Mark Waid, Grummett and Rodier follow up the last issue of Adventures of Superman, in which Jimmy hosted a big GBS special to reveal Superman’s identity, and then copped out, in Action 737 (Sept. 97).
The debacle was so great that Cat Grant has no choice but to let Jimmy go.
On the other hand, Intergang believe that Jimmy does know, and just backed down. At Boss Moxie’s orders, Intergang goes after Olsen.
Lex Luthor’s trial has a showstopping moment, as Luthor’s clone is brought into the courtroom. The defense is masterful, blaming the clone for every action taken since Luthor’s supposed death. The judge has to dismiss the case.
This is not a clone of Luthor we have seen before. Luthor explains to his horrified lawyer that this clone was just created for the trial, and would die in a few days.
Luthor kept Superman out of town during the trial by having his people set off a volcano in the south Pacific.
Jimmy runs for help to the person he believes Superman really is – Collin Thornton. Thornton is appalled at Jimmy, and sends him away.
Mocked, fired, not believed by the police, and on the run from the mob, Jimmy takes the motorcycle Bibbo gives him and leaves town.
Michelinie, Grummet and Rodier begin a new Superman Revenge Squad story in this issue, although not all the members pictured on the cover appear in Action 736 (Aug. 97).
Clark Kent spends the story trapped in a mine shaft. He was doing a story on it, when the owner decided to bury hos troubles and caused a cave in. There are gasses, and he cannot change to Superman, as the electric burst could ignite them. He does lead the others in tunnelling out.
They don’t appear to be very far in, as the mine owner is still outside when they get through. Superman gets into blue eletricness to bring him in.
Throughout the issue we have also seen a shadowy man get Barrage a new gun arm, and recruit the Parasite and the Rock. Luthor is eliminated as a suspect, simply because the Rock has seen this man’s face, and, were it Luthor, he would have tried to kill him, not work for him.
The Revenge Squad story continues in Superman – The Man of Steel.
Saviour busts out for another round of taking down phony Supermen in Action 735 (July 1997), by Michelinie, Grummett and Rodier.
Scorn has started a sort of relationship with Ashbury Armstrong, the blind daughter of Dirk Armstrong.
Saviour goes after Scorn at first, but Superman shows up, and the two face off against Murdoch.
Saviour takes on the powers of both heroes, which leaves him open to an energy drain by Superman. Ramsey Murdoch is left drained, but gets away.
Superman is in Kandor in Action 734 (June 1997), by Michelinie, Grummett and Rodier.
The Atom has accompanied him. Ray Palmer was de-aged by Extant, so this is the young and insecure Atom. They find that Kandor’s society has broken down, since Tolos was removed as their leader. There are still forces loyal to him, who are after Superman. Superman and the Atom join with Faern, Scorn’s sister.
Back in Metropolis, Scorn is trying to take Superman’s place, and captures a new villain, the Rock, stopping another of his attempts to kill Luthor.
I love that, after all the changes Superman has gone through, the MSCU aren’t sure whether this is really him or not.
Superman gets captured by those loyal to Tolos.
Faern bluffs the guy into releasing Superman, telling him the Atom has entered his system, and will blwo him up from inside if he doesn’t. That works.
Action 732 (April 1997) continues directly from the last issue of Adventures of Superman, as Atomic Skull blasts Superman, who dissolves into energy.
Michelinie, Grummett and Rodier have fun with the character, who is in fantasy state thinks that he has destroyed Dr. Electron. As usual, he mistakes Lois for Zelda, the girlfriend of the Atomic Skull in the old film serial.
Superman has been turned into blue electricity, but retrieves his costume, and with focus and concentration, he can take human form.
Scorn begins his trek to Metropolis. He emerged from Kandor in an earlier Superman book.
But Superman cannot use his new powers with any accuracy, they are as much a problem as the Atomic Skull.
Lois is the one to take the Skull down. She gets rigged with a power damper, and gives him a loving hug, which traps him.
Michelinie, Grummett and Rodier bring back Cauldron for a second round in Action 731 (March 1997).
Cauldron is a robotic clone, and has the ability to absorb all energy exerted on it, it just makes him stronger. This one speaks with a Russian accent. Lois does some research as Superman fights, and discovers he bemoans the fall of the Soviet empire, and bought the plans for the suit. Cadmus insists they knew nothing of the plans being stolen.
Dan Turpin has been standing alongside Superman throughout the long battle.
Superman finally pulls Cauldron down to Earth’s core, leaving him there.