Superman/Wonder Woman, Volume 1: Power Couple by Charles Soule

Superman/Wonder Woman, Volume 1: Power CoupleSuperman/Wonder Woman, Volume 1: Power Couple by Charles Soule

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hey, this is not half bad. I will never be a real fan of the Supes/WW ship, but I can read it. Especially when the Kent looks delicious in the occasional panel.
Current comic boyfriend ranking:
1. Nightwing
2. Batman
3. Aquaman
4. Superman…when someone draws him right
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Review: Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? by Alan Moore

Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? by Alan Moore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Introduction:

There were many comics during the 1980s that really helped redefine the comic book industry, such as Frank Miller’s classic “Batman” story, “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns,” which helped redefine Batman into a darker and edgier character. Another comic that really stood out for DC comics during the 1980s was none other than “Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” which was actually the final “Superman” story to be written in the style of the silver age comics. After I read Alan Moore’s classic “Batman” story, “Batman: The Killing Joke,” I just had to check out Alan Moore’s other works with the DC Universe and after many of my friends recommended me this comic, I decided to check out “Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” This is honestly the first “Superman” comic book I had ever read, even though I knew Superman from watching “Superman: The Animated Series” and “Smallville.”


What is this story about?

This is basically a what-if story about the events that led Superman to suddenly disappear from the face of the Earth. This story includes many of Superman’s greatest foes (Bizarro, Lex Luthor, Metallos and Kryptonite Man) trying to kill Superman. Will they succeed? Read this comic to find out!


What I loved about this story:

Alan Moore’s writing: Alan Moore, as usual, has written a truly inspiring story about the man of tomorrow as it was truly intense yet exciting at the same time. I loved the way that Alan Moore wrote this story in a what if scenario, even going as far as to say that this story is IMAGINARY, since I love reading “what-if” stories about what would have happened to our favorite comic book characters if certain situations that do not normally happen in the mainstream universe happened to that character. I found this story to be really interesting because of how various events are set up to lead to the mystery of Superman’s disappearance such as Bizarro attacking Metropolis for sadistic reasons. I also loved the fact that even though this story was extremely short, Alan Moore still managed to detail every event that was involved in Superman’s disappearance and I loved seeing the characters’ reactions towards certain situations, especially Superman himself. I really loved the portrayals of all the characters, including Lois Lane and Superman as Lois Lane is written as being extremely helpful towards Superman and caring about him when the situations got complicated for Superman. I really loved Superman’s personality as he is always shown as the man who would try to do the right thing and would try to help out his friends and the planet whenever they are attacked by his enemies.

Curt Swan’s artwork: Curt Swan’s artwork was fantastic as it really captured the feel of the Silver Age “Superman” comics with the characters looking extremely realistic and colorful. I also loved the way that Curt Swan drew the action scenes as they look intense and dramatic whenever Superman was fighting his foes.

Superman


What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

I guess the only worrisome thing about this comic is that it is a bit darker than your average “Superman” story. I will not go into much detail, but let us just say that many characters die in this comic and that might be upsetting for any “Superman” fan.


Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Superman” Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow” is a truly brilliant “Superman” story that fans of “Superman” will definitely enjoy for many years! This volume also contains two extra stories after the original story which are “The Jungle Line” with artwork by Rick Veitch and it is where Superman meets up with Swamp Thing and “For the Man Who Has Everything” with artwork by Dave Gibbons and it is about Superman being controlled by one of Mongul’s inventions…on his birthday! I would definitely check those two stories out also!

My Rating?

5 pows

Superman Unchained by Scott Snyder

Superman UnchainedSuperman Unchained by Scott Snyder

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You should know, if there was a scale of ranking for heroes, I’d put Superman in the sub-zeroes. That’s how much I don’t like the character. He’s so damned boring and everything is super (heh) convenient for him. Yeah, no.

BUT.
This is Snyder. So he manages to make me give a 4 star. Because Supey is sort of interesting in this one.
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Superman, Vol. 6: The Men of Tomorrow by Geoff Johns

Superman, Vol. 6: The Men of TomorrowSuperman, Vol. 6: The Men of Tomorrow by Geoff Johns
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

Say what you want about Geoff Johns, but he definitely knows how to pump new life into iconic characters.
This was FANTASTIC!

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The biggest downer was the art, but I may be the only person who isn’t in love with John Romita Jr’s stuff. It’s not horrible, but I miss Kenneth Rocafort. Sorry, I just think his stuff is pretty to look at, and while JRJ is a beloved illustrator, I’m just not into him.

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Other than that, there’s simply nothing wrong with this volume, though.
Ok, you know how I constantly bitch about crossovers & events hijacking every single title out there? Yeah. Well, it doesn’t happen here! This is literally one cohesive story!
What the what?! I didn’t even know they did that anymore?!

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This next bit might be a mild spoiler, but I don’t think so, because it happens on the first few pages, and is alluded to in the blurb.
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Review: Earth 2, Vol. 5: The Kryptonian by Tom Taylor

Earth 2, Vol. 5: The KryptonianEarth 2, Vol. 5: The Kryptonian by Tom Taylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

 

 

Other than the weird-ass issue at the end with Mr. Terrific in the future, I really enjoyed volume 5!

Spoilers Ahead, you Crybabies!
Like, for real, I’m spoiling everything.
Unless you’ve already read this turn back now.

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In the last volume we met Val-Zod, a Kryptonian who had been hidden away by the government, after his spaceship landed on Earth.

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He an agoraphobic pacifist, originally raised by Superman’s parents on Krypton, after his parents were killed by the government for trying to warn people the planet’s doom (or something like that). He was much older than Clark when he was shot into space, and had a strong bond with Supes parent’s, who taught him to believe violence was never the answer.

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But that doesn’t seem to be very helpful in the current situation!
Batman, who we learned in the previous volume was really Thomas Wayne, is especially enraged over Val’s refusal to fight.

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Jimmy Olsen (techopath with photographic memory) & Lois Lane (revived as the new Red Tornado) have both befriended Val, and are working with him to try to figure out a way to use his abilities, without compromising his principles. Because he may the only one on the planet strong enough to defeat Darkseid’s newest minion…Superman!

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Meanwhile, Hawkgirl & Green Lantern (brought back to life by the Earth’s energies) execute a daring rescue mission to save Flash from Beguiler (lackey of Darkseid, with the power of a god).

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Without backup, even Green Lantern can’t hold her off when she comes for Garrick. And neither Alan or Kendra trusted the World Army enough to tell them about their plan to save Flash.
But who needs an army when you’ve got Aquawoman?!

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Oh, hell yeah! Best part of the whole book! My liver-spotted hand made a fist, and I pumped it in the air when she popped outta the water like a banshee!
Suck it, Aquafamily haters!
*does awkward shimmy, throws back out, hobbles off stage*

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OK, ok. Back to the story.
When Red Tornado & this dark version of Superman finally meet up, she tries to talk some sense into Clark, and it works. Sort of.

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Lois is desperately trying to figure out what the hell happened, or if this thing is even actually her husband.
After a trip to Smallville backfires spectacularly, Val is left with no choice but to face him head on.

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Except..STILL A PACIFIST!
Again, not entirely helpful. right?
Well, it seems if you stand still and let someone beat themselves against you till they crumble to dust, it doesn’t count as violence.
Huh.
Whatever works!

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Nice little reference to Bizaro Superman in this, by the way.
I was impressed with this entire storyline, and I’m excited to see what happens next. There is a next, right?
Someone please tell me there’s more!
Because I’m obviously too lazy to Google the answer to that…

Even if you didn’t care for this one when it first came out, I’d still say these last few volumes are cool enough to warrant you giving it another shot.

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Review: Superman – Action Comics, Vol. 5: What Lies Beneath by Greg Pak

Superman – Action Comics, Vol. 5: What Lies BeneathSuperman – Action Comics, Vol. 5: What Lies Beneath by Greg Pak
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yes! This title continues to get better & better!
Pak did an excellent job with this volume, and wrote a story that really showcased Superman’s strengths as a character.

Ok, first you have Clark’s Secret Origins issue. Now, I’d already read it in the Secret Origins vol. 1 collection, but I thought it was a good fit for this volume.
It’s a touching story about Clark/Kal told through the overlapping voices of the two women who loved him most.
His biological mother, Lara, who sent him away to save him:

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And his adopted mother, Martha, who raised him to embrace his humanity:

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It’s sappy, but it works as a short story.
I have to say, I believe one of the biggest mistakes the New 52 made was killing off Martha Kent. The mother/son dynamic between those two shouldn’t be wasted. Besides, I think it helps keep a character as powerful as Superman grounded & humanized when you see him going home and helping his mom out with chores.

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Zero Year also makes its way into this volume, but it’s not set in Gotham, so I’m not sure what the point was. I guess it’s just there to let us know what Clark was up to while Bruce was off fighting the Riddler…and learning to be The Batman?
Eh. Whatever.
It didn’t suck. It shows a cocky, t-shirt wearing Superman trying to beat back the forces of nature, and finding out that sometimes a softer touch is needed.

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On to the main event!
Lana Lang is quickly turning into one of my favorites, and stories like this one are the reason why.

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These two share a deep trust, that comes from years of friendship, and it really make their interactions on the panel pop. Not to mention, they used to date when they were younger, so there’s still a tiny part of each of them that still wants to impress the other. It makes for an interesting dynamic, and one that you don’t see done well very often.

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Ok, the main story takes place before the events of Doomed. I wish I’d read this one first, because it explains who the blue monster kid was, and where he came from!

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It also explains who the hell Ghost Soldier is, and why Clark would (maybe) trust him.

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Without giving away the plot, I just want to say that THIS Superman needs to be the role model for all the future incarnations.

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I’m an immensely powerful being, and FUCK YOU if you think you can make me do something that goes against my morals!

Thank you, Pak! Thank you! Superman should kick ass and take names, but he should not act like a bully or psychopath. This volume is a perfect blend of that. Clark has a great moral compass, and he has the mojo to back up his decisions. Excellent job on nailing his personality in this one.

Definitely Recommended For Superfans!

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Review: Superman: Doomed by Greg Pak

Superman: DoomedSuperman: Doomed by Greg Pak

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you’re a fan of Big Blue, then I think you’ll enjoy this one.
I’m sort of surprised that this played out as well as it did, to be honest. I was sort of expecting more flashbacks to Krypton or something.
But they kept this about Clark, and the story was pretty darn good!

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Wonder Woman & her relationship with Superman plays a Huge role in this one, and if you were planning on reading Superman/Wonder Woman, Vol. 2don’t. Everything but a Future’s End issue is already packed into Doomed, and it makes a hellava lot more sense when you read it all together.

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Doomsday gets loose, turns into some kind of a Doomsday-Prime beast, and starts rampaging across the planet. Superman is forced to do the One Thing he doesn’t want to do, and…kttttk!
But there’s a problem! Of course!

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To save everyone, Superman inhales all of the spores that puffed out of Doomsday when Supes blasted him. And now…
{cue dramatic music}
He’s turning into Doomsday!

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The rest of the story is all about how to save the planet from Brainiac, and save Superman from himself. It’s a catch-22, because they need Superman to take out Brainiac’s fleet of ships, but every time he enters Earth’s atmosphere he loses control of himself and Hulks-out…thanks to the government blanketing the planet in Kryptonite.

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What I loved?
Diana & Clark have a pretty interesting relationship. I love that she’s the only one who is strong enough take him out if he totally loses control, and she’s willing to do it. But she also never gives up on him, even when he’s acting like an asshole. She doesn’t do that angry girlfriend thing, and stomp off with her feelings hurt.

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And speaking of never giving up, can I get a round of applause for Batman?! He’s another one who refuses to throw in the towel on Clark.
He’s Diana’s biggest ally in saving the Man of Steel, and I love how much this showcases his (very deeply buried) feelings for his friend.

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John Steel & Lana! Loved these two! Again, you get to see how much Clark means to the people in his life, and how deep their loyalty to him goes.
*sniff, sniff* Do I smell romance in the air for these guys?

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Another cool tidbit is the BFF status between Lois & Clark. They genuinely care about each other as people this time around! Instead of Lois pining after Superman because he always saves her life, and ignoring the dorky reporter next to her? Well, Lois may still (secretly) harbor the hots for the man in the cape, but she also has some conflicted feelings for her friend.
And Superman’s feelings for her seems to go a bit farther than just friends, as well. When he argues with the monster in his head, Doomsday keeps referencing ‘her‘ as the reason Clark won’t give up.
Hmmm? Why not just say Diana if that’s who he’s talking about? I think this is a teaser for things to come…

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I have to admit I wasn’t crazy about Lois (once again) getting superpowers. It doesn’t sit right with me, and it’s sort of annoying that it’s turning into the go-to plot device for this title. We all want Lois to play a big role in the stories, but there has to be a way to do it without turning her into a Power. Maybe I’m wrong?

Overall, this was an excellent story, though.
Recommended for Fans of Superman!

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Review: Batman/Superman, Vol. 3: Second Chance by Greg Pak, Jae Lee (Illustrations)

Batman/Superman, Vol. 3: Second ChanceBatman/Superman, Vol. 3: Second Chance by Greg Pak

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

3.5 stars

I don’t know if it was because I expected to not like this or what, but this volume didn’t disappoint me as much as the other two. The stories weren’t connected at all, or if they were, only loosely. And instead of growling at each other, they were back to being friends. So…a bit more fun.

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That’s not to say this was perfect.
The first issue was some weird story about a spaceship full of microscopic aliens that Batman accidentally sucked up his nose. Ray Palmer (The Atom), who is a scientist working for S.H.A.D.E (Frankenstein’s old organization), shrinks himself and Superman down, and they take a trip inside Batman to save the day.
I shit you not!

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Doomed crossover event.
Already read it, so nothing new there.
Batman, Wonder Woman, Steel, & even Krypto search through the Phantom Zone for a cure for Superman. It’s good stuff, but it won’t make much sense unless you’ve already read Superman: Doomed.

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Second Chance is the next up, and it takes place on Earth 2. That wacky little chaos demon from before is back, and it gives them a chance to change the lives of their counterparts on the alternate Earth.

{Spoilery things happen}

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Then the demon makes a deal with some giant devil-thing, who lives in a devil-dimension. They erase both of their memories, and shoot them back on to Earth…naked.
*cough*
Things get a bit mixed up, and the boys sort of end up with the wrong women.
So to speak…

Clark falls into Selina’s lap, and (of course) she can’t resist playing a few tricks on the Man of Steel.

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Meanwhile, Lois partners up with Bruce, and brings out his flirty side.

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Eventually, the boys shape up, fight back, remember who they are, and (naturally) save the day.
The End.

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Review: Batman, Vol. 6: Graveyard Shift by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo (Illustrations)

Batman, Vol. 6: Graveyard ShiftBatman, Vol. 6: Graveyard Shift by Scott Snyder

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

I would have preferred a long story arc, but dreams don’t always come true. This is a bunch of leftover stories from random times and places.
Yeah, I know Suck it up, Buttercup!
I will say that they were all consistently good, even if the timelines were all over the map.

It starts off with a prequel to Zero Year that was maybe not necessary, but interesting anyway. It showed Bruce trying to clean up the city before he put on the mask.

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Also included was a look at Tim, Jason, Dick, & Barbara’s first peek at the Batsymbol in the sky, which coincided with (varying degrees of) turning points in their lives.

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Harper (Bluebird) and her brother Cullen feature in this one twice. The first time Harper is determined to help Batman deal with his rage after Damien’s death.

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I’m not sure how much I’m actually enjoying this Death of Damien storyline. It rankles my nerves a bit, and I wish they’d just dip his ass in a Lazarus pit already and be done with it. It’s a personal preference, but I just don’t like watching the writers try to decide how Batman should act while in the throes of grief over his dead child.
There was this story on the news the other day about this woman who lost everything because she started smoking crack. Turns out, her kid had died a few years beforehand. Now, I don’t think smoking crack is a good idea under any circumstances, but she gets a pass in my book. If there was ever one excuse to be a crackhead, that’s the one.
My point is, I just don’t enjoy the dead kid angle. I believe the writers are trying to convey Bruce’s deep emotions, but (to me) it feels hollow and cheap.
And the longer it drags out, the more annoyed I get.

Love this piece of art, though.
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In the issue called Ghost Lights, Superman pops in to check on Bruce, and they end up taking on an evil spirit who has been summoned by some stupid kids.

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I enjoyed the Superman/Batman team-up. Always nice to see those two together!

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Clayface shows up in this sucker and makes quite an impression. Snyder played up how dangerous a villain he could be if he totally went off the rails.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story!

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The story set in Arkham with the character
Anchoress
was a bit of an iffy one for me. It was different enough to keep me interested, though.
It’s basically a tale about a not-bad-but-bad-anyway nutter in the loony bin.

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Creepy serial killer tale ahead! Unless it somehow plays into the Joker mythos, this one is a throwaway. Again, not bad storytelling, but I’m burned out on the subject matter. I simply prefer Batman to take on ‘villains’ and not real-life psychos.
*shrugs*

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The last one is a tie-in with the Batman Eternal stuff.
Spoiler below!

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Get it?! Spoiler?
{insert knee-slapping here}
Hyuck, hyuck!

*cough*
Yes, so…anyway. It’s a random collection of stories, but it’s a solid random collection of stories. I think this volume is a nice addition to Snyder’s Batman run.

Big thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me a digital copy to read and review.

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Review: Superman Unchained by Scott Snyder, Jim Lee (Illustrations)

Superman UnchainedSuperman Unchained by Scott Snyder

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This one worked for me, but it may be because I’m already a huge fan of the character. I genuinely like Superman. I think that it’s awesome for a superhero to be a reallyreallyreally decent person who is always striving to do the right thing.
And, yeah, that makes him pretty vanilla to a lot of readers.
Superman Unchained is supposed to (I’m guessing from the title) show off his badass side.
UNCHAINED! Rowr!

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My favorite part of this wasn’t Superman going nuclear on bad guys, though.
In no small part, that’s due to the fact that I didn’t really think he was anymore ‘unchained’ in this thing than in his regular titles. I mean, he’s a freakin’ BEAST! Unless he goes off the reservation, there’s not much more he can show off power-wise, you know?
No, the part of the storyline I loved was the friendship stuff between him and Batman. The dialogue between the two of them reminds me why I loved the old Superman/Batman comics so much. Nicely done, Snyder!
And it doesn’t hurt that Jim Lee is fantastic at bringing out Clark’s inner cool guy with his artwork.


Growr! Kansas FTW!

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The plot?
Well, shit falls from the sky, nuclear weapons go off, alien technology is misused, General Ross Lane wants to destroy Hulk Superman, and there’s a Secret Weapon called Wraith being wielded by the military that follows directions too well.
Oh, and Lois saves Superman’s ass again.

I also enjoyed flipping through the collected covers in the back of this one.
For some reason, this was my favorite.

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