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Mild Mannered Reviews - "Superman" Comics

Superman #33 Superman #33

Superman #33

Scheduled to arrive in stores: July 23, 2014

Cover date: September 2014

"The Men of Tomorrow" - Chapter Two: "The New Superman"

Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciller: John Romita Jr.
Inker: Klaus Janson
Covers: John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson & Laura Martin

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

Click to enlarge



Superman #33 Superman #33 Perry berates the Planeteers for allowing the Ulysses debut to have been made in a rival paper.

Lois Lane, Jackee Winters, Ron Troupe, Steve Lombard and Jimmy Olsen specifically have strips torn off them for allowing the story to escape them.

Clark arrives and takes Perry aside. Perry mentions that Cat Grant has dropped ClarkCatTropolis and is returning to the team, however Clark tells him he isn't ready to return yet but needs Perry for his expertise.

Clark drills Perry on the Ulysses project twenty-five years ago. Perry tells the story of top military scientist named Margaret Night. Despite her advancements in biological weaponry one day she quit, head hunted some of the greatest minds on the planet and created a facility named the Ulysses Research Lab, her intention, to create a new utopia by traversing dimensions rather than space.

Clark probes further but his pressuring makes Perry suspicious, realizing he has leverage, Perry offers insight only he can offer if Clark publishes his story in the Daily Planet and returns as a staff writer. Food for thought but Clark sees he has no other choice and the duo root around the paper morgue for research.

An accident in the lab it turns out killed Dr Night and her staff when they breached the 2nd Dimension and the laboratory was shut down. Clark pulls out a photo of Peter & Bridget Quinn which takes Perry by surprise. Perry tells Clark they were a nice couple despite heading the navy's nuclear strategy.

The pair are interrupted by activity in the Newsroom and Clark is shocked to find Ulysses has tracked him down. Clark makes excuses of a one to one interview to steer his friend away from the journalists before he reveals more than he should. Perry turns to the Planeteers and praises Clark as their role model. This spurs Lois who promptly ropes Jimmy in and swears to find out exactly how Clark scored the interview that is showing them all up.

Back in Clark's apartment he explains why his secret identity is vital and why it should stay a secret. Ulysses begins to see how truly similar they are even to their origins. Clark hands back the photo of the Quinn's and points out that his parents died with his home-world and Ulysses doesn't know what truly became if them.

Ulysses reveals his parents left him a journal, in it they told him they had no choice but to send him away to save his life. He had thought Earth was dead until he encountered a man named Klerik. Seeing Ulysses Klerik became swore to destroy Ulysses and his home.

Superman assures him Klerik is imprisoned in Stryker's Island and wont be a problem, though Ulysses warns Clark that Klerik is healing and will come back for revenge once more if he has access to Atmospheric Crystals from their dimension.

Clark orders Ulysses to stay in hiding while he investigates the story. Superman armored up arrives at the old underground lab and begins to hunt for clues but in the meantime Ulysses finds a photo of the Kents and Clark's wardrobe. Using Clarks idea of blending in the stranger slips on a hoodie and jeans before heading out onto the streets.

Clark discovers a set of blast doors and calls Perry to verify something while Ulysses gives himself the name Neil and explores the city. Some life size toy soldiers appear and begin shooting all around the city. Ulysses jumps into action and starts fighting off the soldiers.

At that moment Perry reveals to Clark some startling information about the aftermath of the lab explosion before a real-time explosion on the Daily Planet doorstep. Clark races to the rescue and arrives just in time to help Ulysses to destroy the last of the robots.

Ulysses questions why attacks like this keep happening on Earth while Clark points out that he can't tear up the city while saving the day. With the aid of superspeed Superman becomes a one man clean up crew before leading Ulysses away to a mystery location.

The stranger is shocked when Superman reveals that the Quinn's survived and he reunites them in an emotional moment. Clark looks upon their joy and can't help but think about his parents, From a mystery location the hooded man from Clark's past watches...

To Be Continued...

5Story - 5: Superman outside of Action Comics and Batman/Superman has had one of the rockiest starts in the New 52, Clark quit his job, friends and career to become a blogger, Superman became a punching bag for cosmic threats... these were among some of the worst choices in direction to ever face the character. As much as I hate inflating a writer's ego, in two short issues, Geoff Johns has returned Clark to more familiar ground for older audiences and not made it too dull for the newer readers. Returning much of Clark & Superman's life, mythos and supporting cast has felt like a massive relief yet also a breath of fresh air.

The issue is all about exposition and narrative albeit thinly veiled. The issue taking a breather after the explosive ending last issue and launching us into a Planeteer staff meeting was brilliantly played out.Perry & Clark's interaction is fantastic and this is where the book excels. Johns mingles humor, mystery and the drama well with the Clark & Perry scenes and the two Last Sons being real high points. The parallels between the four characters and their developments during the chapter are something Superman fans have been hungering for (as well as Lois Lane becoming great again) but we'll have to wait for the story to play out before getting high hopes.

Going back to the familiar with Superman is definitely welcomed but I'm still unsure of Ulysses, he seems more like I'd have expected Kara/Supergirl to have been in all honesty. Now she is just an angry teen maybe Neil will be the conduit for her old continuity... but again that will have to play out more, I do enjoy his 'strange visitor' trope reflecting on Superman however as the New 52 has really put Superman through the wringer.

5Art - 5: The artwork is a dramatic change from arcs past and the real strength is the character moments showcasing the Planeteers. The action is secondary to the emotive moments and for the art to focus on the powerful drama rather than the toy soldier attack speaks to the books new direction especially as action sequences are undeniably Romita Jr.'s forte. Superman is a little awkward at times in posture but overall it's a welcome change that is really breathing new life into the book.

3Cover Art - 3: A bit bland considering the explosive cover that came last issue. It really doesn't do much in the way of showcasing the fantastic art inside.


Mild Mannered Reviews

2014

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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