By Andy Frisk
January 17, 2010 - 14:34
Mon-El, after suffering a recurring super power outage, hammers Bizzaro into submission, catches up on what General Lane has been saying about him (effectively negating any chance of Mon-El revealing what Lane was up to), reconnects with his former Metro Sci-Po partner…intimately, and meets with a “dead” Jimmy Olsen and his contact in General Lane’s 7734 group. Meanwhile, John Henry Iron regains consciousness, and the first thing to come to his mind is…Atlas!
Plenty of developments and plot advances occur in this issue of Superman, the second chapter of “Man of Valor.” Mon-El rapidly gets readjusted to life as Metropolis’ protector while Superman is away. His friends and partner on the Metro Sci-Po, including The Guardian, welcome him back into the fold (sans secret identity-although his former partner and new future lover Billi still refers to him as “Johnny”). Most importantly to the plot though, we learn what Jimmy Olsen has been up to since he “died” and who his contact in General Lane’s 7734 group is. The seeds of Lane’s downfall are being sown, but it’s going to be tough to take him down. Even with all these developments the issue is well paced without feeling rushed. The all too quick battle against Bizzaro and The Parasite though feels as if it was really only portrayed to give Mon-El a chance to show that he’s back and protecting Metropolis publically.
The real treat this issue is the artwork of Bernard Chang. The well known and renown sequential artist, who’s been penciling and inking his way to the top of the industry since way back when he started in the business with Valiant, takes the artistic reigns for this issue. Chang draws great action sequences and particularly is strong with anatomy and costumes so Mon-El’s new duds look great and everyone from The Guardian to Bizzaro look incredibly fresh.
It looks like Mon-El is back and ready to pick up where he left off before being captured by Lane. Ditching his secret identity was still a storytelling misstep (and speaking of storytelling, what about Mon-El’s real health issues-isn’t he supposed to be dying?), but he continues to develop nicely overall as a character and hopefully he will continue to stick around as a regular, if not in the pages of Superman, in Justice League of America (when it finally and officially unveils its new line up).
Rating: 8.5 /10