Monday, April 2, 2018


Writer: Marv Wolfman | Artist: Jerry Ordway
Lettered by: John Costanza | Colored by: Tom Ziuko| Edited by: Andy Helfer & Mike Carlin

The Plot: (Issue 427) Superman invades the nation of Qurac and confronts its president regarding the recent attacks in Metropolis, which he believes were sponsored by the Quraci government. Meanwhile, a being called Prana probes Superman’s mind for clues as to who he is and why he uses his powers for the benefit of humanity.

(Issue 428) Superman single-handedly dismantles Qurac’s military, to the approval of the entire world at large. Meanwhile, Perry White’s teenage son, Jerry, is kidnapped by agents of mobster Jay Falk, who order Perry to scrap a series of exposés he’s been running on the criminal, and to issue a retraction. While Perry struggles over whether he can abandon his integrity and lie about Falk in the pages of the Daily Planet, Superman combs Metropolis, locates Jerry, and brings him back to Perry.

Sub-Plots & Continuity Notes: In issue 427, Clark Kent is on assignment in Qurac, though the nature of the story he’s chasing is unrevealed. It can be assumed, however, that he’s there for the same reason as his alter ego — to look into the connection between Qurac and the Freedom League who attacked Metropolis in issues 424 and 425.

Prana and his wife, Zahara, are both inhuman beings and members of a mysterious organization called the Circle, who dialogue hints are aliens and/or precursors to humanity on Earth. As issue 427 concludes, Prana dies of overexertion from his forays into Superman’s mind, and the agents of the Circle who have been hiding out in Qurac (and who, we’re told, provided the weapons used in the Freedom League attacks) decide to move to Metropolis to keep an eye on the Man of Steel.

Issue 428 sees Clark and Cat Grant flirting at work.

Bibbo, future supporting cast mainstay, makes his debut in issue 428 as well. Though he and Superman get off on the wrong foot, Bibbo quickly comes around on the Man of Steel and offers to buy him a beer.

Jerry White is a member of a gang called the Cobras, though as the issue begins, one of his friends attempts to talk him into quitting the group. Jerry also doesn’t get along with his father, and walks out on him moments after Superman brings him home.

My Thoughts: Issue 427 doesn’t do much for me at all, and it’s honestly going to require a great deal of effort, which I don’t care to muster, to write about it at any length. Suffice it to say the issue was a slog and, while the idea of a secret society moving to Metropolis to keep an eye on Superman because they believe he might be one of them has some promise, Prana’s dips into our hero’s psyche were the least interesting way to get there.

(Though I will admit that I liked Wolfman hitting the idea that practically no one can understand why Superman does what he does. He has the power to be a god on Earth, to conquer and to rule, but he uses it for benevolence?! Is he some sort of chump? No, Prana finally realizes — he’s pure in a way few, if any, other people are.)

428, on the other hand, is a decent read. After the opening sequence of Superman taking out Quraci jets and ships, it shifts into a grounded tale of Superman against the mob, reading like an issue of the ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN TV series, which is a nice thing to see now and then. I love the majesty and spectacle of Superman engaging in world-shaking battles, but there’s a part of me, the kid who watched those black-and-white George Reeves episodes on Nick at Nite thirty-plus years ago, that will always enjoy seeing the Man of Steel bust through a wall and shrug off a hail of bullets from gangsters’ guns.

Also, there’s a cute bit where Superman borrows a page from Batman’s playbook as he interrogates one of Jay Falk’s men, stranding him atop the Daily Planet globe and threatening to leave and let him fall off if he doesn't talk.

The issue goes overboard with its portrayal of Perry White, however. Yeah, he’s a man of integrity, and yeah, printing anything less than the truth is anathema to him, but Wolfman gives us a White who agonizes over his word processor all night, struggling to even begin writing his retraction. It’s evident from the start that the relationship between Perry and Jerry is strained, but even so, it’s hard to imagine that Perry is such a virtuous newsman that he literally cannot even attempt to type the first few letters of a lie without struggling through some all-consuming inner conflict. It all comes off as forced and a little silly, to be honest.

Next Week: Superman fights a mummy (sort of) in SUPERMAN #5 and #6!


  1. Byrne would source an issue between Perry and Jerry in his WORLD OF METROPOLIS LS. In the past, while Perry was on a trip, Luthor put the moves on his wife. When Perry returned to confront Luthor over his criminal connections, Luthor gave him his wife's earring ('she forgot this'). And then she got pregnant...
    Although Perry forgave his wife, and celebrated his impending parenthood, there is probably a chance Jerry might be Lex's screw-child.

    1. Wow! I had no idea! No future writers after Byrne ever followed up on that? It seems like a potentially good seed for later stories.

  2. Both issues were good reads. The Qurac storyline sort of invoked 1930s Superman for me because of how amazing the action was.