Mild Mannered Reviews - Classic Pre-Crisis Superman Comics
Superman #233Cover date: January 1971
Writer: Denny O' Neil
Penciller: Curt Swan
Inker: Murphy Anderson
Cover: Neal Adams
"Superman Breaks Loose!"
Reviewed by: Rafael Magat
At an isolated testing ground somewhere in the Western United States, Superman flies above, thinking to himself that he's running a risk watching over Professor Bolden's Kryptonite engine experiment which can provide cheap electricity for virtually any undeveloped area in the world. The experiment begins, someone pulls the lever then something goes wrong and he orders the activation of the emergency alarm. Superman flies towards a giant lead coated shield. Superman breaks into the building but then an explosion diverts the Man of Steel out of the building, melting the lead shield and leaving Superman unconcious facing a face-full of Kryptonite!
Minutes later, scientists gather around Superman as he wakes up apparently unaffected by the Kryptonite explosion. The scientists help Superman up when a fellow scientist brings over some Kryptonite to show to them. Professor Bolden throws himself in front of Superman telling the man to get the Kryptonite away from Superman. The man contradicts Bolden and tells them that the Kryptonite has changed to iron and is now harmless to Superman! A worker comes over with some Kryptonite screaming that the Kryptonite in their vault has changed. Bolden finishes his sentence. Superman says that the vault was a considerable distance from the lab. Superman wonders if the explosion could've affected the Kryptonite in the vault and if it did, it could've affected the rest of the Green Kryptonite in the world. Superman then flies off telling them that he better find out and that he'll see them later.
Within hours, headlines around the world are screaming Kryptonite Destroyed! At the Daily Planet Jimmy Olsen tells Clark Kent and Lois Lane how great it is that Superman has nothing to be afraid of, except magic, which is rare, really rare. Clark thinks to himself that as Superman he feels like jumping for joy, but as Clark he'll play it cool and says that it's wonderful. Suddenly a man says that he thinks that it's not so wonderful, it's Morgan Edge, the new owner of the Daily Planet. Jimmy asks why not and Lois asks what Edge has against Superman. Edge tells them that he doesn't trust anyone that can't be stopped and quotes someone saying that "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely!" Edge then asks how are they to know that Superman will be an exception. Edge then tells Clark that he's assigning him to cover the launching of the new mail-rocket and hands him a portable TV transmitter. Clark protests saying that he's a newspaper man. Edge tells Clark that he's an employee and that he'll do well to remember it and tells them that if he says he's working for his TV station, he's working for his TV station. Clark says that he gets the message and goes off. As Clark exits the Daily Planet he wonders how he'll be able to switch identities without anyone noticing now that he's on TV.
At the launching site, Clark prepares for his showbiz debut. He activates the camera and begins his broadcast which is seen throughout Metropolis. Clark tells the viewers the transcontinental mail-rocket will greatly speed mail delivery from Metropolis to Los Angeles. Clark then notices a suspicious-looking man using a walkie-talkie. Clark announces a commercial break and uses his three-minute slot of free-time to change into Superman! Clark changes thinking to himself that he never thought he'd be thankul for commercials. A few yards away, the suspicious-looking man talks to his boss when Superman drops in. Superman sarcastically asks him to let him in. The man tells Superman they're planning to heist the rocket and sell it to another nation so that they can build their own. The man then tells Superman that he doesn't mind telling him because he'll be dead before he can stop them. The man then brings out some Kryptonite to kill Superman. Superman tells him that either he hasn't read a paper or he can't read. Superman then grabs the Kryptonite and eats it! Then flicks his hand at the man's chin knocking him out. Superman then changes back to Clark Kent, thinking to himself that he'll alert the police after his report.
Four seconds later, Clark anoounces the lift-off. Using the smoke as cover Clark changes to Superman as he announces another reporter taking over in Los Angeles. Superman then takes off, chasing the rocket. He sees two jets heading for it. Superman feels confident now that he really is invulnerable. A co-pilot sees him and fires at Superman. Superman let's them enjoy it, since they won't get to enjoy anything for 20 years. Superman flies beside the plane attempting to fuse their electrical system. Superman notices that his heat vision isn't penetrating the hull. Resorting to rougher methods, Superman rips open the hull and enters the cockpit of the plane and knocks the pilots heads together. Superman then proceeds to the other plane. Superman thinks, he put the plane on auto-pilot and it is now gliding safely and wonders why criminals never get tired of shooting guns. Superman stands on the hull and uses his x-ray vision to see the baddies and punches their heads and knocks them out. Superman grabs the nose of the jet and tags it along. Using his microscopic vision, he sees the mail-rocket going up safely and thinks that the men on the ground never even knew it was in danger. Superman grabs the tail of the other jet, still bothered by his temporary loss of heat vision but reassured by the fact that there is no more green Kryptonite around.
As Superman guides the jets to the Metropolis Air Field, he passes by the testing site where he learned that Kryptonite had been reduced to mere iron. Suddenly Superman feels dizzy, tired as though his strength is being drawn from his limbs. As Superman and the jets get away from the site his strength comes back, pondering the cause of his temporary fainting spell, was it his imagination, traces of Kryptonite radiation or something else, something far worse.
Early next morning at the Daily Planet, Jimmy pats Clark on the back for doing a swell job on the report while Lois says that she still prefers Walter Cronkite. Morgan Edge agrees with Olsen and assigns Clark to WGBS TV on a steady basis. Clark politely tells Edge that he thinks his place is here. Perry White screams at Edge saying that he needs Clark. Edge tells Perry to stop arguing. Clark is now a TV news anchor. Clark ponders if he'll always wait for commercials.
Meanwhile at the site of the Kryptonite incident, the imprint of Superman left yesterday begins to take a 3 dimensional form, cast in the mold of Superman. It lives! Like some nightmare creature, it plods towards the distant mountains and toward the villages and towns and cities beyond, moving slowly, relentlessly to a terrible destiny....
Story - 4: Before you read, I would just like to thank Barry Freiman and everyone else who commented on me, good and bad. My username is kalelofkrypton123456, so I'll respond to your comments by posting or e-mail, more on the posting. Anyway, this was a tough issue to summarize and it's even harder to rate, 'cause it's sorta good, but it's got inconcistencies, only an extremely good issue can get a 5 from me even if it's got inconcistencies the size of the Daily Planet globe. This issue is cool, but it's almost all setup yet it manages to keep itself from being boring thanks to Superman chasing a bunch of guys after a rocket which is gonna bring you your cheese of the month. That's inconcistencie number one, why build a very expensive rocket high on gas, remember this was in the seventies, and low on practicality, number two, Superman rips open the hull of a plane, at 50,000 feet, the air pressure would have sucked the pilots out of the cockpit and send them to their death, and he does it, twice! But a lot more on the first jet. But beyond that it's a very good issue. Minus one point for the mail rocket and half-a-point for the whole ripping open of the jet thing, 'cause Swan made it look so cool. 3.5 out of the 5, rounded it off and it's a 4 out of 5.
Art - 5: Swan-Anderson, the first time I saw Swan's art, I didn't really like it, but I learned to appreciate his hatching method and Murphy Anderson's inks. I learned to like it and I've began imitating his hatching method when I draw. And thanks to Swan we got Christopher Reeve as Superman. And he made the jet sequence very cool. It would look great if they did it on Smallville.
Cover Art - 4: Minus one for it not happening. But it is explosive and dramatic and gets a point across of Kryptonite being turned into something harmless and it's Neal Adams! Beautiful work. Plus I like the blurb here better than the real title, speaking of which, what breaking loose did Superman do anyway?
Pre-Crisis Superman Comic Book Reviews
- Action Comics #1 (June 1938)
- Action Comics #2 (July 1938)
- Action Comics #3 (August 1938)
- Action Comics #4 (September 1938)
- Action Comics #5 (October 1938)
- Action Comics #6 (November 1938)
- Action Comics #7 (December 1938)
- Superman Archives: Volume 1 (1939)
- Superman #1 (Summer 1939)
- Action Comics #8 (January 1939)
- Action Comics #9 (February 1939)
- Action Comics #10 (March 1939)
- Superman #13 (November/December 1941) - The Archer
- Superman #19 (November/December 1942) - Case of the Funny Paper Crimes
- Action Comics #60 (May 1943) - Lois Lane - Superwoman
- Superman #30 (September/October 1944) - The Mysterious Mr. Mxyztplk
- Action Comics #80 (January 1945) - Mr. Mxyztplk Returns
- Superman #38 (January/February 1946) - The Battle of the Atoms
- Superman #42 (September/October 1946) - The Death of Clark Kent
- Superman #45 (March/April 1947) - Lois Lane, Superwoman
- Superman #53 (July 1948) - The Origin of Superman
- Action Comics #124 (September 1948) - A Superman of Doom
- Superman #60 (December 1949/January 1950) - The Two Identities of Superman & Superman Fights the Super-Brain
- Superman #76 (May/June 1952) - The Mightiest Team in the World
- Superman #80 (January/February 1953) - Superman's Lost Brother
- Superman 3D (1953) - The Man Who Stole the Sun, Origin of Superman and The Man Who Bossed Superman
- Superman #87 (February 1954) - The Prankster's Greatest Role
- Superman #88 (March 1954) - The Terrible Trio
- Superman #89 (May 1954) - Captain Kent the Terrible, Superman of Skid Row, and One Hour to Doom!
- Superman #91 (August 1954) - The Superman Stamp and Great Caesar's Ghost
- World's Finest #88 (May/June 1957) - Superman and Batman's Greatest Foes
- Superman #115 (August 1957) - The Midget Superman!
- Superboy #65 (May/June 1958) - The Amazing Adventures of Krypto Mouse
- Action Comics #242 (July 1958) - The Super-Duel in Space
- Superman #123 (August 1958) - The Girl of Steel
- Superman #127 (February 1959) - Titano the Super Ape
- Action Comics #252 (May 1959) - The Menace of Metallo and The Supergirl From Krypton
- Superman #129 (May 1959) - The Girl in Superman's Past
- Superman #130 (July 1959) - The Curse of Kryptonite!, The Super-Servant of Crime!, and The Town that Hated Superman!
- Jimmy Olsen #40 (October 1959) - Jimmy Olsen, Supergirl's Pal
- Superman #134 (January 1960) - The Super-Menace of Metropolis
- Jimmy Olsen #42 (January 1960) - The Big Superman Movie!, Perry White, Cub Reporter!, and Jimmy the Genie!
- Jimmy Olsen #44 (April 1960) - The Wolf-Man of Metropolis
- Adventure Comics #271 (April 1960) - How Luthor Met Superboy
- Jimmy Olsen #46 (July 1960) - Jimmy Olsen, Orphan
- Superman #141 (November 1960) - Superman's Return To Krypton
- Superboy #85 (December 1960) - The Impossible Mission
- Jimmy Olsen #51 (March 1961) - The Girl with Green Hair
- Jimmy Olsen #52 (April 1961) - Jimmy Olsen, Wolf-Man
- Superboy #89 (June 1961) - Superboy's Big Brother!
- Action Comics #279 (August 1961) - The Super-Rivals
- Superman #147 (August 1961) - The Legion of Super Villains
- Superman #149 (November 1961) - The Death of Superman!
- Jimmy Olsen #57 (December 1961) - Jimmy Olsen Marries Supergirl
- Superman #155 (August 1962) - Superman Under the Green Sun and The Downfall of Superman
- Justice League of America #13 (August 1962) - Riddle of the Robot Justice League
- World's Finest #129 (November 1962) - Joker-Luthor, Incorporated
- Superman #158 (January 1963) - Superman in Kandor
- Superman #160 (April 1963) - The Mortal Superman
- Superman #161 (May 1963) - The Last Days of Ma and Pa Kent
- Superman #162 (July 1963) - The Amazing Story of Superman-Red and Superman-Blue
- Superman #163 (August 1963) - Wonder-Man, the New Hero of Metropolis and The Goofy Superman
- Justice League of America #21 & #22 (August/September 1963) - Crisis on Earth-One! and Crisis on Earth-Two!
- Superman #164 (October 1963) - The Showdown Between Luthor and Superman
- Superman #165 (November 1963) - The Sweetheart Superman Forgot
- Superman #166 (January 1964) - The Fantastic Story of Superman's Sons
- Superman #167 (February 1964) - The Team of Luthor and Brainiac
- Superman #168 (April 1964) - Luthor - Super Hero and Lex Luthor, Daily Planet Editor
- Superman #169 (May 1964) - The Man Who Stole Superman's Secret Life
- Action Comics #314 (July 1964) - The Day Superman Became The Flash
- Justice League of America #29 & #30 (August/September 1964) - Crisis on Earth-Three! and The Most Dangerous Earth of All!
- Superman #173 (November 1964) - The Triumph of Luthor and Brainiac
- Action Comics #318 (November 1964) - The Death of Luthor
- Action Comics #319 (December 1964) - The Condemned Superman
- Superman #175 (February 1965) - Clark Kent's Brother
- Superman #181 (November 1965) - The Superman of 2965
- The Legion of Super-Heroes - Archives Volume 4 (1965)
- Superman #184 (February 1966) - The Demon Under the Red Sun
- Action Comics #338 (June 1966) - Muto - Monarch of Menace
- Action Comics #339 (July 1966) - Muto versus The Man of Tomorrow
- Superman #189 (August 1966) - Krypton Lives Again
- Action Comics #346 (February 1967) - The Man Who Sold Insurance to Superman and The Case of the Superman Imposter
- Superman #194 (February 1967) - The Death of Lois Lane
- Superman #196 (May 1967) - The Star of Steel
- Superman #199 (January 1967) - Superman's Race With The Flash
- Superman #200 (October 1967) - Super-Brother Against Super-Brother
- The Flash #175 (December 1967) - Race to the End of the Universe
- Justice League of America #63 (June 1968) - Time Signs a Death Warrant for the Justice League
- Superman #211 (November 1968) - The Name of the Game is Superman!
- Superman #215 (April 1969) - Lois LaneŠ DeadŠ Yet Alive
- Superman #224 (February 1970) - Beware the Super-Genius Baby
- Action Comics #393 (October 1970) - Superman Meets Super-Houdini! and The Day Superboy Became Superman!
- Jimmy Olsen #133 (October 1970) - The Newsboy Legion
- Action Comics #394 (November 1970) - Midas of Metropolis and Requiem for a Hot Rod!
- World's Finest #198 (November 1970) - Race to Save the Universe!
- Action Comics #395 (December 1970) - The Secrets of Superman's Fortress and The Credit Card of Catastrophe
- Jimmy Olsen #134 (December 1970) - The Mountain of Judgement!
- World's Finest #199 (December 1970) - A Race to Save Time!
- Superman #233 (January 1971) - Superman Breaks Loose!
- Jimmy Olsen #135 (January 1971) - The Evil Factory!
- Superman #234 (February 1971) - How to Tame a Wild Volcano
- Jimmy Olsen #136 (February 1971) - The Saga of the D.N.Aliens
- Superman #235 (March 1971) - The Sinister Scream of the Devil's Harp
- Superman #236 (April 1971) - Planet of the Angels and The Doomsayer
- Jimmy Olsen #137 (April 1971) - The Four-Armed Terror!
- Superman #237 (May 1971) - The Enemy of Earth
- Superman #238 (June 1971) - Menace at 1000 Degrees
- Jimmy Olsen #138 (June 1971) - The Big Boom!!
- Superman #240 (July 1971) - To Save a Superman
- Jimmy Olsen #139 (July 1971) - The Guardian Fights Again!!!
- Superman #241 (August 1971) - The Shape of Fear
- Superman #242 (September 1971) - The Ultimate Battle
- Jimmy Olsen #141 (September 1971) - Will the Real Don Rickles Panic?!?
- Jimmy Olsen #142 (October 1971) - The Man from Transilvane!
- Jimmy Olsen #143 (November 1971) - Genocide Spray
- Jimmy Olsen #144 (December 1971) - A Big Thing in a Deep Scottish Lake!
- Superman #247 (January 1972) - Must There Be A Superman
- Jimmy Olsen #145 (January 1972) - Brigadoom!
- Jimmy Olsen #146 (February 1972) - Homo-Disastrous!
- Jimmy Olsen #147 (March 1972) - A Superman in Super-Town!
- Jimmy Olsen #148 (April 1972) - Monarch of All He Subdues!
- Superman #292 (October 1975) - The Luthor Nobody Knows!
- Action Comics #458 (April 1976) - Make Me a Super-Hero! and Masquerade of the Nutty Kid!
- Superman vs. Muhammad Ali (Spring 1978)
- Action Comics #484 (June 1978) - Superman Takes a Wife!
- Superman #328 (October 1978) - Attack of the Kryptonoid
- Action Comics #489 (November 1978) - Krypton Dies Again and Where There's a Will... There's a Fray
- Superman #329 (November 1978) - I Have Met The Enemy... And He Is Me! and The Secret of the Talking Car
- Superman #330 (December 1978) - The Master Mesmerizer of Metropolis!
- Action Comics #490 (December 1978) - No Tomorrow For Superman
- Action Comics #491 (January 1979) - A Matter of Light and Death
- Superman #331 (January 1979) - Lockup at 20,000 Feet
- Action Comics #492 (February 1979) - Superman's Secret Afterlife
- Superman #332 (February 1979) - The Eternity Cage
- Action Comics #493 (March 1979) - The Metropolis UFO Connection
- Action Comics #494 (April 1979) - The Secret of the Super S
- Action Comics #495 (May 1979) - Attack of the Ultimate Warrior
- DC Comics Presents #14 (October 1979) - Judge, Jury... and No Justice!
- The Superman Story (1979) - The Life Story of Superman
- DC Comics Presents #57 (May 1983) - Days of Future Past
- DC Comics Presents #67 (March 1984) - 'Twas the Fright Before Christmas
- DC Comics Presents Annual #3 (1984) - With One Magic Word
- Superman: The Secret Years #1 (February 1985) - Dreams and Schemes and Feeling Proud!
- Superman: The Secret Years #2 (March 1985) - Reach Out and Touch
- Superman: The Secret Years #3 (April 1985) - Terminus
- DC Comics Presents #80 (April 1985) - A World Full of Supermen!
- Superman: The Secret Years #4 (May 1985) - Beyond Terminus
- DC Comics Presents #85 (September 1985) - The Jungle Line
- Superman Annual #11 (1985) - For The Man Who Has Everything
- World's Finest #323 (January 1986) - Afraid of the Dark
- DC Comics Presents #97 (September 1986) - Phantom Zone: The Final Chapter
- Superman #423 & Action Comics #583 (September 1986) - Whatever Happened To The Man of Tomorrow?
- Showcase Presents: Superman Family - Volume 1 (October 2005)
- Superman/Batman: Saga of the Super Sons (December 2007)
- Not Brand ECHH #7 (April 1967) - The Origin of Stuporman
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