The White Shadow
Written by: Greg Pak
Art by: Georges Jeanty, Karl Story, Wade Von Grawbadger, Sean Parsons, Dexter Vines,
Tomeu Morey, Pete Pantazis and Steve Wands
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 2, 2015
Didn't I just read and review Action Comics? While that shouldn't be an issue as I am actually enjoying this book more and more as we distance ourselves from the Truth, it points out my biggest problem with this "crossover". I can't tell when each issue takes place in relation to each other. Did Clark become a Mythbrawler after going to Siberia, but before teaming up with Parasite? I have no idea and the way the issues are released (like this one coming out twice in three weeks) hasn't helped. I've still tried to review each issue on it's own merits and Action Comics is my favorite of the bunch. Is that a tallest midget in the circus thing or am I not allowed to say it? Let's find out the answer to that riddle and so much more...now.
The issue opens up with Superman and Frankenstein going to town on each other in the West Virginia. You would think that someone would notice them or maybe the giant mecha behind them, but this is West Virginia. While that sounds offensive, Rule #4543 of the West Virginia Defamation League Charter states that any joke about West Virginia not alluding to incest is allowed in any comic review. Look it up. However, I'm not here to give out free Law School diplomas, so let's get back to the story.
Like I said, Supes and Frank are fighting and it's only a setup for Wrath to show Lee how out of control Superman has become. While I was hoping that we would get a great fight, I didn't mind it only being window dressing because we get a whole bunch of Wrath and her plan. As a bonus, it makes sense and even ties things into the other Super books...a bit.
Wrath's plan involves using the Shadow to find the people (like Lee) who can control it and use it for good. So, the ones who can't handle it die horrific deaths...they were bad to begin with. How does Superman tie into all this? That's a whole other (origin) story.
Yes, we get Wrath's origin and I liked it. It seems that Superman was always there for Wrath (or Jenny) in all the wrong ways. Her Mother died when Brainiac citynapped Metropolis and Doomsday Superman ruined her time as Mayor. It all lead to her realizing that Superman (and in a cool shoutout, Supergirl, Superboy and Zod) were too overpowered and needed to be knocked down a peg or three. That's when Vandal Savage showed up with his magic box and bada bing...Wrath and Shadow Monsters.
This is the most that we have gotten in any of the books trying to tie the overall story together. It all revolves around Vandal Savage and while that is no surprise at all, I loved seeing his relationship with Wrath and how it ties in with Bend's in last week's issue of Superman/Wonder Woman.
Superman listens to all this and decided the only thing to do is embrace the darkness and go all out Shadow. He does so and uses his new powers to stop the stealth bombers heading for Houston. Yes, Wrath picked Houston to drop the black mass bombs on. Houston? Then he visits Jimmy Olsen, Lana, Steel and the lab freaks from last issue and then totally takes the Black Mass into himself. I'm talking all of it! Everyone besides Superman is cured until Vandal Savage shows up.
Vandal opens his magic golden box and the Shadow is no more. It's definitely a he who giveth can taketh away deal and again, I really liked it. Savage walks into the shadows muttering to himself about saving the world. The final result of the issue and Vandal Savage's box? Superman has no powers once again. That's okay, Lee still likes him.
While this issue wasn't as fun as the other issues post Truth, it was the best actual issue. Greg Pak gives us some solid answers and I actually think I'm beginning to see a bit of Vandal Savage's overall plan. I couldn't say that before reading this issue.
I liked Georges Jeanty's art enough, but the combination of non-detailed backgrounds with really good character models equals out to slightly above average art in my book.
Bits and Pieces:
This is a good issue that may not have the fun of the last couple of Action Comics issues, but does a lot to push the story forward giving us a Wrath origin story and a real solid glimpse at Vandal Savage's plan. The art was okay, but i can still recommend this issue to anyone still sticking with Superman through the Truth and beyond.