Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Adventures of Superman #551

Genesis for Humanity

Dan Jurgens – Guest Writer
Tom Grummett – Penciller
Denis Rodier – Inker
Albert DeGuzman – Letterer
Glenn Whitmore – Colorist
Digital Chameleon – Separator
Maureen McTigue – Assistant
Joey Cavalieri – Editor
Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Jose Shuster

This cover by Tom Grummett, Denis Rodier and Patrick Martin shows the blueprints for Superman's new containment suit and the Cyborg Superman. It is fairly interesting, though not exciting. It's also odd that this cover lacks the Genesis header that all the other tie-in issues received.

Our story picks right up where the last issue left off, with Superman battling the Cyborg at the Source Wall. As they fight, they briefly recap the Cyborg's history for people like me who haven't read very many Superman stories. Hank Henshaw was an astronaut who suffered a terrible accident and his body died. But he gained the ability to transmit his mind into machines. After Superman died, Henshaw claimed to be the original, becoming Cyborg Superman. When the real Superman returned, he got in a big fight with the Cyborg, who destroyed Coast City. Superman and Hal Jordan thought they destroyed the Cyborg, but his consciousness went out toward the Source Wall, where it took hold of a large piece of rubble broken off the Wall.

Now that the Cyborg has encountered Superman, he wants to take over his body so he can return to Earth. Obviously, Superman is opposed to this idea, so they fight and fight until Superman eventually defeats the Cyborg by fusing his mud-like body into the big hole in the Source Wall. Having killed two birds with one stone, Superman uses the mother box to boom back to Highfather and the others. Superman's initially worried that the Cyborg may have transmitted his consciousness into the mother box, but Highfather inspects it and says that is not the case. So all the heroes gather together and head out to fulfill Highfather's initial plan of stopping Darkseid from acquiring the power of the Godwave. But it seems like the Cyborg is still hanging around, possibly in Superman's suit?

I am impressed with how consistent this issue is with the previous issue of Superman. The editors of Superman in this "triangle era" really did a good job of making all the separate Superman titles feel like one weekly title. Of course, in this instance it really helps to have Dan Jurgens write both stories. But the art was also remarkably similar. Sadly, Impulse was once again relegated to the silent background role, but that's only because the bulk of this issue was taken up with the flashbacks and fight with Cyborg Superman.

And although these two Superman tie-ins were well-done and entertaining, they really don't fit in very well with the main Genesis storyline. Highfather's main plan is to take all the heroes to the Source Wall and a select few inside the Source (if I'm understanding it correctly). So this minor disturbance caused by Cyborg Superman should not have altered Highfather's plans in the slightest. It seems like a complete waste to send just Superman out there then have him come back, then return to the Source Wall with everybody. Why couldn't they all have just gone out together? Well, I do know the answer to this question. DC wanted Superman to have his own solo adventure and reset everything to the status quo for the main Genesis series so readers wouldn't have to read the Superman tie-ins if they didn't want to. But I think they still could have handled this in a more natural way.

None of the letters in Kryptograms mention Impulse (again, everyone is still obsessing over Superman's new look and powers). But we do have a new, special ad.

Born to run! The Flash. Celebrate Flash Month this September. The Flash #130 and #131, Speed Force #1 and The Flash Secret Files #1. The ad basically uses the cover for Speed Force #1, drawn by Craig Rousseau, with the exception of the addition of Impulse from the cover of Impulse #29 by Jeff Matsuda. We'll be covering all these exciting issues just as soon as Genesis ends.

Next time, we return to the main series with Genesis #3.

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