Truth & Justice #5
Scheduled to arrive in stores: February 2, 2021
“The Revolving Door” – Part 2
Writer: Brandon Easton
Penciller: Jahnoy Lindsay
Inker: Jahnoy Lindsay
Cover: Khary Randolph and Emilio Lopez
Reviewed by: Badr Bally
We open where we left off, with Superman being weakened by the Kryptonite cuffs being held by the leader of the vigilantes attacking the protesters. However, while the head vigilante gloats, Superman uses what strength he still has to lift the ground causing the vigilante army to lose their balance. Superman flies out of range from the effects of the Kryptonite, so the head vigilante, in an attempt to force Superman back down, fires his energy rifle at the fleeing protesters. Superman blocks the beam and uses his freeze breath to freeze the vigilantes in their place. However the vigilantes teleport away before the police can arrive. During their escape, one of the vigilantes’ rifles gets left behind, which Superman takes to properly examine.
Back in his Clark Kent identity, he visits Bud Oakwood’s mother Lola Oakwood who tells him that before Bud’s “prison break”, she received a visit by a mysterious man who claimed to be a legal advocate offering a hasty release for her son in exchange for payment. After exhausting her life savings, she found Bud in her house… before being arrested. Lola feels regret for falling for such a con.
Clark is back in the Daily Planet trying to finish up his article on the unjust incarceration of members of the black community. After a couple of days of conducting research for the article, which also involved getting responses from less trusting citizens on the street, including a black woman who “doesn’t date black men”, Clark begins to feel the complications of the issue thinking to himself, “Superman could punch a Klansman or Nazi, but what could he do about a terrified suburban mom?”
Deciding to take a break from the article, Clark changes into his Superman persona and flies to his Fortress of Solitude to further examine the rifle one of the vigilantes left behind. He discovers it’s a standard issued rifle for Intergang, Metropolis’ biggest organized crime group.
Superman flies to one of Intergang’s bases to confront the head of Intergang, Bruno Mannheim. As Superman confronts Mannheim, he is taken by surprise by a mysterious figure who ties Superman in chains that are emitting glowing red light. The figure turns out to be the armored assassin who tried to assassinate Bud Oakwood at Strykers Island as Superman notices the “S” symbol shaped mark he left on the assassin with his heat vision during their previous encounter. The assassin introduces himself as “The Master Jailer” as he points his rifle at Superman’s head.
To Be Continued…
Story – 3: As the plot thickens, there seems to be a major conspiracy at work concerning the reluctant prison breaks. Seeing Clark Kent struggling to process the ins and outs of racial bias is an interesting concept especially since intolerance and discrimination isn’t a threat that heroes like Superman can simply “punch away”.
We also see an appearance by members of Superman’s rogues gallery, long-time antagonists Intergang and its head Bruno Mannheim and the Master Jailer, who first appeared in Superman #331 (Jan. 1979) and made random appearances throughout the years trying to capture Superman. However, this version of Master Jailer doesn’t have a history with Superman in this story, which is okay considering “Truth & Justice” is meant to cover stories that could fit outside of the main continuity.
One issue I have is when Jailer traps Superman, the chain is referenced to be red Kryptonite and it would only weaken Superman but that’s not what Red K does, Gold Kryptonite is the one that temporarily takes away powers while Red causes random effects such as changing a Kryptonian’s appearance or change in their personality. Seems the author did not do basic research on Kryptonite.
As for the story, it’s still pretty good, though like in a lot of “message” stories the (understandable) desire to get the point across is starting to overwhelm the storytelling, unlike in the first part. Still interested to see how this story ends, though.
Art – 3: I originally gave the art 3.5 but since the rating system doesn’t use halves, I decided to give it a 3 since a 4 would be too high as the art while serviceable has some odd moments.
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