Adventures of Superman Annual 4 – the hunt for the Eclipsed Superman

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A really horrible cover on Adventures of Superman Annual 4 conceals an excellent story by Robert Loren Fleming and Bob McLeod, the penultimate chapter to Eclipso: The Darkness Within.

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This story follows the events in the Action Comics Annual, with Superman under Eclipso’s control.  There are a huge amount of guest-stars in the issue, as the heroes not under Eclipso’s control try to find Superman.  Justice League members Booster Gold, Fire and Ice and Bloodwynd are the ones who succeed, discovering him hiding deep inside a volcano.

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Guy Gardner makes a big entry, now with Sinestro’s ring.  The No More Mr. Nice Guy story arc had played out during the course of Eclipso: The Darkness Within, and this is the first time most of the characters see him in his new outfit.  Not that anyone is glad to see him.

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The L.E.G.I.O.N. get a lot of play in this issue.  Vril Dox and Hawkman are joint commanders in the mission to save Superman from Eclipso, but in reality Dox gives all the orders, and Hawkman merely approves.

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Dox orders Gardner to get some matter directly from the sun, but Guy is no more inclined to take orders from his than he was to take orders from the Guardians.  Ice tries to talk some sense into him, but Guy storms off.

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To everyone’s surprise, Guy returns with a mass of solar matter, risking his life to shove it in Superman’s face and driving him down into the volcano.

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So it’s Guy Gardner who saves the day, and even Superman is impressed with his sacrifice.

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Eclipso is not happy about this turn of events. But he assembles his forces on Earth, using Starman’s body as a decoy, having all the rest of the possessed heroes to attack it, so that the forces aligned against him will rescue him and have the Eclipsed Starman on their side.

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The story ends as Superman gets blasted by light, by the same mysterious people who have been doing this to others throughout the run of the tale.

The story concludes in the final issue of Eclipso: The Darkness Within.

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