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Mild Mannered Reviews - "Superman" Comics

Superman #5

Superman #5

Scheduled to arrive in stores: January 25, 2012

Cover date: March 2012

"Menace"

Writer: George Pérez
Penciller: Nicola Scott
Inker: Trevor Scott
Cover:Brian Buccellato

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

Click to enlarge



The emergency services, Jimmy, Miko, Billy and Ron are all racing to the newest 'super' related crisis with the entire city on tender hooks. Superman it seems is engulfed in a tornado of both fire and ice. As the crowds draw closer Ron swears he sees Superman smiling before displaying the new super power of absorption. Billy, broadcasting live hears Superman utter the alien language and proclaims it solid evidence that the recent attacks on Metropolis are because of Superman. The Man of Steel smirks quoting one of Billy's past shows. "Menace or Messiah - you decide!"

Clark's old apartment building is rubble but he deposits the limp, barely living, bodies of Heather, the guard and the hobo with the emergency services. He then makes stern proclamations out of character about always defeating alien threats. He then soars away declaring that he has a city to save. Billy comments live on air that Superman said 'save' instead of 'protect' perhaps developing a messiah complex.

At the same time a PGN reporter speaking direct to Lois tells her about the survivors from the tornado, also pointing out Clark isn't there. Jimmy also comments that Clark's old apartment seems to attract the strange occurrences. Lois' mind races.

Shortly after the incident at the Swann-Klein hospital the police and PGN heads meet to learn the fates of the three survivors who are all alive but in strange coma like states. The identity of the hobo is revealed to have been a former tech expert, Santiago Velasquez. As the group piece things together they realize that the first attack by one of the aliens was exactly where the hobo was hiding out and that Clark Kent was supposed to be there doing a story on the old subway. They all comment on his unreliability and disappearing acts, especially now with a huge story based on his old apartment.

Clark it seems has lost it.

He crashes into the facility that is storing the giant robots he had recently defeated. He had earlier submitted the parts to the military to further their research and development but suddenly does a u-turn. When soldiers attempt to stop him Superman unleashes heat vision mortally wounding two of them before returning to his task of melting down the robots so they no longer pose an alien threat.

PGN reports all of Superman's weird code of justice against the 'infestation' of Metropolis. Superman has suddenly gone overboard. He smashes into STAR Labs and, despite the scientist's protests, murders all their subjects, mutations and even the giant ape on dialysis, Titano. Next the prisons are transferring out criminals Superman captured as they were next in line to suffer his desire to 'purge'. The Sky Raiders, a team of super criminals that had almost succeeded in destroying the city, are loaded into a prison van and driven away. They hit a patch of ice and skid all over the road coming to a stop as they overturn. Horrified they stare up at an iceman version of Superman who judges and sentences them all to death.

At PGN Lois calls Jimmy to her office. She asks for his help as a hacker after his stellar job of piggybacking the city CCTV. Jimmy accepts but points out Miko is better than him. Lois refuses asking for him and him alone as Miko asks too many questions. As she begs Jimmy they notice Billy McCoy back on air with another Superman damning report. In it he talks about Superman's vengeance spree and shows clips of Chief Corporon and Mayor Morissroe also asking Superman to back down as this is way out of character for the Man of Steel.

At the same time Sam Lane is also watching the report and instructs that the K-Squadron be drafted into duty immediately. As he does so a guard alerts him back to the live program as Superman crashes into the TV studio and takes Billy to the Daily Planet globe where he informs him that his anti Superman rants have been opposing the order he has instilled in his city.

Lois watches horrified and sends Jimmy to cover the story. In the meantime she activates her earpiece and tries to contact Clark. Superman drops Billy to his death just as Lois screams out "CLARK!" to the video screen.

As she does so Superman - AND - Clark wake up from a daze. Clark it seems has been encased in insects and in the same coma state as the other survivors out in space. In the meantime the three alien forces had merged to impersonate him. It is only Lois' voice that awakens him...

To Be Continued...

5Story - 5: This issue is a red herring! But a brilliant one at that. At first it has you horrified that Superman is doing everything that people feared DCnU Superman would do. He beats people, he kills people, he kills his enemies, he has zero tolerance, he ignores authority and the law. He was... Krypton Man, Krypton Man! Okay for those that never read the original Eradicator stories, go get the back issues!

Some people had already guessed this was happening, but I didn't want to spoil it. It looks like #6 is going to be a fantastic Superman versus Superman showdown reminiscent of the Matrix vs Clark fight or even the Superman III junkyard battle. I still hate General Thunderbolt Ross clone General Sam Lane and would prefer him to not be involved but all in all this is a fantastic story arc. The only thing I didn't like was that all the people that died have all been killed off before their actual debut. I guess when Action Comics is done rehashing and gets up and running with continuity I'll reread this as for now the deaths aren't as hard hitting as they could be.

4Art - 4: Last issue I touched upon this but this issue it became an annoyance that I had to address. The indistinguishable men and women. A lot of the characters look the same so when a character in a group speaks who is it? This was prominent in the hospital. Who are they all? Aside from that the art was beautifully rendered.

1Cover Art - 1: I hate this cover. I hate the split screen effect. I hate that it makes no sense. With the fantastic story inside this was a lame offering to advertise it. What's wrong with "Superman: Murderer!" or "The most dangerous man in the New 52" showing evil Superman at work? Instead we get that cover. A crying shame.


Mild Mannered Reviews

2012

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

January 2012

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