Superman Adventures #66
DC Comics (April, 2002)
“Power Play” part 2
WRITERS: Evan Dorkin & Sarah Dyer
PENCILER: Aluir Amancio
INKERS: Wayne Faucher & Terry Austin (last page)
COLORIST: Marie Severin
LETTERER: Phil Felix
EDITOR: Joey Cavalieri
Superman fights against the hordes of Apokolips and while he does well the numbers game eventually gets the better of him. Rather than outright kill him, Darkseid instead ties him to the front of his new cannon. Using Livewire to channel the energy of the planet itself, it may be enough to destroy New Genesis. However, when Lex learns Earth is the target and decides he’s not one to be second to anyone, even Darkseid, he manages to free the pair. Superman fights them off while Livewire overloads on the energy of Apokolips. They manage to return to Earth and Superman finds a place for her to burst out the energy safely, having just enough left to restart Superman’s heart when he’s caught in the blast. Returned to normal Leslie Willis is prepared to return to a normal life, but regrets it immediately and gets herself zapped again, becoming Livewire once more.
What they got right: It’s not quite a redemption story, but ambiguous enough that it’s not off when Livewire shows up again in later DCAU shows Static Shock and both Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. If this had been her redemption arc it would have been a good one. It would be easy to believe she’d become a better person after all this.
What they got wrong: Livewire’s expressions and body language are wrong. The dialog maintains the right “shock jock” attitude but the art is a bit more demure, especially the panel where Superman wakes up after she jump-starts his heart. They also got her hair color wrong in her normal human form, making her blond instead of a brunette.
Recommendation: A decent two-parter. Maybe not the best way to end the series but not necessarily a bad one either. It’s a decent read.