Saturday, February 14, 2015

Superman #128

Genesis Anew

Dan Jurgens Story
Ron Frenz and Joe Rubinstein Art
John Costanza Letterer
Glenn Whitmore Colorist
Digital Chameleon Separations
Maureen McTigue Assistant Editor
Joey Cavalieri Editor
Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster

The cover by Ron Frenz, Joe Rubinstein and Patrick Martin unfortunately spoils what could have been a huge surprise. The Cyborg Superman, one of the biggest bad guys during the Reign of the Supermen storyline, is alive and playing a role in this Genesis storyline. It's a fine looking cover, I just wish Cyborg Superman wasn't on it. But now that he is, it creates an expectation to have him prominently featured inside. But he really only shows up on the last page, you know, like it's supposed to be a big surprise.

Our story picks right up with the drawing of the straws to see who will take on Highfather's suicide mission into The Source. We don't see who lost (or won) this random selection process, but we do hear Superman complain rather loudly about it. Impulse enjoys the argument, teasing that the "class"should discuss the merits of drawing straws versus flipping a coin. Max is embarrassed, telling Bart this is no place for his usual flippancy.

Anyway, Superman continues his argument, saying they need to match specific powers to solve specific problems. Suddenly, Highfather feels a great disturbance in The Source, or rather at the Source Wall — the great barrier that holds back The Source at the edge of the universe. Highfather explains that the Wall is comprised of numerous long-dead Promethean giants who tried to penetrate The Source and instead became its silent guardians. And all that is being threatened by a mysterious force. So before Highfather can carry out his specific mission to deal with Darkseid and the Godwave, he needs someone to respond to this specific threat faster than thought. Since few people are faster than Impulse, he volunteers, much to the embarrassment of Max.

But Superman shuts him down, saying he's better for the job, and Max prevents Impulse from further arguing the point. So Highfather gives Superman a special mother box to keep his powers in check, and Metron sends him away with a boom tube. All the heroes remain behind in ... wherever Highfather brought them ... and discuss Superman's mission. Some, like Jesse Quick, are worried about sending him out there alone, but others are confident in his abilities.

Superman arrives at the Source Wall, which is an infinitely large stretch of golden giants regulating the release of The Source through their eyes. Superman quickly spots the problem Highfather sensed — a large hole in the Wall, releasing too much unfiltered Source power. So Superman tries to seal up the hole, but is attacked by the supposedly dead giants.

As Superman battles them, he begins to suspect the giants are being controlled by someone else. His suspicions are confirmed when the rubble from the Source Wall forms a prison around Superman. And within that prison is the assumed dead Cyborg Superman.

I really liked this tie-in issue. It fits in perfectly with Genesis, and has clean, exciting art. And as an Impulse fan, I am very happy Dan Jurgens gave him a few lines, which is infinitely better than just sitting silently in the background. I also kind of think Jurgens was subtly criticizing John Byrne through Superman with his speech about choosing specific heroes for specific problems. That's exactly what Jurgens did during Zero Hour, but in Genesis, Byrne doesn't really seem to care about who he uses.

None of the letters in the Metropolis Mailbag mention Impulse (they're all still obsessing over Superman's new look), and none of the ads are new, so I'll leave until next time, when we conclude Superman's fight with the Cyborg in The Adventures of Superman #551.

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