Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials Comic Books
Truth & Justice #4Scheduled to arrive in stores: January 29, 2021
"The Revolving Door" - Part 1
Writer: Brandon Easton
Penciller: Jahnoy Lindsay
Inker: Jahnoy Lindsay
Cover: Khary Randolph and Emilio Lopez
Reviewed by: Badr Bally
The story opens with a police raid on a house where an escaped Stryker Island convict is hiding out, the convict named Bud Oakwood, accused of robbery attempt at the Metropolis Municipal Credit Union turns himself in without any resistance. Oakwood claims he has no memory of escaping as the last thing he remembered was sleeping in a cell before waking up and finding himself in his mother's home.
Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent, who previously reported on the robbery in defense of Oakwood's innocence claiming the allegations were based on questionable circumstantial evidence pushed by racial bias was at the scene when he heard the sound of a rifle being ready to fire so he quickly changes into Superman and stops the bullet that was meant for Oakwood. After he comforts Oakwood, one of the officers showed disapproval of Superman saving Oakwood saying "If you ask me, you would have done the world a favor and let that bullet fly." Superman replies, "With all due respect, officer I didn't ask," before flying off to catch the attempted assassin who was donned in armor. However, before Superman can even touch him, the assassin teleports away leaving the Man of Steel confused but also suspicious of the entire situation involving Oakwood's mysterious "escape".
Back at the Daily Planet, Clark and editor Perry White are having an argument over Perry moving Clark's story to the Sunday magazine instead of the main paper after the Oakwood situation. Turns out there's been a major rise of prison breakouts where all of the escapees were African American and making the same claims of having no memories of making any escape attempts. Their argument is interrupted by Karli Madison, Bud Oakwood's attorney who informs Clark that Oakwood wants to speak with him.
As Clark and Madison reach Stryker, Clark uses his X-Ray and Microscopic vision and doesn't see any cracks, tunnels or any sign of the previous escape attempt, which leads Clark to conclude that teleportation might be involved especially after the encounter with the mysterious assassin from earlier. During his session with Oakwood, Clark is convinced of his innocence due to Oakwood's pulse showing no signs of changing when suddenly an assassin teleports into the room and throws grenades at Oakwood, which Clark stops by using his freeze breath while neither Oakwood nor the assassin were looking. Before the assassin can teleport away, Clark uses his heat vision to engrave a small marking of his S symbol on the assassin's armor.
We then cut to Clark appearing on a program called "American Justice" hosted by a man named Jack Newman from the conservative "Patriot News Station". The two have a heated debate about the "mass incarceration of black males" (Newman is being more aggressive while Clark is calmer and more collected). The back and forth between the two comes to a halt when news of vigilante units in the same sophisticated armor the previous assassins wore appearing across the nation even attacking protestors defending the black convicts.
Superman intervenes and tries to calm the situation but the leader of the vigilante unit takes out a pair of kryptonite handcuffs, which starts to weaken Superman.
To Be Continued…
Story - 4: To anyone who's not familiar with the title, "Truth & Justice" is a currently running digital anthology series by DC with each story centering on different heroes featured across DC's Multiverse by different creative teams. The first three issues that covered an entire story by Geoffrey Thorne centered on Vixen teaming up with Dr. Mist and Impala of the Global Guardians facing an ancient deity that's taken over the body of a scientist investigating powerful magical artifacts.
The fourth issue we're looking at is a Superman story. Prisoners around Metropolis are waking up in their old homes, unaware of how they got there and being accused of escaping from Stryker's Island. Superman will need to use all of his powers, and his journalistic skills, if he's going to save the prisoners and get them properly exonerated.
I can already tell this storyline is going to cause controversy among some fans, with some could claim that the story would end up being outdated. However, this type of story has been relevant for years so it becoming outdated isn't going to happen anytime soon and this isn't the first time Superman stories tackled themes like racism as we had a number of Superman stories that tackled that in the 90s and of course there's the classic Superman vs The Klan from the 1940s radio show, which was adapted to the fantastic "Superman Smashes The Klan" graphic novel (which I highly recommend) plus it's nice to see Superman doing some investigative journalism again (Superman's detective skills are criminally underrated even by DC themselves).
The scene where Clark Kent is appearing on that right wing program has a moment that I really liked. For years fans speculated what type of political beliefs Superman has, one side claims Superman would be more liberal due to his "Champion of the Oppressed" era during the Golden Age while others claim Superman should be more right wing in supporting the status quo, then there's the side that say he should completely apolitical. I say Superman works better if he's more of a moderate, he has his own political views but he doesn't necessarily support any political party and should be openminded to different views as long as they're not harmful to people and society.
Art - 4: The art needed a little getting used to but it eventually grew on me. It has an interesting take on the differences between the Clark Kent-Superman identities by having Superman's iconic S curl placed upwards in his Clark Kent persona.
Cover Art - 4: The cover is an image of Superman standing in defiance while covered in Kryptonite chains (which is like what the umpteenth time we've seen this image?), while protesters in back are protesting in Superman's defense. I like the art used here particularly of Superman's defiant stance and expression, which fits the narrative of the story, though can't say I'm a fan of the use of yellow backgrounds here.
Mild Mannered Reviews
2021Note: Except for digital first releases, the month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.
- Superman #27
- Action Comics #1027
- Batman/Superman #14
- Justice League #56
- Justice League #57
- Young Justice #20
- Legion of Super-Heroes #11
- DCeased: Dead Planet #5
- Dark Nights: Death Metal #5
- Justice League: Endless Winter #1
- Superman: Endless Winter #1 [of 1]
- Superman #28
- Justice League #58
- Action Comics #1028
- Batman/Superman #15
- DCeased: Dead Planet #6 [of 6]
- Dark Nights: Death Metal #6 [of 6]
- Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Crisis on Infinite Earths #1
- DC's Very Merry Multiverse #1
- Challenge of the Super Sons #4
- Challenge of the Super Sons #5
- Justice League: Endless Winter #2
- Legion of Super-Heroes #12
- Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1
- Future State: Kara Zor-El, Superwoman #1
- Future State: Superman/Wonder Woman #1
- Future State: Justice League #1
- Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #1
- Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes #1
- Future State: Superman vs. Imperious Lex #1
- Future State: Batman/Superman #1
- Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Dark Nights - Metal #1
- DCeased: Dead Planet #7
- Dark Nights: Death Metal #7
- Challenge of the Super Sons #6
- Challenge of the Super Sons #7
- Challenge of the Super Sons #8
- Challenge of the Super Sons #9
- Challenge of the Super Sons #10
- Truth & Justice #4
- Future State: Superman of Metropolis #2
- Future State: Kara Zor-El, Superwoman #2
- Future State: Superman/Wonder Woman #2
- Future State: Justice League #2
- Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #2
- Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes #2
- Future State: Superman vs. Imperious Lex #2
- Future State: Batman/Superman #2
- Future State: Superman: House of El #1
- Truth & Justice #5
- Truth & Justice #6
- Infinite Frontier #0
- Crime Syndicate #1
- Superman #29
- Action Comics #1028
- Superman: Red and Blue #1 [of 6]
- Batman/Superman #16
- Justice League #59
- Future State: Superman vs. Imperious Lex #3
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Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2021.