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Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Superman #211

Superman #211

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 24, 2004

Cover date: January 2005

Writer: Brian Azzarello
Penciller: Jim Lee
Inker: Scott Williams

"For Tomorrow" - Part Eight

Reviewed by: Nick Newman

Wonder Woman, armed with a sword and shield, approaches the Fortress of Solitude. When she reaches it she begins to scale the sphere. Inside, Superman shows Fr. Daniel the treasures inside his fortress, explaining that all of it makes him feel insignificant. He wanted Daniel to understand him, even for a short time. Superman tells Daniel that in some ways he's only human, and Daniel says it's the important ways. Superman tells Daniel that the Vanishing will happen again. He's figured out the technology though, and he's been able to focus it. He now knows who created it.

Suddenly Diana bursts through the ceiling and drops to the ground, telling Kal to get away from the machine. Superman burns a line into the floor and refuses. He's thought long and hard, and it's the only way. She says its suicide, but he says he has to do it anyway. Suddenly the Fortress creaks and Kal tells her that she activated the self-destruct when she broke in. He says he won't deactivate it. Diana charges and succeeds in slicing across Superman's cheek. Her blade was forged with magic, it can cut even him. Kal questions why she would kill him to prevent him from committing suicide, and she tells him that she will stop him. The two attack, battering each other until a kick sends Superman flying out of the Fortress.

Superman flies past a helicopter, piloted by Mr. Orr, and the near collision forces Orr straight toward the ground. Superman grabs the helicopter and sets Orr roughly down in the Fortress. Diana moves to attack again, but Superman sends her flying with a backhand slap. Diana tells him that he has no proof any of the vanished are still alive. Superman tells her he doesn't need proof, he has faith. As the Fortress begins to collapse, Superman tells Diana to save Daniel and Orr. She grabs the two men and escapes the collapsing sphere. As the Fortress explodes, Superman activates the sphere and vanishes in a flash of light.

4Story - 4: Wow. An issue of 'For Tomorrow' that I actually enjoyed. This issue kept the talking with Daniel to a minimum and had a pretty good fight with Diana. I should probably say, before I get a bunch of people disagreeing with me, that having Diana and Clark fight is stupid. Diana is like a sister to him, and she's not going to go and start cutting him up just because she disagrees with him. However, I'm going to ignore most of that just because I really enjoyed this issue. The fight was very well done, and for the first time I feel that Lois' disappearance has actually had the right affect on Clark. Rather than acting murderous or cruel like we've seen in the past, he says what really made this comic for me. He doesn't need proof, he has faith. That right there is what Superman would act like if Lois disappeared. He wouldn't start attacking the JLA; he would do whatever he could to get her back because he truly believed that she was still somewhere out there.

I am really starting to wonder where exactly the series is going. Superman says only one mind could have built the sphere, which of course makes me wonder who. Is this the crisis Luthor referred to in Superman/Batman #6, or is that still going to end up being Identity Crisis (we've still got one more issue to go)? Even if every issue left is this good, which would surprise me, I'd still have to fault this book for taking eight issues to get moving.

A few small problems I had. Didn't the Fortress seem a lot bigger when Diana was climbing it? And why did she climb? She can fly. Of course, the climbing was, in my opinion, a great scene, but it's still kind of strange. And how did Diana break through the Fortress? It's supposed to be housed in a tesseract that can only be accessed by unlocking the sphere. And why did they feel the need to blow up the Fortress again? The Eradicator blew it up back in 1993. Then Luthor dropped a tower on it in 1999. Do they feel the need to trash the place every six years? Still, these are minor problems, and I have to say that Diana breaking through the ceiling was cool.

Overall, this is the strongest chapter of 'For Tomorrow' yet, and it's actually got me looking forward to the next issue, something which the last seven parts have failed to do.

5Art - 5: Now I'll preface this with the warning that I scored the cover out of order on this book, writing that part even before writing the summary, so if I repeat myself in this and next section then I apologize. Jim Lee's Wonder Woman is awesome. First of all, she's wearing the skirt, which I have always preferred on Diana. And then, the Kingdom Come treatment with blade, shield, and cape is great too. The fight was well done, and if you want to see a great page, check out (man I hate it when they don't do page numbers) the shot of Superman coming in with the helicopter. Everything just looks great. Great art should add to a story. It doesn't distract from it, or diminish it, but it makes it better, and that's how I feel about this issue.

5Cover Art - 5: This is easily the best 'For Tomorrow' cover yet. After months of disappointing action-less covers, Lee finally delivers with this one. I may not like Kal and Diana fighting, but if it has to happen in the story, at least Lee can make a great cover out of it. I love both of their poses, Diana looks fantastic, and the deflection of the punch with the bracelet is great. The only problem I have with it is Clark's face. Lee has really tried to make Superman look more menacing, and while sometimes it's a good thing, most often it's not. If anything, Diana should look pissed and Clark should be the more passive one. Jim Lee's Wonder Woman more than makes up for it though. She looks absolutely fantastic. Lee's already done Batman and Superman; maybe he can do Wonder Woman next. I already want to read it because of Rucka, I'd start reading it if Lee joined up.

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

January 2005

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