Thursday, February 12, 2015

SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL #24 - August 1993

Credits:  Louise Simonson (writer), Jon Bogdanove (penciler), Dennis Janke (inker), Bill Oakley (letterer), Glenn Whitmore (colorist)

Summary:  Steel and the Eradicator land in Coast City, California.  They continue their fight, but Steel’s words cause Eradicator to pause.  He flees, declaring that Steel should go to Metropolis while he aids the people of Coast City.  In Metropolis, Lex Luthor’s agents kidnap White Rabbit.  Lex tells White Rabbit he’s going to hand her Steel, as punishment for Steel not joining his side.  Lex arranges for a jet to take Steel to Metropolis, where he’s ambushed by White Rabbit’s men.  After defeating her gigantic henchman Graham, Steel is lead to the secret plant where White Rabbit manufactures Toastmasters.  She rigs a trap, but Steel escapes, leaving her to an apparent death.

Miscellaneous Note:  The Toastmasters are being manufactured in the abandoned Ordster Motor Co. plant.  This is a reference to Jerry Ordway, who had recently left the Superman titles at this point.

Irrelevant Continuity:  Lex Luthor plans on taking over White Rabbit’s gang now that she’s dead.  Lex has also discovered Steel’s secret identity and knows that he’s on the run from a “secret operation” within the government.

Total N00B:  I don’t know if White Rabbit’s henchman Graham is an established character or not, but it seems strange that she suddenly appears with a flunky who eats jet fuel and can transform himself into an even fatter version of the Blob.

Review:  I guess we’re just supposed to forget about that “Resurrection of Superman” scene from the previous chapter, huh?  That scene isn’t even acknowledged this issue, which is instead focused on wrapping up the White Rabbit storyline.  I don’t know where Simonson was going with this plot, but the resolution this issue feels incredibly rushed.  Is everyone being told to wrap up their stories because Superman’s coming back, like, now?  I also question why Steel, who’s been presented as the only genuinely altruistic Superman so far, is directly responsible for White Rabbit’s death in the closing scene.  She planted the bomb, but he’s the one who caused the ceiling to collapse, which is what apparently kills her.  And even if he doesn’t know that she’s been crushed by the ceiling, he’s utterly unfazed when the plant explodes, which would surely kill her anyway.  We’ve been told repeatedly that Steel has the heart of Superman -- he’s even the one who gives Eradicator an uplifting speech inspiring him to become a true hero in the issue’s opening.  But now he’s killing his arch-nemesis and not batting an eye; it’s a strange creative choice.

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