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Written By: Gene Yang Art By: John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson, Dean White, Wil Quintana, Tomeu Morey Cover Price: $3.99 Release Date: June 29, 2015
Hogwarts For Hackers
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
Welcome back to Superman, where it's time to get the TRUTH and nothing but the TRUTH..... kinda. As we saw in the previous issue, this is a prequel to the depowered/identity exposed story that we're dealing with in Superman titles across the board and because of that, we have ourselves a very much powered Superman, rocking his New 52 look. Which for being the last title to come out in the story, it was a little odd. In the previous issue we saw Superman take down a advanced weapons sale........where he fought a gigantic 3D Printer of all things and we found out that someone knows Clark's secret. Thankfully, we didn't deal much with the monstrous printer and the story mainly focused on Clark getting blackmailed by an anonymous texter, who was willing to keep Clark's secret as long as he played ball with whatever the texter wanted. The issue closed with a girl named Condesa coming to The Planet, looking for Clark and Lois so she could blow the whistle on what's really going on with these weapons deals, which led to Clark getting shot.......... which normally wouldn't be a problem, but to take down that printer he went and solar flared again. Dude's pulling out these solar flares like he gets money every time he does it. I'm sick of it and maybe that one will be the last as we move further towards the TRUTH. Let's check out this issue and find out.
As our issue begins, we find out that Clark catching a bullet in last issue's cliffhanger doesn't mean shit because Clark's powers are back and he's all healed up. So yeah, I guess that was pointless, especially since Lois Lane doesn't seem to be asking any questions about Clark spontaneously being okay. No, she only begins asking questions after Clark, Jimmy, Condesa and her get attacked by robot ninjas and Clark makes short work of them. Normally what we see on the cover is something just to hype us up to buy the issue and it doesn't ever really have anything to do with the actual story, but here we have pretty much the exact thing we see on the cover as Lois tears Clark's shirt off, revealing him to be Superman. The revelation doesn't last long as Condesa tells everyone that the people she works for are behind Clark being blackmailed and that extorting people with their secrets seems to be the group's mission statement. After traveling to Gotham to get a little help from Toy Master in duplicating Condesa's ID mask, the group begin their way to putting a stop to this evil information gathering "HORDR"........ Yeah, I know that Jimmy already knows that Clark is Superman, but man did I expect Lois and even Condesa to be a little more amazed that Clark Kent is the Man of Steel.
So we have ourselves a super secret organization that makes it's money by extorting the rich and famous through technology, so where would you think they'd have their secret HQ? Actually scratch that. How do you think you'd get to a place like that? Okay, stop guessing because you'll never get it. You see, the way you get there is to wait at a bus stop and when a bus arrives, you put on your ID mask. After you take your seat, the bus then drives away....... and then flies off a cliff, until it arrives at it's destination.......which looks like a college campus above the clouds.......... I don't know at what point Clark dropped some acid in this book, but man do I wish we didn't have to see his hallucinations. Hallucinations would make too much sense though because everything that I just told you is actually going on and my opinion of this book seriously begins taking a downward slide. Our group arrives at the Hogwarts for techno gurus and almost immediately they are singled out as not belonging and our three heroes get super sped away by Clark until they find the room containing the data about his identity. I say three heroes because Condesa is mysteriously missing now and you know that can't be good.
In the end, the mysterious texter is revealed to be the head of this evil.org and like you'd expect it to be....since everything in DC is based around texting now, his name is HORDR_ROOT. Do you think people use the underscore when they pronounce his name? Stupid. Well, after Superman refuses to play ball, HORDR_ROOT sends his legions of robots against our hero, while Jimmy evacs everyone and Lois simply bashes the head of HORDR_ROOT with a pipe........which reveals that he's simply a hard light construct of some kind and because our hero loves doing this shit, Superman saves the day with a solar flare. The only real redeeming part of this book is during my most hated power of the Man of Steel because we see some mysterious entity come upon Superman while he's......flaring? Anyway, this mystery man looks like he begins siphoning Superman's power as he unleashes it and our issue ends with Jimmy, Lois and Condesa........ who did betray the group to HORDR_ROOT, but it seems now she's sorry for it and is pro team Superman, go and grab our unconscious hero and take off on a magic bus before the whole complex comes down. So yeah, at least we finally got to Superman's depowerment....... it's just too bad we had to go through all that nonsense to get there.
That's it for this issue of Superman and man did the TRUTH storyline get weird out of nowhere. I mean, we start this story in the previous issue, where the villain is just some mysterious texter and here we have a campus in the sky, flying buses and robot ninjas. It's just ridiculous. Superman gets his secret revealed to Lois here and except for a few panels of pouting and finger pointing, it's all swept under the rug real quick so we can get to the previously stated nonsense. I don't get it. The only part of this book that I really enjoyed was the end, when we finally started getting somewhere with this being a part of the TRUTH storyline, when we saw someone siphon Superman's power as he was flaring out........ also I really enjoyed it because hopefully that will be the last time we ever see that power....... or at least the last time for awhile. Initially when I heard that John Romita Jr. was taking over the artist duty on this title I was less than excited, but he's certainly showed me through this run that he is actually the right man for the job because he's really turned me into a fan, when I never was before. That being said, this issue wasn't the best looking issue that I've seen and really, I think it's due to it having three colorists. Parts of this book come off great, while others just seem like a muddy mess and for a story this full of nonsense, it really could have used better art.
Bits and Pieces:
While we're finally starting to get to the TRUTH of the matter, this issue is just all over the place with it's nonsense. We have a huge development in the beginning of the issue, which felt like one of the biggest parts of this book, quickly looked over so the story could feature a techno Hogwarts, that just came off as ridiculous. Hopefully this prequel to the TRUTH begins to become interesting because as of right now this is the worst title in the crossover story.