The storyline about Luthor wanting to tear down old Mr. Odetts house comes to a climax in Adventures of Superman 573 (Dec. 99), by Immonen, Mark Millar, Steve Epting and Rodier. Great cover, and the art is good, but story is a snoozer.
Luthor gets a court order allowing him to take Odetts house away. At the very least he could tie the old man to the railroad tracks.
As Luthor presents the order to Odetts, Superman shows up. He meets, and fights, Hope and Mercy, Luthor’s new bodyguards, for the first time.
Superman may not be able to save the house, but Clark Kent does. Perry White runs a cover story in the back-again Daily Planet about the house, and with public support gets the place declared a historic landmark.
Joe Morgan has regained his sanity and his body, and sold the rights to his story for an Atomic Skull movie in the excellent story by Simonson, Michael Collins and Rodier in Adventures of Superman 571 (Oct. 98).
Joe is in set during the shooting, and none too happy with the way his story is being altered by the director.
He voices his frustrations to Clark Kent, who is sympathetic, but not able to do anything. When accidents start taking place, suspicion immediately falls on Morgan.
But when a stunt goes dangerously wrong, Morgan allows himself to become the Atomic Skull again, knowing this violates his parole. He saves the actor, but loses his mind and kidnaps Lois once again. Superman helps expose the director as the one behind the accidents. He needed the insurance money to pay off gambling debts. The film gets cancelled, and Joe Morgan is taken back to jail.
Probably my favourite Atomic Skull story since the re-introduction of the character.
Simonson, Morgan and Rodier introduce some new, super-powered members for the Special Crimes Unit in Adventures of Superman 569 (July 1999).
Riot makes a brief appearance right at the start of this issue.
The new members are not very impressive, even though the rest of the issue is devoted to introducing them. Both Maggie Sawyer and Dan Turpin are not happy about the idea of super-powered policemen.
To be honest, I have no recollection of them ever appearing again. But I have not read all the issues from this period yet. I didn’t care for it when it was coming out, and this issue I only read today for the first time. So I suspect we will see Freight Train, Fireworks, Badmouth and the Roo again.
Superman – King of the World moves towards its resolution in the Kesel, Ordway, Paul Ryan and Rodier story in Adventures of Superman 567 (May 1999).
Superman survives the destruction of the Fortress, after Lex Luthor dropped the top of Lexcorp Towers onto it.
Up in space, Luthor is quite proud of his success with this, and using Outburst as his tool. He leaves the boy to die, and begins to head back to Earth, but gets attacked by more Superman robots.
One of the robots does not participate in any of this, instead being devoted to keeping Lois Lane safe. She gets the robot to bring her to the remains of the Fortress.
Before they arrive, Superman has his big battle with Dominus. Because Dominus can control his perception of reality, Superman enters a trace state, and allows the battle suit to fight for him. Good idea, but it doesn’t work. At the end, Dominus not only defeats Superman, but also takes on his appearance, and his life.
The story continues in the next issue of Action.
Superman falls afoul of the police in Adventures of Superman 566 (April 1999), in a story by Kesel, Ordway, Grummett and Rodier, part of the Superman – King of the World story arc.
Superman now has an army of robots patrolling the world and keeping the peace – as well as building huge resentment against him.
Superman discovers that Luthor has been creating synthetic kryptonite in his labs. Superman forcibly evacuates everyone from the building, then tears off the top floors, hurling them into space.
This is the straw that breaks the camel’s back, and the police come out in force to stop him. Dan Turpin has no fear of Superman, and when the situation spirals out of control, Turpin threatens to blow himself up with a grenade unless Superman flies away.
Batman informs the Justice League of these developments. Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Orion and Big Barda prepare to fight Superman.
The story continues in the next issue of Action.
I like the cover for Adventures of Superman 565 (March 1999), but that’s about the only thing I care for in the Kesel, Ordway, Grummett and Rodier story. It’s part of the Superman – King of the World story arc, which I find long and tedious and without interest.
Luthor’s people are concerned about how active Superman has become, racing around the world non-stop, solving everything. But Luthor is not displeased, figuring on how he can exploit this.
Flash villains Captain Cold and Captain Boomerang make the bad mistake of pulling a robbery in Metropolis. Outburst joins Superman in taking the bad guys down.
Justice League of America members Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter show up to express to Superman their concern about his behaviour. He brushes them off, insisting that he is only helping and doing what the Justice League is there to do. There is no big conflict between Superman and the League in this issue, but it sets it up for later.