5222cover.jpgSuper-Chief? WTF?

Don’t spend weeks trying to prove Supernova is really Kon-El. It ain’t him, and Lex Luthor knows it. Oh, and a Native American superhero returns after 40 years.


Luthor is vexed. He wants to know who Supernova is, and all his conclusions point to one man – Superman. But why would Superman take on a new appearance?

IMAGE REMOVED BY DC LEGAL DEPARTMENT

Good guessing Lexy, but those of us with a different perspective on the DCU, know it isn’t Superman flying around in those tights. It’s pretty clear Lex isn’t thinking clearly; he is having test after test performed on himself to see if he qualifies for metagene therapy. Once again the tests come back negative and Lex has to face the fact that he just can’t be as powerful as his nemesis. How emasculating…

During the grand opening of the Lex Luthor School of International Business Studies and Policy at Metropolis University, we learn that Eliza wasn’t the first person to have their powers turned off by a greedy Luthor. A Mr. Ferry shows up on the scene declaring Luthor is up to something and is ready to tell the world.

Fortunately for Mr. Ferry, John Henry Irons is there to see and hear the entire thing. Maybe I’m missing something, but I thought John could turn his new powers on and off, yet he shows up at the Luthor School reception all shiny, trying to be incognito with a trench coat and hat. Um… I think people are going to notice a tall stainless steel guy walking around no matter how he is dressed. Real subtle.

This week also re-introduces Super-Chief, the American Indian superhero. During the 1961 appearance, Super-Chief received his powers by praying to Manitou for help. A meteor crashed to the ground that gave whoever wore it incredible powers. Jump ahead to 2006, on a bus headed to Metropolis, and we meet Jon Standing Bear who is on the way to his father’s funeral. Jon’s father and grandfather have been taking care of the rock and mask of Super-Chief. Jon’s grandfather charges him with taking up the mantle, and he agrees. Grandfather also asks Jon to kill him so he doesn’t end up on the street, and Jon agrees to that as well.

In this issue we learn Jon has a military background, is ready to help those in need, and apparently has a short temper. This will be an interesting character to watch for the rest of the year. I’m not a huge Superman reader, but according to Wikipedia, Super-Chief and Superman meet in Dry Gulch where Superman keeps Jon from causing trouble.

Finally this week, we check in on Doc Magnus. Since kicking the government agents out of his house several weeks ago, Doc appears to be slightly paranoid, with only Mercury to keep him company. While talking with his brother David, we learn that S.H.A.D.E. may be involved in the disappearance of the famous scientists.

NOTE: S.H.A.D.E. appeared in Seven Soldier, and in Battle for Bludhaven. They mandate is the harvesting and creation of new metahuman talent as well as containing paranormal and superhuman activity.

Magnus has reason to be on edge as said government shows up with their own versions of the Metal Men ready to take Doc into custody. The only problem with the government created robots is they do not have self awareness, and that’s why versions of Lead, Platinum, and Iron show up ready to rumble.

I like this sequence as it really puts the “only following orders” robots into a very spooky light. As Magnus makes his escape, we also get a great nod to the classic Metal Men series where they were all destroyed by the end of each issue. Iron gets it from a giant magnet in the floor, Platinum is dissolved with chemicals, while Mercury (partially rebuilt by Will) is crushed by slow witted Lead. Magnus makes it to the door only to find a giant flame throwing robot ready to blast everything away. Leaping out of the way in the nick of time, Magnus is safe for a brief moment, but Lead gets the full brunt of giant robot fury. It’s hard to tell if this is one of the other Metal Men robots or something else. Tin and Gold are not seen, so flamethrower boy could be one of them.

However, during a search on the web, I came across a history of the Metal Men and found a reference to an evil organization called B.O.L.T.S that have a giant robot that look very much like this behemoth. Instead of S.H.A.D.E. could B.O.L.T.S. be behind the kidnappings, with S.H.A.D.E. fighting against them?

If you really want to read the “fascinating” history of the Metal Men, click here. Don’t say I didn’t warn you though.

DC did a pretty good job of trying to clear up the complex Metal Men history explaining everything away in just one panel.

IMAGE REMOVED BY DC LEGAL DEPARTMENT

I wasn’t overly impressed with this week’s installment. Nothing against Super-Chief, but DC really appears to be doing everything the can to resurrect old and forgotten characters from their impressive library. I was surprised to see Rex the Wonder Dog show up in the pages of Shadow Pact, so Super-Chief making a comeback after 45 years is just as strange. 52 – Week 22 gets another three stars.

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Panel of the Week

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Next week we’ll get to see what Isis, Black Adam, The Question, and Montoya have been up to, and in two weeks The Bulleteer returns.

Head on over to the Major Spoilers Forums to discuss this week’s issue.

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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