Truth & Justice #6
Scheduled to arrive in stores: February 12, 2021
“The Revolving Door” – Part 3
Writer: Brandon Easton
Penciller: Jahnoy Lindsay
Inker: Jahnoy Lindsay
Reviewed by: Badr Bally
Superman was at the mercy of the mysterious armored assassin who calls himself the “Master Jailer”. Jailer brags about how taking down Superman would make him famous and ends up revealing his identity as Carl Draper.
Turns out Draper has expertise in making containment equipment and security systems for corporations and private prisons but he also has “Impulse Control Disorder” that causes outbursts that affected his prospects and financial stability. So, he decided to take advantage of the unfair incarceration of black Americans by charging relatives of the convicts under the promise he would reunite them, which he did using his teleportation equipment without the convicts being aware while also profiting from institutions responsible for incarcerating them in the first place. Basically, using fear-mongering to make a profit.
As soon as Draper was done with his monologue however, Superman broke of the chains, noting that the chains were simply covered in Red Kryptonite dust and made out of the genuine article though it was still enough to weaken Superman slightly but Superman still had more than enough power to terrify Mannheim and the other vigilantes that they accepted Superman’s “suggestion” to turn themselves in.
Draper refusing to give him up, takes out the Green Kryptonite hand cuffs as protection. Unfortunately for the Master Jailer, Superman knew how to counter this by using heat vision to slightly heat up Draper’s armor without killing him. Draper tries to retaliate using hidden traps against the Man of Steel, who easily counters them and finally apprehends the Master Jailer.
In the guise of Clark Kent, he greets Bud Oakwood as he is released from prison and finally finishes his article on the injustice black Americans face from the justice system, titled “The Revolving Door: The Mass Incarceration of Black Men in America”. Clark is riding the subway as he overhears one of the passengers complaining about the article’s agenda, commenting that “Where I come from, if you don’t break the law, you don’t get arrested.” He is interrupted by a young black passenger who responds with “And where I come from, you don’t have to do much to be considered a lawbreaker.” After the two men decide to agree to disagree, Clark thanks them for reading the article as he got off at the station he wanted while coming to the conclusion that while Superman can’t legislate attitudes, maybe he can change “one mind at a time”.
The story ends as Lola Oakwood welcomes back her son the now freed Bud Oakwood with open arms while Clark Kent looks from a distance with a smile on his face swearing that “I’ll be in your corner. I’ll fight for your freedom. Always.”
Story – 3: After a promising start, the story ends on a satisfactory if somewhat bumpy note. First of all, after the reveal of the Master Jailer last chapter, I was wondering if they were going to reveal that Carl Draper was a bigot who targeted minorities (ala Alex Trent the white supremacist terrorist who was the second incarnation of Bloodsport from the 90s era of Superman comics), but instead it turned out that Draper was simply taking advantage of the issue in order to make a profit, which reminds of a similar reveal that occurred in the famous Superman radio episode where the Man of Steel took on the KKK that was later adapted to the fantastic “Superman Smashes The Klan” graphic novel. I didn’t mind that reveal as it highlights something that the media tends to ignore, there are people who don’t believe the extremist or bigoted views they push but are using it just to make a profit and we have a number of so-called journalists or TV and radio personalities who push harmful agendas and conspiracy theories that they don’t necessarily buy into themselves but do it because it’s what they’re audience want.
I felt the information of the ICD condition Draper suffers from didn’t seem necessary but I guess it was included because it’s part of the character in different incarnations. After my gripes about the use of Red Kryptonite in the last chapter I’m mixed about how it was handled in this chapter, on one hand the reveal that it was manufactured and not the real deal fixes the continuity hiccup that Red K doesn’t weaken Superman but causes random affects but on the other hand, it seemed anti-climatic as did the resolution of the conflicts with the Master Jailer.
As for the ending with the passengers commenting on Clark Kent’s article seems a bit ham-fisted but I think it handles it better than how other comics handled topics like this.
Overall, the entire story is a decent read but it falters in places, then again it might be because I’m unfairly comparing it to “Superman Smashes The Klan”, which handled the theme a lot better. Still it’s certainly one of the better Superman stories we got recently.
So, my overall rating taking all three chapters into account would be a 3.5 out of 5.
Art – 3: As I mentioned in my review of the previous chapters, the art is decent enough but there are some awkward moments drawn in some of the pages.
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