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Mild Mannered Reviews - DC Universe

DC Universe Online Legends #14

DC Universe Online Legends #14

Scheduled to arrive in stores: August 17, 2011

Cover date: Late October 2011

"Trojan Horse"

Writer: Tony Bedard
Penciller: Howard Porter
Inker: Livesay

Jeffrey Taylor Reviewed by: Jeffrey Taylor

Click to enlarge

Picking up from the previous cliffhanger, Superman is still seeing all of his friends as Brainiac's robots and is not holding back his ferocity. Lois was meeting with other Daily Planet staff members to discuss their new abilities and had just stepped in to quell Superman's rage, but Lex Luthor had to tackle her out of the way of his heat vision. Now on the ground, Lex and Lois are about to take a full blast of it, but Wonder Woman jumps in the way to block it with her gauntlets, yelling to Luthor that he should get Lois out of here.

Jimmy Olsen wonders aloud to Perry White if Wonder Woman has the strength to take on the Man of Steel, which Perry answers that he always prayed they'd never have to find out.

Wonder Woman beats Superman into the pavement, explaining that she has had to take down real gods before, so Superman shouldn't be a problem. Lo and behold, she forgot that Superman has abilities beyond super strength. A quick flash of freeze breath forms solid ice around her arms and shoulders so she can't block his next blast of heat vision with her gauntlets. The Flash jumps in just in time and moves her out of the way. Again, Superman attacks and knocks Flash down.

The Green Lantern, Hal Jordan encases Superman in a construct and Superman tries to break out. He nearly succeeds until Green Lantern, Alan Scott doubles the construct with his ring, which, unlike Hal's, is based on magic. Magic of course is one of Superman's weaknesses, so they hold him long enough that he calms down and regains his true senses.

Once they've taken Superman back to S.T.A.R. Labs, Luthor's scans come up with no new information. There are no exobytes in Superman's body and the toxicology came up negative too. Cyborg suggests that Brainiac may have done something to permanently alter Superman's physiology, and Mr. Terrific believes there's a chance that a key gland like the pituitary might have been reprogrammed. The question now is: what triggers the shift.

Lois steps up and puts her hand on the prison construct telling Clark that she believes in him and that her belief will never waver. She turns to Lex and the heroes and says, "Gentlemen, I know we're short on answers, but one thing we have in abundance here is love. And in the end, that's why we're going to succeed."

Hal Jordan warns the room that his ring is running out of its charge and he'll have to let the cell holding Superman drop before long. But then an order comes in from the Guardians of the Universe ordering that he, as well as every other Green Lantern in the Corps, report to Oa immediately. Alan Scott says he will do his best to keep Superman's cell intact by himself.

Fortunately, The Atom finds in his scans that there is indeed something wrong with Superman's pituitary gland. The Green Lanterns let Superman out of the cell so Atom can shrink down and get into Superman's brain through his nose. When he reaches the gland, he immediately notices circuitry grafted to it and recognizes that it's drawing power from Superman's cells, but isn't fully charged yet.

In space, Brainiac is monitoring everything and worries that The Atom may be able to destroy the device before it reaches full power, so he presses a button that forces Lois Lane's powers to activate. Since she was standing right next to Superman, it charges the circuitry completely in mere moments. Luthor tries to escort Lois out of the room, away from Superman, but is pushed out of the way with a "KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF MY WIFE!"

Batman orders The Atom to destroy the circuits immediately while Lois attempts to comfort Clark so that he might maintain control. But Superman's eyes begin to burn red. He covers his face with his hands to hold it in and keep it from hurting anyone, but a powerful blast still shines through the gaps of his finger, burning Lois. The Atom finally pulls out the circuits from his brain, but it's too late.

To be continued...

4Story - 4: It's unclear if Superman just killed Lois or if she's just badly hurt. I had guessed that something like this would happen and frankly, even if she survives, it probably won't be for long. This is what we've been waiting for. At issue 14 out of 26, we've already passed the half way point of the story and next we'll be treated to an emotional aftermath. Remember that this is a past which has already been changed, so all bets are off. Luthor can, and does know Clark's secret. Lois can, and possibly just did die. Mr. Terrific can turn into a pumpkin and carve himself into a jack-o-lantern. Ok, that won't happen, but the point is it could. Basically anything can happen to any hero or villain that wasn't in the game's opening video or the aftermath in the future story. This is the biggest moment about that so far.

I especially like any story where a Green Lantern Corps member like Hal Jordan teams up with Alan Scott. Having them both create the constructs that can hold the likes of Superman not only makes sense, it's also just really cool.

3Art - 3: This art team does a great job with women. Lois and Wonder Woman look awesome (with a couple of single panel exceptions). But the men don't look quite right to me, especially the ones without full masks. The quality is uneven from page to page and sometimes even panel to panel and some shots are just plain wonky.

Frankly, the art deserved a "2" rating, but I upped it because of the two splash pages. The first is the double page opener where Wonder Woman jumps between Superman and Lois to block the heat vision. The other is at the end where Superman fails to hold back a full-strength blast of heat vision that hits Lois. The art is completely complimented by the coloring since the heat vision is emitting a red glow around the beams. These shots are perfect for this art style, yet the final two pages don't follow through. On the last page, Flash looks like he should be in a "Family Circus" funny page.

4Cover Art - 4: I have to admit I like how the Justice League grouping of Batman, Green Lantern, Flash and Wonder Woman look here as they stand back and let Superman deal with this moment of Lois's death. Superman's cape looks amazing and the "S" is in perfect proportion with excellent shading. My only issue is the mouth that Superman is making, but I recognize that my feelings on this are about as subjective as I can get. While there are things I didn't care for at first glance, I found that I appreciated it more and more the longer I looked at it.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

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