Superman Adventures #19
DC Comics (May, 1998)
“The Bodyguard Of Steel”
WRITER: Mark Millar
PENCILER: Aluir Amancio
INKER: Terry Austin
COLORIST: Rick Taylor
LETTERER: Lois Buhalis
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Frank Berrios
EDITOR: Mike McAvennie
When the President is needed to sign a peace treaty that will have a negative impact on certain weapon manufacturers so they place a billion dollar bounty on him. Superman offers to become his bodyguard until the treaty is signed. A number of Superman’s foes want that money, especially Toyman, but Luthor has hired master of disguise Multi-Face to pull of his own assassination during the signing. However, his target isn’t the President but Superman. Nobody is collecting any bounties today, especially when Multi-Face choose the worst disguise to use…Clark Kent!
What they got right: I really want to hear Clancy Brown perform Multi-Face’s “demonstration” of his talents. He has Luthor acting rather un-Luthor-like, and hearing Brown read that in Luthor’s voice would be amazing. I like the idea of, as Lois noted, Superman being so interested in protecting the President that he doesn’t realize Multi-Face is targeting him, or that Luthor would be more interested in bumping off Superman than the President, which isn’t revealed to the audience so even we think Lex is targeting the President. (Lex is in the weapons business after all.)
What they got wrong: These are minor quibble that don’t ruin the story but should be noted. Parasite isn’t the assassin type so having him listed (but not seen) among the Super-foes who go after the President is a bit odd. So is Hardcastle actually warning Superman that he’s the target. Hardcastle is the type that would like to see Superman dead, as has been demonstrated in the past and after this issue came out, because of his xenophobia and lack of trust when it comes to aliens. And it’s 1998. Who are we signing a peace treaty with that will affect weapons manufacturers? It’s just a clichéd excuse to have Superman protect the President but I wonder if a better reason couldn’t have been found.
Recommendation: A good Superman story that’s worth taking a look at.