SUPERMAN #684“The Mind of Rudy Jones”James Robinson – WriterJesus Merino – ArtistDavid Curiel – Colorist Warning: Contains Spoilers Brief Rundown:Parasite is wandering through an alleyway thinking about the people he recently absorbed/murdered. He recalls how he escaped from prison.Superman is clearing the Phantom Zone out of all his villains, that Alura recently ordered in there. Parasite is the last.As the Science Police escort the murderous creature back into our world, Mon-El appears.Mon-El tells Superman that General Zod and his followers have been released. Only he and a few baser Kryptonian criminals remain within the Zone.Parasite somehow reaches in and pulls Mon-El out and thus absorbs his abilities. Superman knocks out the beast and puts his friend back into the Phantom Zone.Later, Parasite uses his newly absorbed Daxamite abilities to escape. They wear off while flying over the harbor and he begins to crave some more Mon-El mojo.In Metropolis, the Guardian basically tells officers of the Science Police that he’s in charge so shut up.Nightwing and Flamebird meet with Jay Garrick aka the Flash.Superman flies over to New Krypton where he and Alura watch the military parade that is honoring the reinstating of the mighty General Zod. Superman flips out.To Be Continued…Drew’s Review:This whole issue is basically set-up for Superman’s departure from his two main titles next month, in favor of “World of New Krypton”.For instance the opening 8 pages that focused on Parasite, basically just told us that now Parasite is after Mon-El. All of that could have been done on one page, which would have added more room for the actual story, which is Zod’s release from the Phantom Zone. Like I’ve said many times before James Robinson is a terrific writer when it comes to character development, but when it comes down to action and pacing, he’s a bit off. Of course his style pays off big time in the end, it’s just hard to digest in a monthly format.Personally I miss the Parasite twins that Greg Rucka introduced way back when he was on Action Comics. I always thought the Rudy Jones Parasite was pretty much a lame-o, like most of the big guy’s rouges gallery, with the exception of Lex, Brainiac, Zod, and Ruin (when Rucka first created him).The Guardian’s little speech to the Science Police felt really forced and out of place. I don’t know if I like the whole Science Police thing. I know Metropolis is the city of tomorrow, but I miss the SCU (Special Crimes Unit) and the good old Metropolis PD. I can’t seem to suspend my disbelief enough for cops with jet packs, and yes I do know I’m talking about a comic book about a flying man in tights, but Superman is an alien, so there is a certain amount of believability there. The way I see it is in order to believe that this is the “real world”, Superman’s world should mainly be like our own and our police definitely do not have jet packs and ray guns. Superman should generally be the only guy in the sky.Another factor that brings this issue down is the clunky art. It kept bugging me how the “S” on Superman’s cape kept on disappearing. Also in a lot of the panels Clark looks super constipated, pun intended. Mon-El also looks way too old. Living in the Phantom Zone should mean that he couldn’t age, so basically he should still look like the teenager that Clark found as a kid in Smallville, back in the day.One thing I really enjoyed this issue was the military precession on New Krypton. I definitely dig seeing more Kryptonian culture in the Super-books and that’s a big reason I’m looking forward to “World of New Krypton”. The other is basically just having another Superman title to read. I hope the title doesn’t disappoint.I always thought Clark’s Kryptonian roots should factor much deeper into his world. It’s important to know one’s past in order to understand one’s future plus villains that were tied to his origin always were much more interesting. I’m really glad to see that this is finally coming to fruition.But I can’t say that it also doesn’t worry me. One of my favorite things about Superman has always been the balance between global defender and mild mannered reporter, superhero and working stiff. Superman is the ultimate blue-collar hero and also pure wish fulfillment. All day long people look down at him for being a wimpy guy but whenever there’s trouble he just tears open that shirt and he’s the greatest symbol of hope on the planet Earth. I don’t know how many of us wish we could do that, be normal and super at the same time. It’s part of the appeal that the Man of Steel has always had. But with Superman leaving his core titles and Earth for that matter, Clark Kent’s personal life is going to greatly suffer. So far he hasn’t spent much time at all with his mother since Pa Kent’s passing (which leaves me wondering if that was even close to being a necessary death at all). Plus Perry White’s a great guy and all but Clark can’t just not show up for work for a year and expect to keep his job. Besides that would greatly endanger his secret identity. Superman isn’t the kind of guy who just takes off and leaves us lesser beings to fend for ourselves. However his biologic people do need him. I really have no idea were they’re going with all of this and actually I kind of like that fact, a lot.Zod is definitely planning some crazy shit now that he’s loose. However I do agree with Alura’s decision to release him and his followers from their imprisonment. To the Kryptonians he is most definitely a hero. He stood up to the Council, which was extremely corrupt and way out of touch with the Kryptonian populace. Also he did his damnedest to protect Kandor from Brainiac and to help Non, who was lobotomized by Council officials. To mankind he’s a super villain but to the Kryptonians he’s a superhero. Superman has to understand that first, if he ever wishes to stop whatever Zod’s planning to do to Earth. I’m hoping to see General Zod kick some major ass in the months to come. That is after all what he does best.Pick this issue up if you’ve been reading New Krypton and the current run on the Superman titles. If not I suggest that you do, for the most part they’ve been great. However as a single issue I can’t justly give this anything higher than 2½ out of 5 speeding bullets. It’s just filler.Short Recap:Story 2½/5: Necessary filler and build up yet quite clunky and all over the place.Art 2/5: Awkward and below average.Cover 1/5: Doesn’t grab me at all. Reflects the opening pages of the story, yet it’s just another unnecessary Faces of Evil gimmick.