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Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Adventures of Superman #643

Adventures of Superman #643

Scheduled to arrive in stores: August 24, 2005

Cover date: October 2005

Writer: Greg Rucka
Penciller: Karl Kerschl, Carlos D'Anda, and Rags Morales
Inker: Cam Smith, Carlos D'Anda, and Wayne Faucher


Reviewed by: Nick Newman

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Superman remembers the visions Max Lord gave him of Doomsday killing Lois. It made him want to kill Doomsday. He didn't care about anything else, and as he fought Doomsday he destroyed the city around him. He would have killed thousands, and he didn't care.

That was when Diana brought him out of Max's control and killed Lord. Superman looked into Diana's eyes and didn't recognize her at all. Before he could say anything, disasters called them both away.

As Superman flew towards the nuclear missile he was sent to stop, two OMACs attack him. Superman shakes off the attacks and soars after the nuke. He grabs it and drags it up to space. After the bomb detonates, he grabs the first of the OMACs and punches it hard, shattering the orb on its face. Seeing behind the mask, Superman finally realizes that the OMACs are people inside those suits.

Dropping the subdued OMAC off at STAR Labs, Superman crisscrosses the globe preventing disasters. By the time he has a chance to return to the site of the attack, the other OMAC is long gone.

Flying to Gotham, Superman finds Batman in his cave. Still bruised and battered from his fight with Superman, Batman doesn't want to see him. Superman tells him that the OMACs are people, but Bruce tells him he already knew. Superman tells Batman that if he's going to do things like develop Brother Eye, then no one will trust him. Batman reminds him of their own battle, as well as Superboy's attack on the Titans. Superman says that both of them were under someone else's control. Batman yells that he's the most powerful man on Earth, he can't use that excuse.

Superman tells Batman about Max's murder. Bruce tells Kal that Diana was already there an hour ago. Superman asks what they are going to do, but Batman just tells him to go home to Lois.

Standing in front of his wife, Superman tells Lois that he doesn't know what to do as the two embrace.

5Story - 5: The countdown just keeps getting better and better. The best part of this issue is that I really feel it was needed. It didn't seem like a follow-up issue merely designed to cash in on the success of Sacrifice, it seemed like part five of the story, and something that was required to finish the arc.

I really liked the interaction between Kal and Bruce. It's an interesting issue, and I can't really say that I don't agree with Batman. It's nice to think that Superman is perfect, but if there was really someone that powerful, I would want someone watching him. I would have liked to see more of Bruce's reaction to the murder though, as he should be probably even more upset by it than Clark.

The division of the 'Big Three' is a great thing for DC for one reason. For years, since probably 1998 or so, DC has been pushing this idea of Clark, Bruce, and Diana being the top, but I don't think they've ever really pulled it off. Not with Diana especially, and even the relationship between Batman and Superman. But by tearing that relationship down, they can show how strong it was in the first place. I think it's a good decision, and I think it'll lead to a better DCU because of it.

I liked the revelation (finally) that the OMACs are people, although if Superman can punch right through them then even with the 1.5 million of them, they can't be that huge of a threat. Regardless, this will definitely affect how the heroes can fight them.

There really isn't anything bad that I can say about this issue. It was a nice solid story that fits very well into the growing panic in the DCU. Easily a five out of five.

4Art - 4: I am never a fan of books using more than one penciller; it distracts from the story and prevents it from feeling like a cohesive issue. However, if it's going to be done then there are good ways and bad ways to approach it, and this issue was done very well given the situation. I didn't like D'Anda's work on Outsiders and I don't like it here, but his dark style did work well for Superman's nightmares. Then they used Rags for the carryover from last month's Wonder Woman. Again, this was a good choice as it tied this issue into Wonder Woman well. Finally, they used the regular Adventures artist for the rest of the book. While I would have preferred to have Kerschl to do the entire book (well, technically I would have preferred to have Rags do the whole issue, but that's a separate issue) I think the multiple artists actually added something to this book.

Those issues aside, I enjoyed Kerschl's work just like I do every month. I particularly liked his Batman, and all of the action scenes were nicely done. Kerschl captures Superman in flight better than most. I'm not sure if it's his rendition of the cape (although that would be my first guess), or the way he uses color streaks behind Superman, but it looks great. I also really likes some of the coloring work done is this issue. When Clark and Bruce are talking, the switching background color was a great touch, and made the conversation even better.

Overall, the entire issue was good, but the fact that we had three artists on a standard-sized book drags it down a notch.

4Cover Art - 4: I like this cover, I just think there's a little too much going on. You've got the three of them looking sad, which is fine. But then they splash blood on the picture, which seems like overkill to me. If they're going to go with the spilled blood angle, it should be done over a happy picture. A great example of this was the third or fourth printing of Identity Crisis #1 with the picture, which was a fantastic cover. The blood doesn't seem to fit on this one though. Then they are all on a screen, which I assume is a reference to big brother watching them, but this doesn't fit, one, because that doesn't happen in this issue, and two, guy who actually watched the screen is dead. This cover is decent, and I like it, but they could have cut out one or two elements and it would have worked just as well, if not better.

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