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.
We’re close to the end now; 26th out of 29 chapters. While the action in Coast City (or the crater that was Coast City) Superman is heading home, which means Metropolis. We have to gather the rest of the team for the big finale in Engine City (formerly the crater that was Coast City), and since Metropolis is the next target anyway maybe it’s a good thing he does. But Man Of Steel and Supergirl are the only ones not getting to play right now. Unless you count the Eradicator, who may never play again. Superboy is playing a game he’d rather not, and the Cyborg is playing a game we wish he wasn’t.
So far I’m enjoying the build-up. The villains have made their big move (without the actual hero of the city but I digress) and now it’s time for the heroes to make theirs. I don’t expect that to happen in this chapter, but we should be getting ready soon.
Chapter 26: Reign Of The Supermen part 8
So we have Superman arriving just as Man Of Steel is about to head out to Coast City. Still in the battlesuit, he’s not aware that the suit is attacking the hero, nor Supergirl and the arriving Superboy. Once he finally makes it out everyone compares notes. He’s a bit underpowered compared to normal but Superman is back! And this part is where the reveal that Superman was back should have happened. I think it would have had a greater impact than revealing it just before he left the Fortress. Keep the man hidden, which would have been much easier in prose than it would in comic form, until his arrival and just show us there’s a new player. Then when Superman has his private talk with Lois about his favorite movie, the memories they shared that none of the other Supermen would know (including the two who claimed to be THE Superman reborn), and the encounter with Jon in the afterlife (or what he remembers of it), it would have more weight. We do get him saying the same line he said when he went to face Doomsday, and with his weaker state Lois can worry more, even though he has back-up and I wouldn’t rank Doomsday under the Cyborg and Mongul.
Speaking of our bad guys we finally learn not only the Cyborg’s origin but how he met up with Mongul. Short version: astronaut Hank Henshaw is mutated in space after helping everyone else escape with Superman’s aid. He finds a way to create a new body but his wife freaks out and he leaves Earth. Over time his mind warps as the rest of his body deteriorates and he blames Superman. He comes across Mongul and the man who thinks he’s a god now works forces him into servitude to create a new WarWorld, making his revenge against Superman complete by ruining his reputation since Superman was dead now. It’s a big convoluted, but remember this is based on a comic book and sci-fi superhero comics are a bit weird at times. Done right, that’s what makes them fun!
So now that Superman is done being dead, allied with Man Of Steel (Lois calls him “Steel” for short and that will become his superhero name), Superboy, and Supergirl. Will these four be enough to stop the Cyborg and what’s happening with The Eradictor, the Superman formerly known as The Kryptonian? The answers are coming and they’re going to be big. There’s three more chapters and a short epilogue to go, so things are going to be happening really soon.