Chapter by Chapter features me reading one chapter of the selected book at the time and reviewing it as if I were reviewing an episode of a TV show or an issue of a comic. There will be spoilers if you haven’t read to the point I have, and if you’ve read further I ask that you don’t spoil anything further into the book. Think of it as read-along book club.
Fun fact: Over the week I finally made my own bookmark for the book, unique to this book. Remind me to show it to you when I have my computer back. I want to do this for every Chapter By Chapter book I plan to keep. It will be like the stickers I use to mark which comic I’ve reviewed.
We’re getting close to the end of the book and while I don’t think the reveal of the latest member of the Supermen in this reign was done right dramatically we’re going to need his help. Mongul his here and ready to make his move, which will lead to something of a rant later on, either in a later Chapter By Chapter or as its own commentary. I haven’t decided yet. But things are about to get real serious real fast.
Chapter 24: Reign Of The Supermen part 6
Give Mongul credit. Showing up before hitting the cloaking device and rattling some cages is a smart plan. He then moves on to Coast City, where the Kryptonian has been starting his redemption. That’s cut short because the Cyborg, the one who managed to trick the President into thinking is THE Superman, accuses him of being in league with the ship and attacks him. Then the ship destroys Coast City. I think I am going to save that for a rant on its own but it should be noted that Coast City is the home of Hal Jordan, the main Green Lantern at that time, and this was not a good move on the original comic writers’ part. I’ll explain why in my commentary sometime this week.
The Kryptonian barely escapes and not wanting to “die again” heads for the Fortress, from which a Kryptonian battlesuit has already launched. See, if it wasn’t for last chapter’s reveal we could wonder what’s going on, but we know it’s Superman, the real one, in there even though the narrator doesn’t state it.
The Cyborg also uses his status with the President to bring Superboy along as his sidekick. I do like the scene where Superboy and Tana say their good-byes, Morgan not sure she’s ready and for once she agrees with that statement. And given that Cybey decides to kill the reporters that was a good thing for her. But before then, during the interview, he makes a big mistake, mentioning to Superboy that he wishes he had as much assurance and control of his powers at Superboy’s age. Lois catches on when she sees the interview but her call to the President is too late to help the newscopter or Superboy as he takes them both down.
We knew this was coming because just after calling for Superboy we learned that Mongul is calling Cyborg Not-Superman “master”. I hope this explained somehow because not only is it odd for Mongul to call anyone master but I’m not even sure when Hank Henshaw, the man who is the Cyborg (not to be confused with the DC superhero Cyborg, and for some reason DC never fixed this…even Marvel had their two Power Men fight over the name when the villain had it first) made contact with Mongul, never mind conquered him enough to be his boss. It just seems odd for Mongul to bow to anyone, much less someone who just showed up.
Oh right, I should mention the “when I was your age” thing. See, in the pre-Crisis era, where Richard Donner Superman: The Movie was based on as well, baby Kal-El had his powers almost as soon as he ended up connecting to Earth’s gravity and yellow sun. POST-Crisis, when this story takes place, is a different story. Here, Clark had to grow into his powers, which is actually one idea John Byrne had for his reboot that I like, although it would be a problem when later writers decided it was time to undo the “only Superman survived Krypton” and gave us both the original Kara Supergirl but other Kryptonian visitors, plus Mara and later Jax-Ur in the DCAU. Why did Clark take so long to get his powers? When Lois hears Cyber-Man mention his childhood she realizes he’s a liar. I don’t know who wrote that scene but it was a nice tell to giveaway to the other characters that he’s full of crap.
Finally, Maggie confronts the factions of Supercultists and makes a nice speech. By this point this subplot is an unnecessary distraction.
When I get the chance I’ll go over the Coast City problem, while next time we edge closer to the finale. Will Superboy recover? What will the Kryptonian find at the Fortress? Will the battlesuit arrive in time to stop what’s coming? And how will Man Of Steel factor into this? The battle of the Supermen is coming. Are you prepared?
Next time: Reign Of The Supermen part 7