This is the end of the goofy “Krypton never existed” arc. We start with Superman busting up an operation by Sam Simeon’s mob (no, not the guy from Angel and the Ape). This has been an ongoing thing, with a mob war between SKULL and Simeon running for the last few issues. Simeon was planning a strike against SKULL and Supes took them out before they could execute it. After a heart-to-heart with the police chief, Supes changes to Clark Kent and goes to play football. Unfortunately, he runs the wrong way and scores for the other team. We see Supergirl talking to some shadowy dudes about the planet (Xonn) that we saw being attacked last ish. These guys want Superman to stop the invasion, but thanks to Supergirl’s bullshit about there being no such place as Krypton, these guys figure Supes won’t care about a bunch of aliens. Supergirl goes to prove them wrong, but it turns out the mysterious guys were right … Supes doesn’t care about Xonn. Supergirl slaps him (!) and takes off to stop the invasion herself. Clark is having dinner with Lois (probably beef bourguignon) when his telescopic vision shows him Supergirl (and Krypto) in trouble fighting the aliens. He throws Lois out and heads to Xonn where he and Supergirl are blinded by the alien attackers and end up on Xonn with one of the natives. Supergirl tells him she was bullshitting about them not being from Krypton (with help from the Kandorians, who were the mysterious dudes a few pages back). Supes says he’d already figured it out and he flies out and defeats all the alien invaders by using sonic pulses … or something. He forgives Supergirl for lying but gives her a lecture … so everything’s back to normal.
- I get the feeling Clark running the wrong way wasn’t the usual “Clark acting stupid to throw off suspicion” thing … I think he’s just an idiot when it comes to sports.
- After leaving Kandor, Supergirl waits in the men’s locker room for Clark to come out of the shower in a somewhat creepy scene.
- Clark throwing Lois out of his place with no explanation and no warning is definitely gonna come back to haunt him … especially since, considering the dress Lois was wearing, I’m pretty sure he was gonna get laid that night.
- Supergirl’s reason for bullshitting Supes about Krypton was to stop his crazy behaviour from a couple issues ago (attacking the chemical plant and the oil tanker); supposedly, Kandorian psychologists prefer to remove a problem rather than treat it, and Superman’s problem was that he was afraid Earth might end up like Krypton, so they tried to remove his belief in Krypton. Seems like convoluted logic to me.
- So I guess Supes is back to normal now, with no real explanation of why he acted so wildly out of character when he destroyed the chemical plant and the tanker, other than “I didn’t want Earth to destroy itself like Krypton did”?
This issue starts where the last one left off, with Superman hauling Terra-Man off to jail. But once Terra’s “show” goes off the air, Superman returns all the villain’s weapons and other crap. Terra is blackmailing Supes with a bunch of “cosmomite” bombs (which I guess is basically cosmic dynamite?) hidden all over the city. Supes promises to meet Terra the next night so the show can go on. Unfortunately, somebody gets a photo of Superman returning Terra’s weapons, so his rep is kinda shot to hell when the pictures show up in the news.
Supes looks all over for the bombs, but can’t find them. So he has to play along with Terra’s “TV show” bullshit and put on a performance. They fight and Supes kinda gets slapped around; first Terra’s boots pummel him, then Terra’s lariat almost strangles him and finally Terra shoots him and buries him, with the flying horse delivering a fancy tombstone. We’ll have to wait until next issue to see what happens.
- Some of Terra’s attacks are pretty goofy; besides the boots kicking him in mid-air, Terra lassoes him and rides him like a bronc.
- The Gregory Reed subplot continues in this issue too; Reed is the guy who stars on the Superman TV show, but because the real Superman’s reputation is shit, the show gets cancelled and Reed gets all despondent and feels worthless. That might all sound like boring B-story stuff, but Reed becomes important in the next issue.
- Isn’t it weird there’s a Superman TV show in the DCU? I mean, they have the actual Superman … why bother watching a show with a guy you know is just an actor?
- I’m not sure what Terra’s motive is here; he just seems to want people to watch him fight Superman. But it’s not like advertisers are paying him (since he took over all the TV stations electronically), and even the viewers are being physically compelled to watch, so what’s the point? Maybe he figures beating Supes in front of a captive audience will get him some respect?
- The backup story is a “Private Life of Clark Kent” thing where he’s feeling all lonely at Christmas, then meets two orphans straight out of Central Casting, and brings a bunch of toys to the orphanage at super-speed.