Writer: Rick Veitch
Artist: Tommy Lee Edwards
Lex Luthor reveals his design for the Science Spire, a massive complex built in the heart of Metropolis. Literally, it will be built at a point where the world’s spiritual energy, its Chi, converges in the city. While Lois Lane is trying to ask about missing land deeds, Vic Sage is trying to hear Metropolis’ cries for help.
Sudden, a giant magnifying lens turns the suns rays into a deadly heat beam! Only Superman can save us now! But only The Question sees the Subterraneans robbing a bank.
Luthor’s speech reveals his xenophobia and utter hatred for Superman. But he couches it within rhetoric that praises the human spirit. He is confidant, cunning, and self-assure. Veitch has Luthor’s “voice” down cold. Sage’s trip through Metropolis is filled with fragments of conversation that guide him to danger and provide a counter-point to Luthor’s press conference. The panels with The Question run along the bottom of the page to emphasis the city’s “undercurrent”. This continues through Superman’s appearance.
The dialogue with the Subterraneans answers the obvious question, “Why would anybody even think about breaking the law in Superman’s town?” Because it’s the Mount Everest of crime. Pulling off a job in Metropolis requires expert planning, split-second timing, and sheer balls. Do this and you can call yourself the best. And people pay big for the best. Pride and greed, the motivation for almost every criminal.
Edwards maintains the unique visual vibe of late-60’s pop culture combined with cinematic watercolors and the hard edges of reality in super-focus. It’s not something that can be quickly compared to other artists. Just look at it and you’ll know it’s Edwards.
I do have one complaint with the book: Would anyone really name their child or themselves “Six True Words”? If the character is Chinese, why not use her original Chinese language name? That’s like a man named Cooper calling himself “Barrel Maker”.
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