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Written By: Gene Luen Yang Art By: Howard Porter, Adrian Syaf, Patrick Zircher, Jon Bogdanove, Hi-Fi, Rob Leigh Cover Price: $4.99 Release Date: March 16, 2016
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
It looks like it's time to put a pin in the Truth story and the continued Savage Dawn as well with this issue folks. That's right, we're finally at the finale........... and it better be filler free because of everything we got from Superman/Wonder Woman! In that issue we completely setup the fact that Vandal's little Savages have been taken out of the picture because they couldn't handle the awesome power that the comet bestowed upon them and simply blew up.......... which is weird because Vandal is still all about getting the power for himself, even though we saw in Action Comics that he wanted to see how his kids were affected before he made the comet plunge........... So yeah, them blowing up doesn't really make me think that Vandal should still be all comet power hungry because who wants to blow up? Anyway, let's jump into this finale and see how a powered up Superman will take out Vandal Savage and how we put the world of Superman back in order by the end of this issue. Let's check it out.
As we begin our issue, Superman is flying up to stop Vandal Savage from achieving god-like comet power........... whatever that is, but with Vandal being so close to his life's obsession, Superman still doesn't stand a chance and we watch Vandal become something that to me looks like Helspont from Red Hood and The Outlaws. He's just a powered up Vandal Savage though with energy hair and that's where this book stops making sense to me because with this power Vandal slaps Superman around until Puzzler shows up and hits our Man of Steel with something........... and the comic becomes A Christmas Carol of sorts. That's right, we have to move through a plot where Superman sees things that aren't real, but decides that the fate of the Earth can wait while he walks around virtual reality with Vandal because apparently Puzzler has absorbed Hordr_Root's ability to do this....... even though we never really saw him with this power. The biggest problem with this is that right away Vandal tells Superman that none of this is real, but for some reason Superman can't get that idea into this thick skull and starts playing along with Vandal's worlds.
In the first world, Vandal shows Superman what it would have looked like if his ancestor never deflected the comet away from Krypton and towards Earth, giving Vandal his powers in the first place.......... and really these are all hypothetical worlds because even though Vandal created this virtual reality based off the information he gathered from the Fortress of Solitude, there's no way of saying that Superman's parents would still be alive or that if a Kryptonian was given the same powers as Vandal that he would become the god of that world and even stabilize the planet's core, making it so Krypton never exploded.......... but even with the knowledge that Vandal is full of shit, the next vision grabs Superman by the boo-boo because Vandal shows Superman the future that he envisions and in it Superman is his General, leading a team of superheroes like Aquaman, Giganta, Grodd, Lobo, Captain Atom, Black Adam, Shazam, Killer Croc and Blockbuster
This is the part where you'd think that Superman would simply punch Vandal in the face or something, but instead he plays out the vision and fights along side his superhero team to take out these Dominator invaders and even have a heroes' supper afterwards because the big numb skull still can't get the idea that he's not in the real world! The final vision is simply everyone on Earth dying and Superman getting way to emotional about it........... you know, because of the "not real" thing, but finally we're brought back to the real world, where Vandal wants Superman to make a choice to die or to stand alongside him in his new world............... So all of that was filler because we all know that Superman won't work with Vandal and from everything that Vandal has seen throughout this story arc, I'd like to assume that he's smart enough to realize that Supes wouldn't do that either....... especially since a couple of issues ago, he even said that Superman would never give up.
In the end, Vandal flies back up to the comet to try and push it down to Earth faster, while Superman shakes off the vision quest he was just in and then flies up to the comet himself to stop it........... Which leads to Puzzler being the biggest flip flopper ever because he's sent to stop Superman and all Clark has to ask is "Are you just data or are you more?" and out of nowhere Puzzler goes with the "more" option and helps Superman stop the comet, but with the combined stress of Superman and Puzzler pushing it one way and Vandal pushing it the other, the comet breaks apart and explodes, sending Vandal out into space and Puzzler and Superman down to Earth. So the day is saved........... even though I image that gigantic comet pieces are raining down on the Earth causing a lot of damage and death and Superman has himself a almost romantic moment with Lois that I don't quite understand because the level of intimacy that these two share at the end of this issue isn't exactly "Wooooo" level from a studio audience, but it's more than I would have expected. As our issue closes, we see Clark, Lois and Jimmy having some lunch in a world that still knows and still acts weird about Clark being Superman, but before we could get into that, Superman hears a cry for help and flies off to go save the day........... and I'm left wondering what happened to all the other heroes that were in this story...... because they kind of disappeared or Clark simply ditched them to go have lunch with Jimmy and Lois.
That's it for this issue of Superman and a lot of this book seems like filler do to this being the over-sized fiftieth issue because I have no idea what any of Vandal's visions of different worlds and timelines did for this story except extend the page count. We've already established in other titles that tie-in to this story that Vandal knows Superman will never give up, so taking up as much of this issue as we did in order for Vandal to get Superman to give up just seems like nonsense, even though the visuals of the situations were really cool. I just love seeing altered timeline heroes and villains teaming up, but it didn't do anything to serve this story in my mind. Honestly though, once you get rid of the Christmas Carol aspect to this story, there isn't much left to it and everything seems to be wrapped up pretty quickly............ no fuss, no muss. The art in this book was excellent though and I loved everything I saw, it's just the story wasn't very strong as a finale to this event that we've been dealing with for so long now........... and personally, I just want to know why this comet didn't give powers to everyone........ that's just a personal pet peeve, that's all. All in all, I'm happy that we're finally finished with The Truth and Savage Dawn so that we can get Superman back to action and we can forget the kind of jerk that he turned into through 2015 and into 2016.
Bits and Pieces:
The majority of this finale seems to be filled with a nonsensical situation that doesn't serve a purpose to me because we've already established that Superman is a hero that doesn't give up and after that's all done, the issue is wrapped up pretty quick and is a bit unsatisfying after everything that we've been through with this story arc. The art in this issue is great though and I loved seeing our hero back in action again, even if he comes off as a numb skull here.