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Adventures of Superman #635

Adventures of Superman #635

Scheduled to arrive in stores: December 15, 2004

Cover date: February 2005

Writer: Greg Rucka
Penciller: Matthew Clark
Inker: Andy Lanning

"That Healing Touch: Part Three"

Reviewed by: Nick Newman

Inside the Steelworks, John Henry Irons works at welding something when Superman drops through the roof, asking if he can borrow the Steel armor. John helps Superman into the armor as he explains about the two Parasites. Donning the helmet he heads out.

Inside the confessional booth, Lupe tells Daniel about her sins, but Daniel asks her why she's really there. She tells him about Ruin, and about how she wants to kill him. Getting a page, she leaves.

Inside a music store, the two Parasites are busy exploiting their new powers. Suddenly Superman, clad in the Steel armor, appears on the scene. He grabs Alexandra, but Alex flies forward and sends the Man of Steel flying with a punch. As Superman grabs Alex, Alexandra strikes back with a girder. Knocking him into an apartment building, Alexandra sucks the woman inside out. As Superman catches her right before she strikes the pavement, Alexandra hits him again and both Superman and the woman crash into a truck, exploding on impact.

Alexandra celebrates, but Alex asks why she would hurt an innocent woman. She tells her brother that they can do anything. Suddenly the SCU appears on the scene and Lupe fires two shots right into Alex's face when she won't back down. She looks around for Alex, but finds him in the fire lifting up the ruin of the truck, exposing Superman and the woman. Superman helps her out as Alex collapses to the ground. Alexandra charges in and attacks Superman, but after a few punches her power runs dry as well and she succumbs to her fatigue. As she collapses, Superman asks her where Ruin is, and she can only mumble. Lupe asks what she said, but Superman tells her that he'll take care of it. Lupe tells Kal that she's coming with him. Superman looks her straight in the eye, tells her no, and flies away. Inside a room, Ruin works on an equation when suddenly Superman appears behind him. Turning around, Ruin says that its about time.

5Story - 5: I'm writing this right after reading the news that Rucka is staying on for another year, and I couldn't be happier. His writing has been, at the very very least, a consistently good read, one that I can depend on every month to be enjoyable. More often than not, he writes not only a good, but a great book. This issue is no exception. For me, it's all of the little details that really make his work shine. First of all, Rucka's Superman actually thinks. He is facing a foe that drains his power when he touches him. So what does he do? He goes to get some armor. It's such a simple and obviously concept, yet I would be willing to bet most of the other writers wouldn't do it. You know Austen wouldn't do it; he'd probably make some crack about his autograph before punching Parasite in the stomach. Man I really don't like Austen. Anyways, back to Adventures. Plus, in getting the armor he works in a supporting character that is sadly lacking lately. Moving John to Metropolis (and away from the atrocious writing in his solo book) was the best move for the character, but ever since Mark Schultz left the book almost two years ago we've seen very little of Steel (and thankfully very little of Nat too, but that was Kelly's screw up. Kelly side note: anybody enjoying JL: Elite? Yeah, I didn't think so). It's great to see him appear, if only for a moment or two. It's little stuff like Steel appearing that is really tying this book together. The SCU shows up almost every issue. Sure it's partially because Lupe is Rucka's character, but at least the cops actually show up at these battles. I know I've said it before, but Rucka's Superman reminds me of Superman circa-1992. All he needs to do is get Clark back into the Planet and everything will be great.

As a conclusion to the Parasite battle, it was satisfying. They get defeated, and the secret identity remains secret (although according to Identity Crisis pretty much everybody knows it, my only problem with the series). I didn't initially like the idea of the twin Parasites, but I liked how Rucka used it, with them defending each other and then with the moral differences between them. It was an interesting dynamic that added something to a villain who's normally pretty easy to beat. We also got another step closer to finding out about Ruin. I have to admit, I don't care about Ruin, but for some reason I really like the story. He's an interesting villain if nothing else. We also got another glimpse into the relationship between Lupe and Daniel. It's nice to see Rucka tying his arc into Superman.

This was another strong showing by Rucka who, rather than trying to churn out sensational stories (and failing), simply tells a good story that never fails to satisfy month after month.

4Art - 4: Clark's art is just great and the news that he'll be leaving the book soon is sad. Not that Kerschl isn't great, but I've really come to appreciate Clark's work. Almost everyone in this book looks terrific and some pages, like the truck explosion in particular, are just fantastic. He still has a few kinks to work out of his Superman, on the second page for example Kal just looks awkward, but overall this is really great stuff. Clark is up there with the best of them.

2Cover Art - 2: I'm not really sure what caused this... cover to look like this. It should look good. J. H. Williams drew it, an accomplished artist whose work I'm fond of. What we ended up with though is substandard at best. Superman is stylized, and some might not like that, but if you block out the rest of the cover then he really doesn't look too bad though. The Parasites though just ruin it. I'm not sure if it's the way they are drawn, their size, their coloring, or just the layout, but this is just an ugly cover. My roommate took one look at it and asked what I was rating it. When I told him a two, he asked if there was anything lower than that. This could have been a great cover, but instead its just ugly.

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