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Superman #31 Review – Lockdown


Writer: Scott Lobdell

Artists: Ed Benes, Jack Herbert, Jaime Mendoza, Vicente Cifuentes

Batman/Superman #11 Recap

Chasing after Krypto, Batman and Wonder Woman travel to the Phantom Zone via a portal in the Fortress of Solitude.  There, Wonder Woman helps Mongul and Zod close a rift, but is attacked afterwards.  Batman and Wonder Woman are saved by Ghost Soldier when he teleports them out of the area.  Ghost Soldier tells them that The Tower set Doomsday loose so he can kill Superman.  The three later find a rift and a machine pulling energy from it.  Batman discovers that this rift was the one Doomsday came from.  They are quickly attacked by Xa-Du, the Phantom King.  Xa-Du tells them that Harrow originally approached him to give her the science to make her soldiers intangible — giving them the ability to kill Superman.  When Ghost Soldier failed, Xa-Du offered up Doomsday, who was imprisoned in the Phantom Zone’s forbidden corners.  Knowing that Superman is now transforming into Doomsday, Xa-Du makes an offer to help them kill Superman, of which is quickly rebuffed by an infuriated Wonder Woman.  As the rift starts to expand, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Krypto make their escape.  Back in the Fortress, Xa-Du, lassoed, has been dragged back from the Phantom Zone by Wonder Woman.

Spoiler-Free Reaction

A quick enjoyable read that doesn’t have much plot development or new revelations.

Plot Details and Spoilers and Deaths: Oh My!

Superman is shackled and secured at an undisclosed location.  Lex Luthor leads Batman, Cyborg, and Ray Palmer in studying Superman’s Doomsday infection.  Their verdict — there is nothing they can do to stop Superman’s current transformation.  The alarms suddenly sound due to the Doomsday Effect expanding.  Cyborg seems to be the one most effected and is told to go back to the Justice League Bunker and study the collected data.

Lois arrives to interview Superman at his request.  He wants her to tell the world that, since he’s transforming, he can’t be trusted.  At that moment, Lois, being an emissary of Brainiac, telepathically links with Superman and makes him hear the cries of the Teen Titans.  Superman breaks free and flies off.  In the Justice League Space Bunker, Cyborg attempts to track Superman.

As the Teen Titans fight Detritus, a sentient machine made of scrap metal, Superman arrives in full force and leaves a crater where Detritus had once stood.  Seeing the devastation and knowing that something is wrong with Superman, the Teen Titans fall back and the Man of Steel takes off.

Wrapping It Up

The pace was quick and fun, but it was very much devoid of any plot or character development.  Unlike the previous issue where we learned of a conspiracy set into motion by Harrow, this issue was purely for action and some Superman introspection.  At the end, we get a shoe-horned scene with the Teen Titans so as to give Superman a reason to break out of his prison.  The art was very pleasing in this issue, but I couldn’t help but notice that in some scenes, Superman looked extremely different and his suit seemed to have reverted back to the classic design.  It was a strange inconsistency that probably resulted from having too many artists not working in conjunction with one another.