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Art By: Howard Porter, Ardian Syaf, Don Ho, Jerome K. Moore, Hi-Fi, Rob Leigh Cover Price: $3.99 Release Date: January 27, 2016
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
Out of the frying pan and into the fire for our pal Supes here. After giving up the whole hero thing so he could get the admiration of the people through underground god wrestling, Superman is finally feeling like he needs to get back into action again and maybe now more than ever, we need him to. I haven't been the greatest supporter of this Superman series when placed next to the other Superman titles dealing with the Truth, but now things just might change because where this series felt off before was in the fact that it took place before the rest of our titles and then somewhere after them in an unspecified time, but finally we've got a decent timeline going on where this issue takes place right after Superman's time in the last issue of Superman/Wonder Woman. In that issue we saw Superman dying after falling to Earth in a Kryptonite powered suit, from his battle with Vandal Savage and Wonder Woman asking the gods of Olympus to heal him. Yeah, he went through some weird mental trials, but by the end he was all healed up and Hermes seemed really adamant to tell all of us that Superman was mortal now...........whatever that means. Let's jump into this issue and check out Superman's next path in his journey to take out Vandal Savage and his little Savages. Let's check it out.
Our issue begins very oddly by giving us what feels like a cold open, when the villain Kingslayer is about to shoot a Donald Trump type political candidate during a debate, but is stopped by Steve Trevor, who is then saved from Kingslayer by Superman showing up out of nowhere. It all boils down to Superman's intervention saving a bunch of people because he had ARGUS agents check out the exits to the building before panic struck and they found that Kingslayer's real plan was to hook up bombs to the emergency exits so that he'd get maximum murder when he took a shot at the candidate........ It's all very cool and really feels like it should have been a full story at some point, but the only reason that Superman's there is because he wants Steve Trevor's help............ now, if I only understood how Superman knew Steve Trevor was on this covert, anti-terrorism mission........ Maybe the world is right and Superman is a damn threat.
The middle of this issue gets a bit awkward when Steve agrees to help Superman with his request to take him to ARGUS' "shit ton of Kryptonite"...... I'm pretty sure I'm quoting that correctly and the reason it's so awkward is because Steve and Clark have themselves a lot of alone time, where Steve is questioning Superman about his relationship status with Wonder Woman. Yeah, that goes on awhile, but it's interrupted with the origin of a new big bad........ well, at least a re-imagined one in the form of The Puzzler, who apparently is Hordr_Root's brother. It seems that former ARGUS Agent Evans is tired of having a fleshy doughy body and is using his brother to upload his consciousness into a new metal one. All of this seems to be for the sole purpose of taking Superman down because somehow Vandal Savage has figured out that Superman is going to go to ARGUS to lay his hands on their Kryptonite as a way to get his powers back........... Goddamn, everyone in this book seems to know exactly what the person they're after is doing. Seems kind of convenient............. but what doesn't seem convenient....... at least to me anyway is the fact that we had this huge cliffhanger in Superman/Wonder Woman about Clark being "Mortal" now and this issue does nothing to further it....... hell, it seems to move away from it because this whole "Mortal" thing had me thinking that Superman was somehow human now, but with his master plan of using Kryptonite to burn away his cells that won't absorb solar energy anymore so that hopefully the ones underneath can come to the surface and power his ass back up, I'm left thinking that Hermes just likes using the term "Mortal" as meaning healed because nothing comes from it.
In the end, Steve Trevor opens a secured box full of what Superman calls "The most Kryptonite he's ever seen in his life", but before Clark can really suck in all that poisonous radiation, Puzzler rocking his new robot body takes control of the ARGUS facility and it's up to Steve Trevor and Etta Candy to hold off the metal menace to keep Superman alive and to also give him the time he needs to make a sweet ass lazy boy out of the green rock........... "Mortal".
That's it for this issue of Superman and while I found myself liking the premise of the story, it just felt like too many things were going on at once for us to really get the feel of this whole "Superman using Kryptonite to get his powers back" story. We've got Kingslayer and his whole bit, Steve Trevor curious about Superman's "single" status and Puzzler being brought into the mix out of nowhere on top of our main story. It's just too much and the pacing doesn't feel right because even though we have all of that going on, I found myself bored during some of this issue. Hell, the whole shebang of this story is that Superman has a hunch that the Kryptonite can cure him and we get an editor's note to see Action Comics about it, but I read that book and I have no idea why Superman out of nowhere believes that one of his only weaknesses can make him super again........... I mean, I'll go with it but I could of dealt with a little more explanation than that he simply had a hunch. The art team on this book was good though and even with all the problems I had in this book, I'm still interested in what's going on and still think the idea of this Kryptonite savior thing is cool........... I just would have liked a little more of it and a lot less of everything else we got.
Bits and Pieces:
While you might be trembling with anticipation at finding out what Hermes meant by "Mortal" in the last part of this story in Superman/Wonder Woman.......... well, you can knock that trembling shit off because you won't get an explanation here. What you do get though is a cool concept at how Superman will get his powers back, but even with this the story is bogged down by a bunch of side bits going on that don't really feel needed and in my opinion only hinder the story overall. It's a bit of a mixed bag, but at least the art is on point so you can get some solace out of that.