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  1. #1
    Incredible Member Xarek's Avatar
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    Default Action Comics #32 Discussion/Spoilers

    Superman is still Doomed. Chapter 1 of Enemy of the State begins here.
    spoilers:
    Superman has escaped and has been deemed an Enemy of the State by the president. In a televised news conference, Lois Lane declares to the world that the hero that once was is gone. She explains that he is very dangerous and not to be trusted. Senator Lane seizes the opportunity, and with new command powers bestowed on him, recruits/re-animates John Corben (aka Metal-0 or Metallo) for a dangerous mission.
    Meanwhile, Wonder Woman and Lana Lang contact each other (due to Clark’s foresight and ingenuity) and reach a common understanding on where they stand when it comes to him. Lana reveals that the brains from all of the coma victims from Smallville have been sending electrical signals into space. She promises to look into it further.
    Superman, in the meantime, is horrified to find out that wherever he goes, death to all life follows. He retreats to the Atacama desert in Chile and pings Steel his location. Once he arrives, Superman gives him the Phantom Zone Projector Controller so that he can be sent through if all else fails. Clark has a violent outburst and is on the verge of succumbing to more, when Lex Luthor informs Steel that senator Lane has a battleship on the way with the “toys” John Henry kept at his S.T.E.E.L. facility. Metal-0, under the complete influence of a Brainiac-infused Lois Lane, is ready for the suicide mission (the ship is full of tanks with compressed kryptonite in aerosol form). Steel has a fight with Joseph Martin (aka the Atomic Skull), while Superman, in a desperate attempt to save a life, flies towards the ship in order to try to reason with Corben. Determined with his newfound purpose, John sets off the tanks, destroying the ship and killing himself in the process.
    The Superman persona is left weakened (or dead?) and all that is left is a flying figure of Doom.
    end of spoilers

    After Lobdell’s lackluster Superman 31, the story once again moves forward with some political and military maneuvering and intrigue that reveal the different approaches to Superman’s transformation from friends and foes alike. Pak has crafted an amazing issue that’s all about alliances and loyalty.
    Don’t let the cover fool you. While the Ghost Soldier has no place in this story at all and Metallo and Atomic Skull feature briefly, the real highlight of the issue is Steel. After his brief cameo in Doomed #1, he takes center stage here as a true ally to Superman. There is also a wonderful exchange between Wonder Woman and Lana Lang that is on point and defines their stance when it comes to Superman. The Brainic/Lois scheme finally seems to be bearing some fruit as it brings about serious repercussions at the end of the issue.
    All in all, solid storytelling. And it is up to Soule and Superman/Wonder Woman #9 to shine next.
    Last edited by Xarek; 06-04-2014 at 04:23 PM. Reason: grammar
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  2. #2
    Incredible Member Black Angel's Avatar
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    Leave it to the Military to make things worse i swear. I wish there was more krypto action but i liked the issue especially the lana and diana (fist bump) oh yea who know they gonna get sh** done.

  3. #3
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    Lois seemed to have some control, it wasn't completely brainiac. Really bad for the character.

    the issue was repetitive...

  4. #4
    Full sauced... klinton's Avatar
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    This issue was freaking brilliant! Pak is just owning it on Action Comics.

    Steel hasn't been this well fleshed out since the New 52 started. His Lana Lang is full leaps and bounds above any portrayal in my recollection. And poor, haunted Clark here....

    Seriously though, that two panel spread with Diana's "Always." and Lana's "Fist bump." actually gave me chills, it was so.bloody.perfect.

    This book was easily my favorite read so far this week!
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  5. #5

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    Great issue! I'm very surprised with how well this story has been. After each issue I just can't wait for the next. Very interested with how the next issue will be, considering the ending. Pak is a beast! IN PAK WE TRUST!

    Also Kolins' art was just as on point as Kuder's! I loved Kolins when he was on the Flash with Johns. Hopefully he will be filling in for Kuder when need be.

  6. #6
    Spadassin Extraordinaire Auguste Dupin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blacksun View Post
    Lois seemed to have some control, it wasn't completely brainiac. Really bad for the character.

    the issue was repetitive...
    Why would you even think that?
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  7. #7

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    I also liked Steel a lot here. I don't really see him enough in the n52, maybe he'll get a series if they don't relaunch Superboy.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Auguste Dupin View Post
    Why would you even think that?
    Because the New 52 is a giant conspiracy against Lois Lane.

    Obviously.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Joe Acro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auguste Dupin View Post
    Why would you even think that?
    Because it wasn't well-written. Simple as that. There's nothing within this comic in particular (or the previous one) to suggest Lois isn't in control of her own actions.

    Now, we an all speculate and say "She seems like she's acting out of character because she's been influenced by Brainiac", and that ultimately will likely end up being the case, but it's not being built up properly as is a bit distracting from the main story if so.


    My main problem is trying to wrap my head around why Superman can't leave. He sequestered himself initially, first in his apartment, then in the lab. Then he busted out and refuses to go somewhere safe because of... some sort of compulsion to remain on Earth. Steel's option was a great one. Go to the moon. Wait while they think of a plan. He seems to recognize this is a good plan, and yet, can't bring himself to go through with it. It's baffling.

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member misslane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by butterfingers158 View Post
    Because the New 52 is a giant conspiracy against Lois Lane.

    Obviously.
    Then, if it's so obvious, can you please explain how Lois (the real Lois Lane not Brainiac) is being used here and how it is to her benefit? How is the real Lois Lane receiving character development and a chance to shine as herself in this story line? What, in your view, is the impact of the prolonged ambiguity about what aspects of Lois's behavior come from her own choices and which aspects of Lois's behavior come from Brainiac pulling the strings?

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by misslane View Post
    Then, if it's so obvious, can you please explain how Lois (the real Lois Lane not Brainiac) is being used here and how it is to her benefit? How is the real Lois Lane receiving character development and a chance to shine as herself in this story line?
    She's not, but you shouldn't be pissed at Pak. It was Lobdell that introduced this stupid Lois Laniac crap, and we'll have to suffer through it for a little bit longer.

    Just seems like some people seem to think that DC decided to introduce the New 52 and shake up the Superman status quo just because they hate Lois. I highly doubt they have Lois's face on a dart board in DC's office.

  12. #12
    Astonishing Member misslane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by butterfingers158 View Post
    She's not, but you shouldn't be pissed at Pak. It was Lobdell that introduced this stupid Lois Laniac crap, and we'll have to suffer through it for a little bit longer.
    Who said I was pissed at Pak specifically? I know I didn't. And telling me whose idea was it doesn't change the fact that it exists and, as you say, it is something one has to suffer through. It is crap and one can react to such crap with frustration and unhappiness, because it isn't something that ever had to be or ever had to be dragged out this long. Just another rotten thing Lobdell did to Lois. First he debuts his run with a lightswitch character assassination of Lois as a corporate sellout, and then he crafts a psionic power/coma and Brainiac arc that drags on forever and robs Lois of her consciousness, her agency, and possibly her integrity for a whole year. Using her this way, meant that Pak was unable to use Lois in his Action Comics debut run and now Soule and Pak are forced to continue to use Lobdell's Lois since he was their Superman collaborator as this event was designed. It's a crap situation for Lois and her fans. It's insufferable.

    Just seems like some people seem to think that DC decided to introduce the New 52 and shake up the Superman status quo just because they hate Lois. I highly doubt they have Lois's face on a dart board in DC's office.
    Oh, I don't think the whole New 52 and the changes for Superman were all because of Lois. I also don't think they have Lois's face on a dart board, but that's obviously hyperbole on your part and a straw man, really. I think it's pretty much indisputable that Lois has lost more than she's gained as a result of the New 52, and promises about how splitting Lois from Superman would allow her more independence, develop as a protagonist in her own life, and give her more freedom to step out of Superman's shadow have not been kept. Her iconic roles have been summarily stripped away and divvied up among other characters. Cat Grant now gets more play as Clark's professional colleague. Lana is now the human confidante. Wonder Woman is the girlfriend. What's left for Lois? Apparently, to become Brainiac.

    Has anyone tried to imagine what this whole experience might be like from Lois's point of view? It makes it easier to apply what one sees in Superman's character at the moment to Lois. His fear and guilt about hurting people, does Lois feel that every time she looks through her own eyes and sees herself saying and doing things she doesn't want to do? The concern Lana and Diana have, does Lois feel that too but feel shattered she cannot offer her purest support? What about after this is all over? Will Lois be left knowing what she was made to do, or will she forget? If she forgets, that memory loss combined with her previous coma and memory wipe will leave her with about a year of her life missing from her own knowledge. How heartbreaking! How terrifying! But, while Superman has a team of heroes and best friends looking out for him, and believing in him, Lois is left to suffer on her own. Even Wonder Woman is apparently too distracted to care about Lois, considering she learned Lois had glowing eyes from the soldiers arresting Lois in SM/WW #8 yet has done nothing about it.

    So, yeah, maybe DC doesn't hate Lois. However, you'll have to forgive those who have a hard time sensing a whole lot of love and being frustrated and saddened as hell as a result.

  13. #13
    Fantastic Member AwesomeUsername's Avatar
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    Superman survived the mother of all Kryptonite explosions right in his face (granted while infected by the Doom virus). Your move, Batboys. Jokes aside, I loved seeing the interaction between him and Steel. Steel is shaping up to be a great character under Pak's pen. I really hope we get more, or even a series, with him. Weird they decided to change the Atomic Skull back to Joseph Martin though. I'm pretty sure Landis stated it was Albert Michaels. Or to be precise more like a hybrid of both characters.

  14. #14

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    This event just seems to get darker and darker. Superman's hometown has been overrun by a mysterious disease, Superman is now struggling with a disease as well, and now it seems he has lost that struggle. Not only that, Lois and everyone else who ever supported him publicly has turned on him. Granted, Lois might be under the influence of Brainiac, but the damage has been done. Wonder Woman was able to get through to Superman earlier. I don't think she'll be able to this time. I get the sense that there's a concerted effort to make Superman more hated and feared than he has been in the past. Not sure if that will make him more interesting or just too much like the X-men.
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  15. #15
    Mighty Member manduck37's Avatar
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    I really enjoyed this issue. The Wonder Woman and Lana moment was great. I love seeing Superman's friends steadfastly standing by him, refusing to give up. It was a nice way of showing how Superman inspires them. I really loved seeing Steel featured in this issue. His plan of using the liquid metal and keeping Superman on the moon was a great one. I know there was some confusion as to why Superman didn't go along with it. I got the impression that at that moment, Superman was really struggling to keep control. He wanted to go along with Steel's plan, but just couldn't at that moment. We have a Brainiac controlled Lois turning public opinion against Superman and advocating killing him (as seen with Corben). I hope that the Brainiac thing finally plays out, as it's getting old. I also though it was a nice touch that it was the kryptonite bomb that put Superman over the edge to becoming Doomsday and not that he just lost the battle. I liked that Superman still tried to save Corben, even with the kryptonite and the Doom infection. If the doom transformation took place simply because Superman couldn't handle it, I would have been annoyed. The fact that the transformation happened because they took Superman out of the equation with kryptonite was a much more satisfying way to have it happen.

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