Superman Smashes The Klan #3 [of 3]
Scheduled to arrive in stores: February 19, 2020
Cover date: April 2020
“Superman Smashes The Klan” – Part Three
Writer: Gene Luen Yang
Reviewed by: James Lantz
In addition to Superman discovering his Kryptonian origins and his costume being inspired by that of a circus strong man whom he saved in Smallville in 1936, our hero puts out the fiery cross on the Daily Planet globe and, with the aid of Roberta Lee and Jimmy Olsen, saves Lois Lane, Inspector Henderson and Perry White from the Klan of the Fiery Cross. The hooded white supremacists have been arrested. Yet Grand Scorpion Matt Riggs has escaped to warn Grand Imperial Mogul Doctor William Jennings, the head of the Metropolis Health Department, of Superman’s interference in the Klan’s plans. Jennings, in spite of merely using the Klan and its hate mongering to make a quick buck, has an ace in the hole to stop the Man of Steel, one that could mean certain death for him.
In addition to encouraging Superman to stop limiting himself to fit in with people, Roberta Lee has proven herself to be an intrepid cub reporter. She’s discovered Jennings, who is really Nazi scientist Segret Wilson, was studying Der Grunstein – The Green Stone, which we all know is Kryptonite. He had secretly watched Superman’s battle with the Atom Man and came to realize our hero was an extraterrestrial vulnerable to the rock’s radiation. Roberta’s father left the health department when he saw Superman was no threat. Yet, he kept a Kryptonite sample in a lead sphere. That baseball sized object may hold the key to saving the Last Son of Krypton.
The Metropolis Unity House baseball team is playing against the Gotham City Boys’ Club. The game is interrupted when Matt Riggs, armed with a Kryptonite powered laser rifle, takes Roberta hostage. His followers also take over the audience. Chuck Riggs and Jimmy Olsen do their best to help Roberta. Superman flies in and uses his Heat Vision for the first time, thereby revealing that he is from Krypton. Riggs fires his weapon. Roberta throws the lead sphere for Kal-El to catch. He uses it to deflect the deadly rays and protect himself. Matt Riggs uses a Kryptonite blade to cut him. This only delays the disgraced Grand Scorpion’s inevitable arrest. With Matt Riggs behind bars and the Klan of the Fiery Cross disbanded, the youth of Unity House and the Gotham City Boys’ Club work together to clean up the baseball field while Roberta, whose real name is Lan-Shin Lee, uses an initialed pen given to her by Lois Lane on her new job as the Daily Planet‘s newest cub reporter.
NOTE: This issue also features the third and final part of an afterword by Gene Luen Yang. This time, Yang discusses the history of “The Clan of the Fiery Cross” serial, audience reactions, Yang’s parents’ arrival in the United States, the hardships they faced and the friendships they forged while creating a new life for themselves.
Story – 5: Okay, “The Clan of the Fiery Cross” is a brilliant radio serial, and I wasn’t a fan of Gene Luen Yang’s run on the New 52 comics. However looking back, I think that’s more due to editorial direction than anything else. I was worried about Yang writing a comic of this story arc when I first heard he was doing it. However, Yang has captured and adapted “Cross” and The Adventures of Superman radio perfectly. This entire mini-series has been a treat to read, and I hope the collected edition has a lot of behind the scenes extras. I want to see this creative team do a sequel or another story in the future.
Art – 5: Gurihiru has done it again. Every page is drawn incredibly. The art has captured the radio show Superman and his world perfectly.
Cover Art – 5: This cover is the perfect image to describe the hope Superman gives to the human race, both in his universe and the real world of the reader.
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