Superman: The Man Of Steel #35
DC Comics (July, 1994)“Worlds Collide” chapter 1″Afterburn” WRITER: Louise Simonson PENCILER: Jon Bogdanove INKER: Dennis Janke COLORIST: Glenn Whitmore LETTERER: Ken Lopez ASSISTANT EDITOR: Chris Duffy ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Frank Pittarese EDITOR: Mike Carlin
Superman saves an orphanage (what’s left of it since “Fall Of Metropolis” is still going on, as well as teasing Wonder Woman #88) from punks with guns, and the lady taking care of the kids grabs some guns they left behind. From the ground a cyborg that shoots a stream of fire from its eyes starts walking around Metropolis setting things on fire with no rhyme or reason. Superman defeats it but not before it burns the orphanage lady to death. Meanwhile, Fred Benson is referred to a dream specialist because now instead of popping into Dakota (of the Milestone Universe) he ends up between worlds with a monster on his heels. At the clinic, just under the damaged Hob’s Bridge (this will be important in later chapters of the event), Fred is put under and through their prompting makes it to Dakota…naked…and he tries to make contact with Static before the monster grabs the mailman. The clinic wakes him up back in Metropolis, but his troubles aren’t over. At least one of the scientists there thinks Hazard, one of Steel’s foes, might be interested in a man who can traverse dimensions. (continues in Hardware #17)
What they got right: The cyborg (barely a cyborg, but enough that Superman couldn’t simply frag it) was an interesting threat in light of what’s going on in Metropolis.
What they got wrong: However, he doesn’t appear to be one of Luthor’s “scorched Earth” devices. Too easy. The woman’s death becomes meaningless except to make the situation in Metropolis seem even worse. It’s not a fridging per say but it’s still unnecessary to anything. We have more devastation than the other Man Of Steel we talk about nowadays but they don’t brush it away, so there was no point. This also feels more like another prelude to “Worlds Collide” rather than the first chapter. And as I thought there was no point to the Wonder Woman connection, plus she stands there as Superman takes the cyborg to the atmosphere. She didn’t offer to help at all while she was here for her unnecessary advice visit?
Recommendation: It’s just barely tied into “Worlds Collide” enough to recommend it for that event. Everything else is pointless and the story ends abruptly when it should have done more to set up the event. If you’re not interested in the crossover between the Milestone titles and the Superman group (including Steel and Superboy’s comics) there’s nothing here for you.