Saturday, October 8, 2016

Superman (vol.2) #130 (1997)

Superman (vol.2) #130 (December, 1997)
"The Longest Halloween"
Writer - Dan Jurgens
Guest Penciller - Norm Breyfogle
Inker - Joe Rubenstein
Letterer - John Costanza
Separators - Digital Chameleon
Colorist - Glenn Whitmore
Assistant Editor - Maureen McTigue
Doomsayer - Joey Cavalieri
Cover Price: $1.95

Ya know, it's actually more difficult than I imagined to find all the Halloween-themed books in my collection.  They're not as easy to pick out as the Christmas ones... plus, any Google searches I do about Halloween-themed DC Comics directs me to a list of frickin' variant covers!

I was surprised to find that this issue of Superman, during the electric-blue era was, in fact, Halloween-themed!  I've been meaning to better acquaint myself with this era of Superman anyway... so, guess this is a good one to check out.


It's Halloween night, and Lois has given Clark his costume for the big party they'll be attending.  We don't get a good look at the outfit, however, Clark is none to pleased with it.  He mentions to Lois that if "he" were to find out about this, "he" would kill him.  Sorry Clark, you all waited too long to order... you're lucky to have the costume you've got!  When we find out what kind of costume this is, we might just be surprised that this one lasted so long on the shelf.

Lois and Clark hop into a cab, when Clark's cell phone rings.  It's his informant at S.T.A.R. Labs who tells him that there's something big going on.  The Kents ask the cabbie to make a detour.  Upon arrival, Lois and Clark are stopped at the door by Dr. Kitty Faulkner.  She's usually cool with the Kents, however, today she just ain't having it.  She physically pushes them out of the building, though, as soon as she's outta sight, Clark electrisupes up, and heads inside.

Superman phases through the wall of the building to enter the lab... I'd forgotten he could do that.  Inside he sees a large artifact known as the Dragon's Tooth.  It's a strange rock that is shaped kind of like a DNA helix that swirls around and comes to a point.

Superman is hardly able to get a good look at the piece before Faulkner and a Doctor Swanson enter the room.  Clark returns to Lois and shares the news of his findings.  They decide to head to the Halloween party... and in the cab, Lois comments that it looks like Clark's packin' on the pounds of late.  That's not very nice.

As the Kents drive away, the Dragon's Claw shatters in the S.T.A.R. Lab, sending both Faulkner and Swanson flying.  A man casts his shadow over the fallen Docs.

We now arrive at the Halloween party in the park.  We've got Metropolis' Mayor Berkowitz chatting up Lex Luthor, who looks like he's buying some favors... Perry and Alice White are having a grand ol' time as well.  Suddenly Cat Grant notices something in the distance... Why it's Lois and Clark... dressed like Batman and Robin!

Perry kids Clark about his costume... then mentions that it looks as though he's gained weight.  Damn y'all... gonna give the poor guy a complex.  We also see columnist Dirk Armstrong, who dressed as Abraham Lincoln, tells Mayor Berkowitz he's going to use his journalistic clout to tear him down.  At first the Mayor acts unimpressed... however, he can't keep the aloofness up.

We get a break in the frivolity with an appearance from the fella who made the Dragon's Tooth go boom.  He's on the streets of Metropolis seeking the "being of energy" who caused his release from the Tooth... oh, so he was inside it!  

Back at the party, we get Cat Grant mistaking Scorn for a person in a Scorn costume.  For her misjudgment, the big blue guy belches in her face.  Good form, old chum.

Meanwhile, Honest Abe is getting reamed out by his daughter for his harsh words toward Mayor Berkowitz.  The daughter, Ashbury, apparently came to the costume party as Gwen Stacy.  Scorn arrives, scoops her up and leaps her away.  They land in front of a strange Fourth World looking flying motorcycle thingie... being driven by a metal-masked Jimmy Olsen... o-kayyy.

Our new villain finally hones in on his electric savior, and arrives at the party.  He abducts our cape and cowled hero and flies off.  Clark sheds his bat for an electric-S, and it looks like a battle is about to rage.  They go back and forth for a time, before the baddie reveals that his was not the only Dragon's Tooth... and so, he calls forth his brothers.  Oh boy...


Man, this era of Superman is foreign to me.  This is my big "blind spot" for the Crisis-to-Crisis era.  I dropped off the title around Reign of the Supermen, and came back post Y2K.  The Wedding/Electric Blue era is more or less new to me.  Not that that's a good or bad thing... it's just a thing that is.

This is a decent enough story.  Fun for what it is, even though it's clearly just one of how-ever-many chapters.  Can't say I'm terribly interested in the Dragon's Tooth... or the glowing fella who seeks it... but, otherwise I really dug it.  I particularly enjoyed the Lois and Clark banter.  They have a really fun back and forth, that I have missed ever since the New-52.  Of course, that's kind of a moot statement by now, but still worth mentioning... cuz I just can't let things go.

It was interesting hearing that Superman lost some of his super-powers in the electric-transformation.  That isn't something I thought all that much about.  I figured he had the same powers, just coming about a different way.  It's cool knowing that there were powers both lost and gained in the evolution.

Seeing Superman wearing a Batman costume is something that made me chuckle perhaps a bit more than it should have.  Clark's comments in regard to Bruce's lack of a sense of humor were a nice touch as well.  Almost makes me wish Bruce was at the Halloween soiree.

Now it wouldn't be a late-90's comic on that fangled glossy paper if I didn't mention how much I dislike the color process of this era.  It looks kinda flat and muddy... and really does not do the art any favors.  I never thought I'd say that a Norm Breyfogle issue of a comic book looked "bland", but here we are.  I gotta figure this is due to the coloring.

Overall, it was pretty good.  Not must reading, but a good fun issue from a weird era for the Man of Steel.


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