Saturday, January 1, 2011

Superman: Ending Battle TPB [2009] by Geoff Johns | Joe Casey | Joe Kelly

Someone has an agenda of attacking the friends and family of Clark Kent from his adoptive parents to his Smallville teachers. Taking place one year after the events of 9/11, Ending Battle tells us not to live in fear no matter how much we are in danger from the everyday occurrences. Geoff Johns’ early work on Superman from 2002 after working with Superman the Movie director Richard Donner begins the first part of Ending Battle. However the real mastermind of this story has to be Joe Kelly who introduced the Elite and Manchester Black within Action Comics #775.
The first part of Ending Battle begins with an attack on the Capitol Building which has been turned into a prison by the Master Jailer who has captured both Vice-President Pete Ross and his wife Lana Lang. Superman arrives to save them however gets tangled up with both the Master Jailer and his accomplice Neutron. Both villains get away however the mastermind behind the attacks has yet to be revealed.

The story is bombarded with various villains who are unknowns that do not really pose a threat to Superman. You do not really feel that Superman is in any danger. The story feels extremely rushed with various writers including Johns, Kelly, Mark Schultz, and Joe Casey always putting Superman in danger however none of the villains posed any threats. The artwork was inconsistent and was distracting to the overall story. The 8-part story could have been better with a few major villains who posed a threat instead of multiple unknown villains who were just nuisances. The conclusion was not worth the time spent on the other 7 issues of the storyline.

- Superman stops Major Force by melting his alien metal shell
- The Atomic Skull attacks Jonathan and Martha Kent after taking out Superboy
- King Shark is ready to kill Jimmy Olsen before Superman arrives to knock him out
- The Daily Planet is under attack as well as Steel and his Steelworks facility
- The friends and family of Clark Kent is held safely within the Steelworks facility
- Superman confronts Lex Luthor who reveals he knows that Superman is Clark Kent
- The Elite arrives to deal with Luthor however confronts Superman
- Superman searches for the mastermind behind the attacks – Manchester Black
- The Cyborg-Superman is controlling the inter-dimensional living ship the Bunny
- Master Jailer transforms Metropolis into the largest prison on Earth
- Prankster escapes, Mxyzptlk returns to the 5th dimension, and Metallo arrives
- Master Jailer assembles Bizarro, Mongul, and Silver Banshee for the final battle
- Superman uses Neutron as a nuclear missile to stop his last four villains
- Manchester Black emotionally tortures Lois using her father and Clark
- Manchester Black explains how he was freed and found Superman’s secret identity
- Luthor was aware of Superman’s identity as a mental implant from Black
- Manchester Black wanted Superman to kill him to break his spirits
- Black erases Luthor’s memory of Superman’s secret before committing suicide

This trade paperback collects
Superman #186-187
Adventures of Superman #608-609
Superman: The Man of Steel #130-131
Action Comics #795-796