece. He is further intrigued.

In Perry's office, Kent fails Perry's interview, and is about to be kicked out when he bursts out why he deserves to be a writer for the Planet, because he is a good writer, has integrity, and the Planet needs him.

Perry tells him to go prove it.

As he's about to leave, a helicopter shoots out the Editor's office, and Kent pulls Perry to cover.

Clark, making sure that Perry is safe, slips away and changes into Superman, hoping that he won't look silly going out for the first time.

As the choppers attack, Lois grabs Jimmy and boards the Planet's helicopter. They head for the story, but as they're about to get the goods, they crash into another helicopter.

They fall, seemingly to their doom, until Superman catches them both.

He sets them down and tells them not to be afraid. Lois passes Superman a card and he prepares to leave. Lois says she's not afraid.

Now Superman is intrigued.

He wrecks one of the automated choppers, sees another two flying towards him, and is about to destroy it, when he sees Lex in a nearby building. He is distracted, and one of the choppers hits a building and blows a huge whole in it...

To be continued...

5Story - 5: All right. Here's my continuity geek disclaimer:

There is NO need for this comic to exist. NONE. This has all been done before, and done to a T, by Byrne and the revamp. This is a waste of time, and all in all, I hope it is never taken into canon because it has many horrible things to it, like Superman not arriving at the Planet until AFTER September 11th (the mention of the alerts proves this) and the Planet being fully digitized when he gets there... also, there's knowing Lex before he gets to Metropolis, which is a Silver Age deal, not modern age, and rant rant rant.

You in the know get the point. That's my words on that. We either agree or disagree on this, depending on whether or not you've read Superman for the last ten years or not. That said...

It's a fun book. It just is. If you look on past the canon, and I'm starting to now that we're beyond the Asuru nonsense. Maybe I was wrong about that subplot, as many people emailed me and said they liked it and the symbolism, but it just seemed out of place to me. Now we're in full swing, and I'm liking it.

Though knowing Lex is blasphemous...why does he?

And the chemistry between Superman and Lois is good.

Look, folks. We have Perry, Jimmy, Superman, Lois, and Lex.

And no Gunshin! No Byakko! And GOOD writing! Heck, I'd even throw away continuity for that. ME. I would. Core characters and good storytelling. Fun storytelling. Though endless reimagination gets old at times.

I'm pleased. Metropolis and Birthright good, for now...

Action, Adventures, and Core, BAD.

2 from 5 is better than we were at about a year ago, eh?

5Art - 5: The style grates on me, but there are several moments that are seared into your brain when you see this issue, never to be forgotten.

Superman catching the helicopter, a great spread.

Perry's office and the Daily Planet Newsroom. Great.

And hands down, one of the best, simplest images ever... Lex looking lonely, bitter, and angry in the middle of an aesthetic room, and Superman's reaction to that. I'm a Lex junkie, and I think, despite his proliferation, his character is not explored enough. He's just a generic baddie, generally. What made him that way, and why does he never talk about it? Why does he try so hard to seem GOOD?

So when you see an image like this one which explains it without words, and one that indicates it will be explored, I get goosebumps.

Please go there.

4Cover Art - 4: A little too blue, and off kilter, but the image is so stark and crazy and all over the place, it kept me going. There's no background, but there doesn't need to be, and it's kind of plain, but the color scheme works so well you hardly notice it.

And there's minus one for it not happening in the issue, but other than that...


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

January 2003

February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003

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