As you can tell from the cover, this is a Lex-centric issue. Normally that would be a winning formula, but this issue comes bottom of the pile this month. It's got its high points: The always awesome and beefy Byrne art; some classic Luthor douche-baggery (including strong-arming foxy scientist chicks into dating him, ripping out Metallo's kryptonite heart without even a howdy-doo and ordering the brutal torturing of Lana Lang). This one also boasts one classic moment, when a ultra smug Lex manhandles a kryponite-weakened and thoroughly befuddled Supes out of his office. So what's the problem I hear you cry. This issue drops to dead last the instant super-smart, titan of business Lex Luthor receives the conclusion from his Secret-Identity-cracking-super-computer that Clark Kent is Superman and he...fires/dumps the foxy scientist who built it and has it scrapped. Not once does he consider 'Hmmm, now that you mention it that reporter who writes the uncannily detailed stories about Superman does look remarkably similar - except for those pesky glasses, maybe I should head over to the newsroom and stick a kryptonite shiv in that guy just in case'. I know its supposed to be character revealing moment showing how power hungry Lex doesn't comprehend altruism and benevolence but come on this just makes him seem galactically dumb. Not a quality we're looking for in our resident super-genius megalomaniac.
This one's a continuation of last issue's stand-off between Big Blue, the giant robot catapilar and his metal insect buddies, who if you remember have formed a Voltron-like super robot bug in a effort to destroy Metropolis. This clunky concept is improved upon in this issue by using the sob story of Professor Emil Hamilton as a framing device. Hamilton is a mad scientist going out of his way to earn that epithet. In an effort to prove how effective his laser grid invention is he first uses it to trap then shoot at his potential investors. When that doesn't score him a juicy government contract, he then decides ensnaring Superman and an angry robot caterpillar in his laser grid is the surefire road to victory- sadly this only goads the robo-pillar's crazy pilots to fry themselves. Then finally he goes right off the deep end, takes a random hostage at gunpoint and forces Supes to run a gauntlet of his frankly mind-boggling inventions. I guess he missed the submission deadline for Dragon's Den. That and some sweet Ordway panel composition bumps Adventures to second place this month.
Continuing it's domination of the top spot, Action Comics sticks to the winning formula of masquerading as Superman Team-Up. Let's face it readers throwing the Phantom Stranger in your book almost guarantees you the top spot in any YouAreComic chart. Having him team with Superman to fight a sentient graveyard bent on world domination takes 'almost' right the hell out of the equation. As if such magical mumbo jumbo isn't enough the evil graveyard is brought to angry, boulder-tossing life thanks to a mystical artifact falling out of the sky in the aftermath of Big Blue's battle with the sky-palace & armour bikini sporting imortal goddess Arathaza (who it turns out is secretly homely secretary Barb Kowaleski). We join Superman's battle with Arathaza in the middle on page one. By page three she's warped Superman into an old man. By page five he's tricked her back to being plain old bitter Barb. Page 8 - Boom - sentient graveyard. Decompression be damned - this my loyal YouAreComicers is comics done right. Also the Phantom Stranger gives some dead folks a damn good tongue lashing in his own inimitable style
So that's Post-Crisis punch-up part two. Hope you enjoyed this trip in the Wabac machine as much as we did. Come back for more in a few weeks time. Next week promises a crossover across all three books. It'll have Orion, Darkseid and super-stubble!!