Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

Superman: Metropolis #5

Superman: Metropolis #5

Scheduled to arrive in stores: June 18, 2003

Cover date: August 2003

Writer: Chuck Austen
Penciller: Danijel Zezelj
Inker: Danijel Zezelj

"Small Favors"

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (

A baby, to its parent's horror, dies on the operating table.

Jimmy Olsen, meanwhile, is anxious on his bed with Lena, on his wrist, reassuring him that he would not have been killed by the guns (last issue).

Lena regrets that she's not been able to make people like her, and Jimmy tells her that it is because she has been putting people in dangerous situations. He also points out that it disturbed him that she laughed when she did what she did to Killgrave and Sledge.

Lena assures Jimmy that she can make people happy, then she drops off of his wrist.

The couple from the hospital, the ones who were having a baby, come home, only to find another baby in their bedroom.

Riding the train, Jimmy laments losing Lena.

He stares absently at a couple getting physical, and the guys says that he should take a picture, because it will last longer. He does, and the guy punches him.

Rebecca Muldoon shows up with friends at the Ace O'Clubs, and Jimmy gets a call telling him to get to go to an apartment, the apartment with the baby.

He arrives, and they refuse to let him in. The B13 door lock grants him access, however, and the people inside quickly take him in and let him speak to them.

They tell him about the baby, and Jimmy quickly ascertains that Lena made a clone to make them happy because they lost a child.

Later, he walks down the street and sees a newspaper saying that the fate of the tech is soon to be decided. He tells his watch that Lena did a good thing, then he puts the watch down in Suicide Slum.

He tells Lena that she's welcome back any time, then leaves.

3Story - 3: Question:

When did Bibbo's become a yuppie coffee bar? I meant to ask that last issue, but this issue it's even more obvious. It doesn't really take from the issue, but it does bother me. Bibbo's, I figured, was where ill tempered mooks, maybe Lobo every once in a while, and all manner of brummagem commiserate. The only person able to order milk in Bibbo's is Supes, right? Eh. The times, they are a chaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaangin.

This issue follows the same repetitive theme of the last five, which is why I knocked a point, but the writing is still top-notch, and the characters are interesting, albeit seemingly unnecessary. The concept was novel in the beginning, but now it's beginning to wear. I want to say, "Get somewhere, already!"

The tech can help or harm. Okay. This was established by issue 2. What have the last three issues been? Killgrave and two stories of the tech helping someone. I see that the watch dropped this issue, and that's important, but it took five pages. Five pages. In five comic pages, I could have told this whole story. Heck, I could in two. Watch.

Page one, full-on shot: Superman and Jimmy in Suicide Slum

JIMMY Here's where it happened. Here's where the watch attached to my arm.

SUPERMAN Hmm.and you say Lena's been talking to you?

JIMMY Yeah. She's been trying to tell me she's human, I think. But she's...missing some things.

Page two, panel one: Close-up of the watch.

LENA Missing, Jimmy?

Page two, panel two: Close-up of Jimmy.

JIMMY Aw, I know you're trying, Lena. But it's just...well, there was the couple you brought back to youth from old age. Did you ever consider that age was put into place for a reason?

LENA (off) This does not compute, Jimmy.

JIMMY Well, what about the villains you merged to save their lives? Is that better for the whole? And the drug running family you gave cash, in the name of helping them? What if that money goes to buy more drugs, or they get robbed, just because they have it?

Page two, panel three: Jimmy looking down at his watch, with Superman in the background.

LENA They did not. They will not. I can prevent it. I can do great things, Jimmy.

JIMMY I think my point here, Lena, is that just because you have the power to do these things, and even though the people embrace it, perhaps you shouldn't. It won't prove your humanity to me.

LENA I can make people happy. Watch.

Page two, panel four: The watch falls from Jimmy's wrist.

Now, mind you, that's a very, very abbreviated version of the truth of the matter. This lacks Rebecca Muldoon, this misses the lamentable schlub friend of hers that comes around and bothers Jimmy, we lack Killgrave, Sledge, and even the sometimes poignant real-life vignettes of Jimmy Olsen.

My point here is that a story can be infinitely condensed, particularly in a comic book, so why put something in there unless it means something to a lot of people and makes sense?

Ask yourself these you really care about Rebecca Muldoon, Killgrave, Sledge, or Muldoon's friend? I do not, not yet, largely becase the story is focusing more on the REAL PEOPLE of the story. Which is arty, sure, but it's not something that makes, necessarily, a really good comic. A touch of the real is good every now and again, that's why when Superman answers fan mail it's so fun, and that's why when a normal person goes berserk and starts holding up banks for some reason, we notice. GOD from last issue was an original concept, but all in all, things are getting a bit repetitious here. I have to concede. I started out the series wary, then I really dug it, then it just stagnated. I want to give it a chance, and the ending here allows for that, but when you can condense a story so much, you have to make the other things aside from those two pages make sense and appeal to the reader. Would that this were easy, but nonetheless, this is Superman, even through Jimmy Olsen's eyes, and I expect only the best.

3 of 5, because this is just status quo for the series, so far. I anticipate better next issue.

5Art - 5: The art is still great. It's designed for the real world feel of this story, and it executes the feel rather well. I'm not sure, as I mentioned, about the Ace O'Clubs, but I'm imagining this to perhaps be a feel asked for by the writer, perhaps, but then, I don't know. Still, without a reason, I can't condemn, and I do not really know what made the artist make Ace O' Clubs look like a pretty yuppie bar.

Consistent, and good. I'm liking it.

3Cover Art - 3: Take the most stark image of the Matrix, and make it pink. That's what you have here. Now add words. Interesting tech, but all in all, what the heck? I guess it shows the human machine paradigm, but still...

It's not horrible, it's actually well drawn, it's just, I don't know. Awkward.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2003

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