Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tales from the 50 Cent Bin! - Superman: The Man of Steel #0

Well, I’m back in the mid 1990’s. I don’t have too many books from the late 90’s, so I decided to look at this issue from 1994. At this time, Superman had been back from the dead for a while and was dealing with a crapload of stuff. Bizzaro came back, Lex Luthor went nutso, and Superman put on some weight… that was weird. Anyway, the “Crisis” event, Zero Hour, happened and while that was pretty convoluted, it was cool. I talked about it and the Superman tie-ins last year. Now, Superman’s done with his space and time adventure.

After Zero Hour ended, DC released zero issues for their titles. All four Superman books went through this as well and they all tied in together pretty well. I might touch on the rest of those issues someday since they actually introduced a new villain for Clark. Superman: The Man of Steel #0 was written by Louise Simonson. The pencils were done by John Bogdanove and the inks were done by Dennis Janke. So, let’s see what happens when someone has their sights out on Clark Kent!

Superman: The Man of Steel #0
Writer: Louise Simonson
Pencils: John Bogdanove
Inks: Dennis Janke
Colors: Glenn Whitmore
Letters: Ken Lopez
Associate Editor: Frank Pittarese
Editor: Mike Carlin

 Peer Pressure Part 1 – A Whole New World
The issue actually starts out by retelling Superman’s origin. We see him get launched from Krypton and picked up by the Kents. While John and Martha are dealing with baby Kal-El, another couple (the Bravermans) is having their first child in the car. They were going to the hospital when the wife went into labor. The boy, Kenny, is born with no complications. We then fast forward to the present day. Superman is getting back from his adventure in time and space and sees a gun fight taking place. He swoops in and does his thing.
Guys, get a room or something!

He then heads to the Daily Planet where Lois is waiting. The two then have one of the biggest PDA’s I’ve ever seen done in the air. As he gets back into his civilian clothes, he tells her about the event. Afterwards, the two head downstairs to the newsroom. Clark looks through his mail and finds a picture of him at his fifth birthday party. Someone had cut out his head from the picture. Perplexed, Lois and Clark leave the DP when they are almost hit by some debris from a building. Elsewhere, a man in black and gold armor gets annoyed that Kent doesn’t get hit.

The two head to Clark’s apartment which he as recently reacquired. He was “dead”, remember? He checks his mail and finds another picture from his youth where his head is cut out. Suddenly, their elevator malfunctions and starts to fall. Luckily, Clark is able to keep it from falling too far. As the two wonder about the pictures, the armored man starts to plan another “accident.” At night, an orphanage is set on fire by the armored man and everyone comes out to see it. Superman is able to save the orphans from the fire. The armored man gets peeved yet again when one explosion that was supposed to kill Ron Troupe (the man confused him for Clark from a distance) is interrupted by Superman.
Okay, I can see how Conduit wouldn't recognize Ron from that distance, but how doesn't he recognize Superman? Maybe it's the hair.

Lois and Clark wonder who is sending Clark these photos from his past. They both have gained enemies because of their reporting, but they don’t know who would go through this much trouble. He gets another photo that shows him and other kids camping out. He remembers the moment because Kenny Braverman was also there and he remembers Kenny getting into some trouble. The issue ends as the armored man reveals his name: Conduit.


This was a pretty good issue. Not much happens but there is enough to keep me satisfied and wanting to read the next issue. The story kept my attention since all of this weird stuff was happening to Clark. I also liked that we get to see a little more of Clark’s past. We don’t see much of Conduit, but it’s enough to keep us wondering on who he is. I will say that his costume is definitely part of this decade. The only thing that might knock this down would be that some of the dialogue wasn’t great.

The artwork was also pretty good. While I’m not a big fan of Bogdanove’s, his stuff was pretty decent. He’s got Clark looking like Duncan MacLeod from Highlander and that’s funny to me. The action was pretty big and epic. The quiet spots also had that feel of coolness. The inks and colors were also used to good effect. While Conduit’s suit reeks of the 90’s, I kind of like it. Maybe it’s the black and gold which always look good together.

Overall, it’s a nice issue. If you find it in a bin somewhere, you’ll be satisfied. Well, I have two more stories to look at before I draw this month to a close. Peace, God Bless, and be weary of idiots wearing black and gold armor.


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