“Adventure, heh. Excitement, heh. A Jedi craves not these things.” – Smallville fans do though, and the latest digital installment of the Season Eleven comic book absolutely delivers them! We start pretty much right where we left off at the end of chapter seven of Guardian. The U.S. military shows up with attack helicopters bound and determined to bring Clark in for questioning. This is actually a very fair motivation for the government. He doesn’t work for them, but given the nature of his activities and their relation to national security I can’t blame them for wanting to debrief him. Lex Luthor has been manipulating events from behind the scenes to exacerbate the issue, and the military has some ulterior motives of their own. General Sam Lane is in charge of the mission, and we get the exposition through a frantic phone call from his daughter Lois, and a slightly more controlled one to Clark, all while the aforementioned general is hot in pursuit of the big blue boy scout.
The action packed frenzy is contrasted by a very solemn Sam Lane, who we learn is only following a special set of orders. The armed forces are testing Superman. Apparently pushing a planet out of our sky wasn’t enough of a show for them, and they aim to find out the extent of our hero’s powers and just how much he can take by assaulting him with a barrage of the finest weaponry an attack chopper has to offer. Bryan Q. Miller writes a lot of emotion into the sequence, especially when the mission puts Lois in danger. The art team depicts the fantastic action in a manner both realistic and crisp, with a perfect balance of detail and space that allows the unique color palette to shine but not dominate. Lex’s further machinations punctuate the issue with an intriguing set of twists that further the story while also leaving us with cliffhangers to mull over until next week. I’ll leave those particular spoilers out of this review for those who haven’t read the issue yet, but trust me they give you plenty to talk about! Season Eleven continues to provide everything I promised from the beginning, including original Superman stories written with strong super hero sensibilities and an equally strong commitment to Smallville continuity.
As always, please buy Smallville, don’t pirate this book. Remember, we vote with our purchasing power, and it only costs 99 cents a chapter to flex your consumer muscle on this one. Another print collection will be available on the Fourth of July, so if digital isn’t your thing DC has you covered! Also, let’s make sure to give credit where credit is due: