When the magnetic-powered supervillain Dr Polaris arrives
in Metropolis - pursued by a mysterious rival called Repulse
- Superman must use all his strength of body and mind to save
him. And when Dr Psycho turns the people's love for Superman
into a deadly obsession, will the world's greatest hero survive?
Shrapnel, Satanus, the Queen of Fables and Livewire also want
to make the Man of Steel's life a living nightmare...
seem to have been rather a lot of Superman graphic
novels coming out lately, don't there? Is there a new movie
out or something?
Following several continuity-heavy volumes, such as Sacrifice
Revealed, this one (which collects issues 827-8
and 830-5 of Action Comics) takes a refreshingly straightforward
approach, making it an ideal jumping-on point for readers
new to the series (perhaps having just seen the movie). Though
the book contains the usual "story thus far" sections, including
a digest of what happened in the pivotal Sacrifice,
writer Gail Simone ensures that her characters' musings never
linger on past events for long.
doesn't mean that the author ignores previous storylines,
however. When Superman faces the hypnotic Dr Psycho, both
hero and villain reflect briefly upon the Man of Steel's recent
mental assault by Maxwell Lord. When Lois calls upon Lana
Lang-Ross to ask for a favour, their old rivalry is not forgotten.
And, as you can see from the above synopsis, there are plenty
of old enemies to keep hard-core fans happy (though strangely
Satanus reveals his long-hidden secret identity rather suddenly
than that, though, Simone keeps things simple, with each of
the stories lasting no longer than one or two chapters.
to this back-to-basics flavour is the return of John Byrne
(The Man of Steel), who provides the pencil work throughout
this volume. Though I prefer Byrne's art when it is inked
by Dick Giordano or by Byrne himself, after a slightly shaky
start the artist ultimately establishes a good partnership
with inker Nelson. Their visualisations of Bettie Page look-alike
Repulse, the aptly named Dr Psycho, the Queen of Fables and
a brief flashback to ancient Krypton are among the highlights
of this volume.
All in all, Strange Attractors is an appropriately