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Mild Mannered Reviews - Smallville Comics

Smallville: Chaos - Chapter #1

Smallville: Chaos - Chapter #1

Released Digitally: June 2, 2014

"Chaos" - Part 1

Writer: Bryan Q. Miller
Penciller: Agustin Padilla
Inker: Jose Aviles

Reviewed by: Matt Schorr

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Our story begins with Superman being Superman. On the streets of Metropolis, Big Blue is battling a professorwho's been possessed by an evil spirit thanks to a dark jewel (Eclipso, I presume?).

Meanwhile, in Antarctica, Lois Lane is touring a Higgs Boson collider facility built by Ted Kord and Michael Holt. (Blue Beetle and Mister Terrific in past lives, for those who might be interested.) As proud as they are of their accomplishments, they tell the intrepid reporter that none of it would've been possible without the last minute contribution of Lex Luthor. Lois insists no one should trust Lex, but her pleas fall on deaf ears.

CueLex's lackey (I can't believe it took me this long to use that phrase). Otis Berg places a device in a darkened corridor in Section 31 of the facility moments before the experiment begins.

Sadly, things don't go as planned for Kord and Holt, and the experiment opens a violent gateway into the Bleed, the rift between parallel universes. Just after defeating the possessed professor, Superman hears Lois call for help and flies to Antarctica at super speed. He arrives in time to catch Lois just before the vortex pulls her in, but they're both caught in the rift just before it closes. Moments after their disappearance, Lex remarks he's just killed two birds with one stone.

3Story - 3: I wouldn't go so far as to call this a strong start for a new story, but it's hardly a disappointment either. It's a perfectly acceptable comic book issue. Not exactly strong praise, I know, but it's a definite improvement over the conclusion of Lantern.

I've always thought Miller has delivered some solid material for this series. He's not giving us Watchmen, but his stories haveconsistently been fun, entertaining reads - for the most part.

That said, although a solid opening chapter, this issue didn't grab my interest the way past ones have. Lantern had me hooked from the first chapter, as did Alien, Argo and Detective. This one didn't quite do that. I liked it, but I didn't love it.

There's plenty to like here, though. While I'm sure there will be plenty of cameos thrown at us throughout Lois and Clark's jaunt through the multiverse, it's nice to see a Superman-centric story for a change. This was beginning to feel like a Brave and the Bold series, and although it's enjoyable to see our hero interact with other important characters inhis universe, I like seeing himtake center stage once again.

Quick side note. I couldn't help but chuckle at seeing Lois and some business executives in a science facility in Antarctica. For starters, visiting Antarctica isn't like a trip to Europe. There are no airports, and planning such a journey requires a lot more clearances than a passport. I could go on about the demands and dangers of such a journey, but let me just say this: I've worked in newspapers for nearly ten years, and if scientists in Antarctica have something important to tell us, they can email us.

But hey, it's a comic book, and it's Smallville. That sort of goofy, comic booky logic is what lends many ofthese stories their charm.

3Art - 3: The artwork seems to reflect the story here. It's perfectly acceptable art fora perfectly acceptable story. We're not breaking any new ground here in story or visuals.

3Cover Art - 3: Like the story and the art, it's acceptable. I like covers that reflect the story inside, and this does that, but it's a little dull. It almost looks like Superman and Lois are tumbling around in a large bowl of Jello.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Except for digital first releases, the month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2014

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