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Adventures of Superman #637

Adventures of Superman #637

Scheduled to arrive in stores: February 16, 2005

Cover date: April 2005

Writer: Greg Rucka
Penciller: Renato Guedes and Matthew Clark
Inker: Renato Guedes and Andy Lanning

"The Road to Ruin" - Part Two

Reviewed by: Nick Newman

Click to enlarge

Several months ago Luthor calls Pete into the Oval Office and shows him the information proving that Clark Kent is Superman. Pete asks if Lana knows, and Luthor says that there's no way that she doesn't. It's important for Pete to know who his friends are.

In the Shack, Jimmy comes looking for Clark and instead finds Jerry.

Lois talks to Perry and tells her that there weren't any enemy snipers deployed in the area where she got shot. Perry blames bad intelligence, but Lois tells him that the war ended barely an hour after she was shot. Superman's appearance ended the whole thing. As soon as Superman arrived to save her, the enemies surrendered. Lois was targeted specifically, but there weren't any US snipers in the area either, so who used her to get to Superman?

Inside the SCU, Ruin suddenly appears and taunts Lupe, threatening the reporters in the Shack. Lupe pulls her gun and charges after him. In the Shack, Jimmy continues to hit on Jerry when Ruin suddenly appears and sends Jimmy flying across the room with a blast of energy. Lupe charges in and levels a huge cannon at Ruin. She fires, but Ruin only thanks her for the recharge and then blasts at them. Superman crashes through the roof at the last moment to intercept the blast. Superman grapples with Ruin for a moment before knocking him into the wall. Superman grabs Ruin's hand, hurting it, and then tries to unmask him. The villain teleports away, leaving Superman holding the wires from the back of his head.

Outside, Jimmy is being loaded into an ambulance as Lupe and Hamilton discuss how his disruptor didn't hurt Ruin at all. Clark joins them just as Pete drives up. As they walk to his car, Clark notices that Pete's hand is bandaged. Inside the car, Pete tells Clark that he wants Lana back and he wants Clark to talk to her. He's lost everything; he doesn't want to lose her.

Clark gets home and is greeted by a very enthusiastic Lois, who tells him that she's reached a conclusion... they need to have a baby.

5Story - 5: Now I've got a problem or two with this issue, but as a whole how can you argue with this story and this entire arc in general. We've got Ruin continuing his attacks against the Superman family, which is good, but there's so much going on in the background that makes it truly good. Rucka stressed before even starting his run that Superman can't take a role in politics because he can't pick a side. That was emphasized wonderfully by the fact that the war ended only an hour after he flew in. And that's how it really would work too. Not everywhere of course, but if Superman flew into a war zone, you know everybody would think twice about what they were doing. The idea that Lois was actually shot for a reason also redeems that part of the story. I loved that issue, but it needed a reason so it just wasn't a big event.

Now on to the bigger part of this issue. Pete knows that Clark is Superman. I have no problems with Pete knowing this; I've thought for a long time that he should have. The silver-age Pete secretly knew, and I think that worked well. Of course, Byrne traded that for Lana, which was an even better move, but I still think its time that Pete found out (especially since Jean Loring evidently knows...don't get me started on that one). However, I do have a problem with Luthor telling Pete. This doesn't seem like a Luthor move to me. Now I suppose the argument could be made that Luthor wanted to turn Pete against Clark and use that somehow, but it's too much of a wildcard. He tells Pete and Pete runs to his best friend and lets him know. Doesn't seem very Luthor to me. However, it is a nice way of tying the whole failed experiment of Luthor knowing (it had so much potential and it ended up just being horrible) into this story. This way Luthor finding out actually has a purpose. I really like this move, and am glad that someone finally took it.

So overall, this is just another great issue in a terrific storyline. However, I feel the need to at least do a little speculation about Ruin's identity. It looks to me like Superman is left holding a bald cap when Ruin teleports away, so the Luthor link just because he's bald evaporates. The Pete link is out for me after this issue as well. It's just too easy. Had they just shown his hand bandaged and not said anything, sure, then you'd have to notice yourself and it could be Pete. But spending two panels actually talking about it, that's just way too obvious. I don't buy into Luthor or Pete, so who does that leave? In my opinion, Rucka's going to hit us with someone we don't even expect.

5Art - 5: I was going to give this issue a four. It's solid art like always, but Clark's Superman still doesn't really do it for me. Jimmy looked a little off too. However, that last page persuaded me to give it a five. Clark draws Lois and Clark better than almost anyone (I've still got to give the best to Dan Jurgens, but that's probably only because I grew up with his Superman). Just look at the last panel of the book. Lois looks...perfect. Anyone who can draw a face that well deserves a five, period.

2Cover Art - 2: Why DC? Why do you always feel the need to mangle great issues with bad covers? This cover is just ugly. I'm fine with the concept, although I'm not sure who the old guy in the top right is supposed to be (Perry maybe, but it'd be a huge stretch), but the art is just bad. Ruin and the girls even look decent. But what is up with Superman? He looks horrible. I don't know why, when we've got a great artist like Clark we need this crap. On a positive note, I'm pretty sure that's how Nic Cage would look playing Superman, so we can all thank Warner Brothers for not going ahead with that potential debacle. I've been cringing at this one since I saw it in previews back in November. You'd think a decent cover would be easy to achieve, but evidently not.

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