Superman: War of the Supermen #4

"Kneel Before Zod!" It had to happen at some point in this series, and here it is right on the cover, placed between a gleefully menacing Zod and a defeated Superman. The fourth and final issue that tells the story of the "Hundred Minute War" and gives our three favorite Kryptonians -- Superman, Supergirl, and Superboy -- a chance to fight the good fight against impossible odds. Krypto even jumps into the fray.

This issue answers a few questions and provides closure to some fan concerns that have erupted since James Robinson rejoined the DC stable of writers. Readers of "Justice League of America" will get closure to their inquiries about Guardian's status there. Fans of Mon-El are given an update. Some of the answers ring true, some of them fall flat.

Some of the resolutions to the past two years (plus) of stories and the fixes thereof are a little too easy, a little too clean cut, a little too annoying. Justice escapes a few of the characters in a most weasely manner, and I find that to be frustrating in a story where so much was placed on the line and the stakes were set so incredibly high. There are more than a few plot threads that were left wide open and dangling, taunting future Super-writers to pick them up and tell new tales.

This isn't a pretty book, filled with detail (in spots unnecessarily scattered detail and background noise) and forceful confrontations from all angles and between all characters vital to the Superman corner of the DC Universe. While there are three different pencillers listed, the art -- detailed and noisy as it is -- stays cohesive throughout this story. I cannot tell you where J.P. Mayer inked Eddy Barrows or Cafu stepped in with absolute certainty. Sure there are minor gaffs -- Supergirl goes from having no bangs to bangs, then back again, the slash on Superman's chest emblem disappears and reappears -- but for the most part, the book carries the same visual weight throughout.

When the story ends, there is one less Lane on the planet, and a significant decrease in the perceived Kryptonian threat. There are stories left to be told of Kryptonians, of the Super-family, of the survivors of this tale, but those are clearly for another day. This issue is all about the final minutes of the "Hundred Minute War."

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