|From The Adventures of Superman #546 (1997) written by Karl Kesel and art by Stuart Immonen.|
|Cover pencils by Stuart Immonen, |
with inks by Jose Marzan.
While temporarily deprived of the solar energy needed to provide the energy his body required to give him powers, Superman had developed electricity-based abilities, which eventually forced him to adopt a blue and white containment suit to prevent the energy dispersing. While retaining most of his abilities, he could now also generate electric attacks rather than his original heat-vision. He also gained the ability to turn his powers "off," though this left him as vulnerable as a normal human, a plot point which plays an importnat part in hwo this partcular story resolves itself.
One of the benefits of the weekly issue strategy employed by DC during those years (each week another title starring Superman was released with numbered diamonds on the cover so they could be read in order as a single extensive storyline) was the ability of each of the books to develop many characters fully. While the traditional Daily Planet staff (Lois, Jimmy, Perry) still had many moments in the spotlight, new and interesting characters (such as Jerry Ordway-created Superman's #1 fan, Bibbo) were developed, too.
One such character featured in this issue (and one of my favorite of the new-er supporting cast) is Certitak, a prince of the bottle city of Kandor who became stranded in Metropolis. Inspired by his one-time nemesis Superman, and the symbolic value of the red and gold "S", in this issue Certitak continues his transition from heel to hero and, ultimately, a friend of Superman. In some ways, Certitak plays as an amalgam between Marvel Comics Hulk and Thing as he struggles with being accepted in a world i which he is physically a monster, yet finds the hero within himself through the (eventual) affection of a young blind woman, Ashby Armstrong. This is not to suggest that this trope doesn't still have some life in it.
Though sporting the dubious story title "Blood and Thunder," The Adventures of Superman #546 is an old-school sci-fi, action Superman tale, that works both as an individual issue and as part of the larger Electric Blue Superman story. The individual issue is available in many back issue bins for below cover price or as part of the larger story in the trade paperback Superman: Transformed!
Superman Red/Superman Blue Wikipedia Entry