“Up, Up, and Away, Part 7: Up in The Sky”
Writer: Kurt Busiek and Geoff Johns
Artist: Pete Woods
Publisher: DC Comics
What makes Superman The Numero Uno Superhero: Strength, Compassion, and…Smarts!!
In Part 7 of the homecoming story arc for the big blue champion of the kind heart, we are thrown into a big, fast, and fun ride !!
In the previous six chapters, Clark Kent lives as normal human with the will to fight injustice with nothing but words and pure journalist instinct (he denied a Power Ring, what a guy!!). But as fate had it, Clark Kent can no longer be just Clark Kent; he must again become Superman again in order to save a world in need of strong, compassionate, and smart leader figure for the superheroes. Gaining his power little by little, he began his renewed action packed, tall-leaping, high flying crimebusting by fighting the low level supervillains: Hellgrammite, Silver Banshee, Bloodsport, Livewire, Puzzler, Trickster, and Riot in issues that make us grow together with the Big S in powers, and in fun!!
The Super Couple of Kurt Busiek and Geoff Johns have been showing us what kind of high soaring story can be made out Superman and his enemies, and in this chapter 7, the story is larger, stronger, higher, deadlier, and smarter.
Starting with the details on how powerful his resurrected artifact weapon is, Lex Luthor began throwing his wraths on both Superman and Metropolis as soon as Superman triggered his ego with two words: “My Protection.”
Mind-controlled a highly advanced (and kinda magical) crystal machinaries and venting his frustations on a city that he claims to be its savior (“Metropolis was nothing, no more than a faded, overambitiously named also-ran, before I saved it, built it into what it’s become…You’re the worm in the apple, Superman, the canker in the rose..”), Lex makes Superman unleashes all of superpowers available in his cells to stop him: muscle cells, eye cells, and brain cells. Against an opponent that has his flying weapon breeds walking destructions from its shattered parts, it’s a non-stop action for Superman. Even when he stops punching, his mind races fast to find a way to stop his archenemy.
Punches are thrown, lasers are shot, kryptonite is thrown into the mix,and buildings are destroyed while the egomaniac genius Lex Luthor exchanges philosophical thoughts and mental assaults with the Uber Hero. It’s earth destroying earthman vs earth protecting alien, a mano to mano duel, a one on one showdown. Other heroes that came later found out that it is a dance for two only, a classic battle of the anathemas in a city shielded from outside world.
“No Outside help, no respite, just payback!”
But Luthor forgets, that help can come from Metropolis itself, and when it comes, it improves the odds for Superman when he is down.
In the end, it is clear that the best weapon to overcome a desperate situation is simply a “Willingness to take risks.”
This is what every superhero comic book must be like: action mixed with great dialogue carried along by some carefully built momentum to reach a climax at the right moment and end with the readers craving for more in a story that makes every page count and every panel meaningful.
Pete Woods’ art comes alive with every destroyed building, with every mechanical construct destrying Metropolis, with every Superman’s agony, with every Lex Luthor’s sinister smile, in every moment, and in every panel. Brad Andersons colors provides the right hues, glows, and shades. Nick. J Napolitano’s letters give the music a perfect composition with lettered words that augmented the feeling of the story, and Terry & Rachel Dodson and Alex Sinclair pack the thrill
in a nice, classic themed cover.
Superman is back, and he’s great, and hopefully, he stays great.
Pray that it won’t be like the last words of the issue: “…and we’re not flying anymore, just hurtling upward, in sheer momentum. ..we reach apogee, and for a moment, we’re in free fall…and slowly, slowly, we began to fall..” I’m wishing it’s not an omen. I don’t wanna be like Lex Luthor who says “I HATE YOU!!” at the end. Superman needs to stay great, even if other heroes are falling apart around him.