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Mild Mannered Reviews - Superman Confidential

Superman Confidential #5

Superman Confidential #5

Scheduled to arrive in stores: July 11, 2007

Cover date: June 2007

Writer: Darwyn Cooke
Artist: Tim Sale

"Kryptonite: Book Five"

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Click to enlarge

Prelude: We see more of Gallo abusing his power and becoming a vile, contemptible person.

Now: Luthor studies the tape of Superman falling victim to the green ray, and has his assistant prepare a jet.

In Clark's apartment, "Clark" (a robot) brings Superman some drinks, where Jimmy sits watching over him.

Jimmy leaves, and Superman tucks the robot away.

Superman goes to see Ma while Pa is away, and she discusses his encounter with mortality. They embrace, closer as a family.

Luthor's helicopter lands, and Lex has it prepared to approach Gallo by painting it with his company's logo.

Lois calls Jimmy, and draws him to Gallo's penthouse, explaining that she's found out something about Gallo.

Superman arrives, per previous agreement, and Gallo explains that he is a physical embodiment of Kryptonite, and came to Earth along with his ship many years ago. Gallo indicates that they can explore Superman's origins if they go in the room with the Kryptonite and go to a metaphysical plane, but it may kill Superman. Superman decides to go anyway, after being informed that Gallo is stuck in the room.

They head in, and Superman collapses in pain. The rock takes an anthropomorphic form (the being on the cover), and Luthor steps in, keeping Superman bathed in the light of the kryptonite.

5Story - 5: Still going strong, and still a great story. I don't know if I can take it as a literal origin story, or if it's being portrayed as one (DC is being difficult about what's real and what ain't, for fear of ticking folks off, and this has continued for most of ten years now), but continuity regardless, this is an awesome story. Lois has stopped being a shrew, Luthor is dastardly, Jimmy is great, Superman robots make a welcome appearance, and Gallo's strange behavior is suitably explained without turning Lois into someone who uses her sex to get a story. She's been chosen by "Gallo" who isn't really Gallo for her reporting. Of course, this doesn't change the "happenstance" vision of Lois being wrong and using bad tactics in order to get a story not on merits, but luck, which demeans her, essentially, but here it's not lauded, it just is, and her character otherwise is flawless so far.

I don't know how much I dig the Torquaism-Vao style stuff here (is that the spelling? Meh. Dumb concept anyway), but it seems that this is the newer version of the Eradicator, perhaps? I dunno. Either way, I'm really ramped up for the next issue, and this is fast becoming my favorite Superman title after All-Star. Now if only either would come out once a decade, we'd be in good shape.

Go back to the Action Comics "late books" rant here, because it's too early to re-regurgitate it. Shame, shame, blah, blah, you guys know and deal with it enough to know how annoying it is without me regurgitating it one more time with my second late book review this month.

5Art - 5: Since I started working here, I've always wanted to justify an artist's five with an A is A argument. For instance:

5 of 5:

Tim Sale.

I always struggle not to, because I know it's unfair, you have to actually quantify what makes something great, but here's a good example of one that almost made me break my own standard in that regard.

In my review of Superman #664, I note that I pointed out to someone how a great comic is in the details, and often a comic's art is made or broken for me based upon how lazy an artist is with the background. Well, here's my contradicting that, to a degree, mostly because much of what makes Tim Sale great is how he uses slighter background mixed with color to rock your face. Of course, he's an exception that proves the rule, but the subtle use of colors in these books really makes the minimalist backgrounds pop.

I suppose due credit for that belongs ultimately to Dave Stewart, the colorist, but regardless, the whole package continues to knock me for a loop.

5Cover Art - 5: Not sure what the heck the Utopia thing is, but the picture itself is grabbing, menacing, and holds you strong despite a mostly similar color scheme. A very strong cover given the little play the character gets in the issue and the fact that he's not really the focus. I almost knocked a point for this not being in the issue, but it kind of is, and it's a very strong picture, as I said.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2007

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