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Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Superman #670

Superman #670

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 7, 2007

Cover date: January 2008

Writer: Kurt Busiek
Penciller: Rick Leonardi
Inker: Dan Green and Rick Leonardi

"The Third Kryptonian" - Finale: "The Stand"

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

Click to enlarge

Metropolis: We pick up with Supergirl in civvies browsing a market. Two raiders attack her and she launches into the sky to confront them.

Manhattan: Power Girl has taken down a supervillain threat when she is also attacked, her bio signature is off kilter but more air raiders decide she is also Kryptonian and must die for it.

Bakerline: A friend of Jimmy Olsen is walking Pal, before he is seemingly killed by a blast from the sky. Of course Pal is Krypto and the Hound of Steel takes the offensive.

North Carolina: Superman and Karsta are confronted by the space pirate Amalak.

Karsta had been in hiding for many years on Earth, a former soldier in the Krptonian Stellar Navy. Seemingly Superman, in his bright colors and open attitude had drawn Amalak to Earth. His mission? To kill ALL Kryptonians.

Superman rushes into the fight hoping he and Kartsa can take them down. Kartsa chickens out and dashes off leaving Kal to a barrage of red solar explosives and synthetic kryptonite flechettes. Amalak demands to know the location of Kandor and when he has Superman at his mercy he vanishes.

Batman who was eavesdropping via audio gear rushes into action. Superman meanwhile ricochets a beam of heat vision off a satellite to signal Lois to hide out somewhere with Chris before Amalak is able to track them too. Chris asks if he can remove his watch and join in the action but his foster mothers reminds him not to disobey Superman, it's serious business if he's asked them to flee.

Superman, fully recovered, rushes to his Fortress to save Kandor and naturally Amalak and his cohorts calmly follow him to their prize, vowing to return and kill Karsta later.

Karsta meanwhile unearths an escape craft deep in the ocean and activates it splashing upwards into the air. If only she had acted sooner, when Superman had debuted perhaps they could have been prepared better or, better still, escaped. Still she flies off into the horizon.

The Amazon Jungle: Superman flies over the battle damaged former jungle Fortress and is ambushed. Amalak is impressed with Superman's ploy to lead them away from their true goal but now Kal is at the evil mercy of... THE BRAIN RIPPER!

A device that could only mean one thing - ripping memories from one brain and implanting it into another! In this case Amalak is using it to discover the location of the bottle city.

Superman feels his memories of Krypton, his parents and Jon & Martha begin to vanish, but he is Superman after all and with his superior willpower is able to use the Brain Ripper to read Amalak instead!

Superman sees Dru Zod conquer the planet Rinoti and commit genocide in the name of Krypton. He watches as Amamlak returns home to find the planet devastated and the souls of the dead telling him who was responsible.

After the link is severed Krypto leads Power Girl and Supergirl to the rescue. The Brain Ripper however was successful - it was able to steal the location of the Sunstone Fortress. Leaving his pirates to fight Team Steel, Amalak heads for the Fortress.

Miles above Kartsa arrives on an orbiting piece of rock and uncovers a KSN space cruiser and ponders her next move...

Batman is inside a robo suit and confronts the arriving Amalak. Batman is quickly and easily dispatched into Fortress rubble and Amalak enters to find his prize. While Batman tries in vain to fight Amalak in the suit. Team Steel are piling up the pirates then soaring toward the other Fortress all the while absorbing as much yellow sunlight as they can.

Inside the Fortress Superman robots arrive and the interstellar zoo attack Amalak, as a last resort Bruce tries to embed a Black Mercy on Amalak, of course he easily kills it and heads into the Kandor chamber.

Superman and his team crash in and Batman tells them to save the city.

Amalak watches as the tiny civilians prepare to protect themselves and realizes this is not the Kandor he remembers. This isn't the real city it's a refugee camp. Superman and his team try to reason with him but are horrified when in a blind rage Amalak shatters the city.

The team pour on a vengeful attack while Superman surmises Kandor might be safe.

It lived in Kandor-space, the bottle was a warp that kept Kandor-space active in the real world. Kandor might be safe, it might be dead but it is now definitely one thing - lost.

Amalak laughs off the women and knocks Kal away reminding them he is powered by the dead souls of Rinoti.

Batman watches as the Kryptonians begin to fall and he remotely shuts off Chris' watch activating his superpowers. The team are crushed and dutifully Chris arrives to save his foster father.

Amalak stares in shock, somehow he is able to see that Chris Kent is a decendant of Zod. And aimed to launch a killing blow! Superman with the last of his strength hurls Amalak to the edge of THE ATOMIC CAULDRON - power source of the Fortress. The two teeter on the edge while the girls try to activate a Phantom Zone projector.

With no superpowers left amongst them all looks lost - enter Karsta.

She smiles at her fellow surviviors and activates yellow sun grenades. With their powers renewed, Superman, Karsta, Supergirl, Power Girl and Krypto knock out Amalak and rap him up in steel.

Superman notes that Batman did what he thought was right and it was that one second distraction by Chris that helped them gain an edge - however if he ever pulls another trick like that he'll have dad to answer to.

Kara turns to Karen and reveals that in her vision of New Krypton recently revealed to her, Karsta was there alive and well. Karen brushes it off and asks Superman if they ought to imprison Amalak in the Phantom Zone but Karsta intervenes.

She will take the space pirate and his cohorts to the intersteller authorities to face up to their crimes and inspired by Superman's words she'll turn herself in for her own crimes.

Her sentence unknown. Meeting (Sanctimonious Superman, Aloof Karen, Deliquent Kara, Eager Chris and Mad Dog Krypto) the team has made her proud to be Kryptonian.

Superman bids her farewell and hopes they might meet again now that she's reformed. He is also happy he has been able to see Krypton from another perspective and wonders if he'll ever be able to save Tolos' now lost city of Kandor...

He also wonders, if Amalak is right there is a twin city, a real Kryptonian city full of other survivors and a new generation of Kryptonians might be out there...

1Story - 1: This is terrible, it's full of clichéd story twists, a very predictable redemption, Batman, Kurt what were you thinking? Sorry but I couldn't find anything in the issue that was in the least bit epic as the story should have been. Amalak came across as the one I felt empathy for and I'm sure I was meant to be cheering for the Kryptonians...

Solar grenades provide a boost of power? They need to bask in it to be Super - didn't we establish that variations in light act as switches? Yellow - ON Red - OFF. Hmm...

Then we ought to give a special mention to the Atomic Cauldron and the Brain Ripper - genius.

Sorry Kurt I really tried to like it honestly - this is my personal opinion by the way but I feel you really and truly messed this up with a clumsy story arc, we deserve better. The only plus points were the very clever warning Superman sent to Lois via the bouncing heat vision and the decoy ploy at his old Fortress.

4Art - 4: The art salvaged a poor story, it was as clean, clear and brimming with action, awe, emotion where the story didn't. Rick and Dan did a great job putting together some inspirational work.

2Cover Art - 2: Um how old is Chris and what happened to him was he squished? I was surprised Kara wasn't wearing breast shaped earmuffs since Karen is stood behind her! LOL! Kara also looks weirdly like the oldest of Team Steel, seriously though I think perspective and proportions are a little off. Not sure what "Together again... ...For the last time?!" is in reference to either...

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