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Mild Mannered Reviews - Regular Superman Comics

Superman #674

Superman #674

Scheduled to arrive in stores: March 12, 2008

Cover date: May 2008

"Shadows Linger" - Part One: "Bright Tomorrows"

Writer: Kurt Busiek
Penciller: Renato Guedes
Inker: Renato Guedes

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

Click to enlarge

Cut scene 1:

Two meta humans in conflict, fly high in the skies and past a restricted area in Montana. The Garrett Federal Penitentiary... home to Paragon unwittingly allowing him to escape.

Cut scene 2:

A Daxamite cruiser arrives in our solar system on course for Earth.

Clark revels in the awe he has inspired in Lois and Chris. The apartment destroyed by the red sun burst allowed him to rebuild it as an open plan apartment. A gift from 'Superman' to his favourite reporter family.

The apartment has a few surprises - the glass walls and windows are actually an amazing invention called "Smart Glass" able to show any TV channel worldwide whenever they need it. Also the apartment has JLA/Kryptonian hybrid technology offering the Kents immediate access to the Fortress of Solitude via its 'door' teleporting ability.

Chris notices something unsettling, a fully working Phantom Zone Projector on a pedestal in Clark's laboratory. Clark avoids the issue, offering up a trip to China for Chinese food. Lois can quickly read Clark's actions and questions him on what is preying on his mind.

Clark brings up Arion again and Lois is more than a little irritated, it went on forever but in the end he was beaten! Clark points out that though the wizard indeed fell, his warning about a rising darkness have yet to come to pass.

Clark returns to the Fortress and activates the projector. Superman has been testing his scientific knowledge on a cure for his 'surrogate' half brother Mon-El. The tests fail continuously and Superman tries to change the subject by asking Mon-El how he arrived on Earth.

Mon-El or Lar Gand as he is also known reveals he was searching for a rumored spaceport on his home planet, that was long thought destroyed. His perseverance paid off and he found a fully functioning rocket. As the young boy approaches the rocket a series of viewscreens activate and the Priest Elders of Daxam appear.

A warning to leave is all they repeat, they had followed him on his archaeological trip and warned use of technology was prohibited. To a teenage boy the warning was pure stupidity - the rocket shot into space before the Elder's message had even ended.

Mon-El sighs that he searched for the reasons why technology on Daxam was prohibited and that had lead him to Earth. He remembers his family, his sister, she would be older than he is now and his parents probably dead.

Clark vows harder than ever that he'll rescue and cure his 'brother' no matter what.

Days later, Clark is being unintentionally antagonistic to his editor in chief, his mind is racing over Mon-El and the debacle with Arion. Suddenly without warning however he is ripped from the floors of the newsroom and out into the sky!

Paragon is his kidnapper and had sought him out by his Kryptonian energies. His theft had ripped the suit from Clark's body so thankfully his secret identity was safe. Lois still in the newsroom googles the villain and discovers he was a former nobel proze winning doctor who is able to duplicate and magnify any power that he is near to.

Paragon reveals his plan to take revenge on the Justice League and kill them off one by one. Superman wants to avoid 'charging' Paragon up and leads him to the Fortress of Solitude. Before an all out slapdown can take place Superman produces Chris' watch.

Paragon can't generate powers if they aren't there to duplicate and with no powers in just a lycra bodysuit he'd die... fast.

Superman wins...

Something catches Paragon's eye and he begins to smile, he doesn't need Superman now, not when he has three Daxamites to siphon.

To make matters worse the trio are the Priest Elders... and they want Mon-El... now!

4Story - 4: What a curve ball.

You read Insect Queen and shudder at it.

Then you read this issue and though it has its downsides it's a return to good form.

Some things don't wash, like the teleporter door, the 'smart glass' and the entire apartment being open to view by the world and any villain...

The fact that Mon-El is here and elaborated on, the watch shows up as an effective and relevant tool, continuity seems to be gelling together suddenly and that is really nice to see - a LONG way to go to repair it all but still nice to see...

There is a lot to like here so though previous storylines haven't been the best Superman stories I've ever read (better than Supergirl though thank God!) this issue promises some changes in Superman and his life that I'm willing to embrace.

5Art - 5: JEEZALOO!

That's all I'm saying... ok ok, I'm just gushing with praise for Renato Guedes.

I am so glad we have some consistent art and stunning consistent art at that.

Now THIS is Superman.

5Cover Art - 5: Bring it on. You look at this cover on the stand and you really can't tell me you don't beam a pearly white smile when you look at it. Superman since 2006 has had more than a few lame duck covers, this cover signals a change in Superman - to be great again.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2008

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