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Mild Mannered Reviews - "Superman" Comics

Superman #12 Superman #12

Superman #12

Scheduled to arrive in stores: August 22, 2012

Cover date: October 2012

"Home"

Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artists: Dan Jurgens & Ray McCarthy
Cover:Dan Jurgens & Norm Rapmund

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

Click to enlarge



Lucy arrives to meet Clark for their bungee jump only to find a just out of the shower Jimmy. When Lucy finds out that Clark hasn't been home all night she is seething that he has let her down again.

Clark awakens in bondage, upside down and with a badly damaged armored suit. He watches quietly as the predator begins activating consoles in the nuclear plant. Superman is stunned to see the creature begin opening an inter-dimensional rift. To bring an army of killers here to Earth he assumes and quietly rips free from his cocoon.

Elsewhere, Ivan the secret agent informs his superiors that Superman and the predator are now inside the Firsov power plant. He worries that Superman and the predator might forge an alliance and become unstoppable. He needn't worry, the Russians in central command decide that a full nuclear strike on the place is in order so that both aliens will be destroyed.

Superman's armor is now fully regenerated, he launches a surprise attack on the predator and his tentacled friend reaching from the portal. Unhappy with the predator's trail of destruction, Superman rips off the predator's helmet.

The predator is revealed to be an alligator like species and it reaches out to Superman with one of its pellets. Superman slaps it aside but then watches as the creature begins to gasp for breath and beg. The pellet might be like one of Batman's, not necessarily a weapon, so Superman picks it up and it activates a universal translator.

The predator begs to have his helmet returned as it will help him breath. Superman does so but issues a stern warning with it. The creature steadies itself and reveals he was kidnapped by the Russians, imprisoned, experimented on and forced to be a weapon of destruction against his will. All he ever wanted was to go home, away from this hostile planet and its toxic atmosphere.

Superman realizes he has been played for a patsy by Ivan and the Russian government but is still determined that the predator answer for its crimes. The predator protests its innocence, telling Superman he was an unwilling killer, just trying to escape and get home. He refuses to stay for a sentencing and points out that earth won't answer for his abduction.

The creature assumes Superman a native and states that the Kryptonian will never know what it is like to be stranded alone on a strange world that distrusts and fears him. The predator's tentacled ally grabs Superman and begins pulling him through the portal just as Clark's hearing picks up the missile launch targeted for their location.

Superman can't believe that the Russians are so insane and paranoid that they'd risk nuclear fallout. He tears free from the tentacles and soars out of the plant with milliseconds to spare. The predator escapes too just in the nick of time.

Ivan orders his soldiers to blame the explosion on sabotage of the plant to cover up the plot. He reports that both aliens are dead and rings off. Superman overhears and presents himself safe, unharmed and very angry.

Ivan plays innocent and concerned, going along with Superman's unique twist on events.

Superman tells Ivan it's lucky Ivan remembered Superman's unique hearing so it would allow him time to escape. He reveals the alien made it safely home and also that the secret installation is no longer secret and will likely never be operational again.

Superman is unhappy that the alien didn't face up to his crimes but sympathizes with him. Clark realizes he doesn't appreciate the life he has on Earth as much as he should, especially seeing it from the predator's angle. He also hopes the Russians have realized he is a force for good that can be trusted and is here to help everyone in need.

Realizing he'd been taking his life for granted for too long he decides it's time Clark began to live a little, finally heading to the Lane apartment to meet up with Lois and Lucy. Big sister Lois is shocked at Clark's new attitude.

Lucy takes Clark to Bogdanove Bridge and gives him a crash course on jumping. Hand in hand the two take that leap and inside Superman vows to start enjoying his life and have some fun.

4Story - 4: The predator angle was played down this issue, which is a big plus and actually is a nice book end to the first year. As a single issue it has many faults, portraying Russians, I quote, "insane" and "paranoid" is a bit unsettling. But as a twelve issue arc it ties up a few story lines. It finally (if weakly) cures Clark of his depression. It offers Lucy as a possible romantic lead. It proves Morgan Edge to be a greedy buffoon. Jimmy, Miko and Heather as a capable reporting team alongside Clark. Lois as a strong confident businesswoman (though I prefer her as a beat reporter). There is mileage now in the continuity, so it can function more on its own rather than as a tie in to Action Comics - this alone is a huge breakthrough. It is a terrible shame it has taken the loss of two creative teams to get to this point.

2Art - 2: The art was a misfire for me from start to finish. Not one of the pages this issue stood out as they should have. They competently told the story but the whole issue's artwork just felt rushed. The inks were heavy in places and then too light, especially towards the end. I know that is more to do with two artists sharing the book but it wouldn't have hurt to attempt a marriage of styles.

4Cover Art - 4: The cover is pretty bland, but hear me out. It depicts what happens in the issue but just comes across like a 'stock image' - if that makes sense. It's not that it isn't well drawn, it is and I'm rating it a 4 after all. It just seems to me that it doesn't come across as 'special' enough. It looks like an oversized panel rather than a cover that says GRAB ME.


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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