Bullet Points:  Raging Bullets online DC Comics reviews 

Action Comics Annual #3 


Matthew G. Guy 

November 30, 2006 

Sometimes you get so frustrated at an annual it makes you want go why did I waste my four dollars on this.  No not Action Comics Annual #3, but rather Superman/Batman Annual #1.  That was going to be this review but after halfway point I gave up with the lackluster art in the faces of Bruce & Clark and how the story missed the mark and lost my interest by the end.  So I dug in my boxes of comics to find a good annual to take its place.  So I found an Annual with special meaning, the one where Superman becomes POTUSóPresident of the United States for a great alternate possibility story.  The writer is Roger Stern, penciller is Tom Grummett, various inkers work on this annual, colorist is Glenn Whitmore, letterer is Bill Oakley, editor is Mike Carlin & the cover artist is Dave Gibbons. So letís take a look at Action Comics annual #3 under the Armageddon 2001 banner published in 1991. 

Superman is in New Mexico fighting parademons & Apokolips soldiers.  The minions try to prevent Superman from getting to the Resurrection Rod.  Superman is a little late getting to the Rod in time and Kalibak (one of Darkseidís sons) is revived from the power of the Resurrection Rod.  The two battle for control in a drag out fight that is a true battle among titans.  The minions escape through the Boom Tube.  Kalibak strikes Superman with the Beta Club but Superman repels the attack and destroys the club.  Superman seeks answers from Kalibak about the Resurrection Rod but Kalibak escapes from Superman thanks to another Boom Tube.  Then Superman sees Metron (another New Gods character) who tells Superman that Darkseid was not behind this attack.  Metron tells Superman of what happen to Kalibak and how he was able to return in part from the Resurrection Rod and the minions hope that Kalibak would depose of Darkseid by bringing back Kalibak.  Superman questions Metron future than leaves. 

Waverider enters the story on the next page.  We get background information on him that he was Matthew Ryder previously.  Also that Waverider is on a mission to seek out the true identity of the one called the Monarch.  Waverider is using time travel to find out who Monarch is in the past and stop him from becoming Monarch in the first place.  Waverider is drawn to Superman as he sees into Supermanís future timeline (and other annuals).  He decides to investigate further into Superman. 

Superman tells Lois (who are both engaged at this point in DC history) the events of the attack with Kalibak & his talk with Metron.  He feels so used like a pawn in the way Metron used him to being him into the conflict.  Lois agrees with but tells him to change into Clark Kent & a tux because the couple have reservations for dinner tonight.  Clark changes into the tux kisses Lois as they leave to go for dinner.  Waverider decides to merger with Superman as one.    The couple has a great time dining, dancing & a carriage ride home as Wave rider recounts his past life s Matthew and his love Janet.  Upon returns home to a urgent message from Ma Kent concerning Pa Kent, the couple arrive soon after at the hospital.  There we learn that Jonathan injured was in a tractor accident at the farm and soon afterwards the doctor tells them that Jonathan had too many injuries and that he passed away.  All are shocked and overcome with grief.  Soon we see the funeral, the sale of the Kent farm as Martha decides to move in with Clark & Lois, the wedding of Lois & Clark. Soon after the honeymoon, the couple is back at work trying to bring down Intergang.  Superman foils an attempt to blackmail the city of Metropolis with a nuclear device from Intergang.  Somehow Superman remembered the events with Waverider in other possible futures and prevented the attack from happening in the first place.   

Clark & Lois travel to Washington D.C.  Pete Ross is a US congressman from Kansas & is married to Lana Lang.  Pete tells Clark & Lois that he limited of what he can do as a congressman and wants to seek higher office.  The two suggest running for the U.S. Senate but the incumbent senator is not retiring so Pete plans to run for President of the United States and wants Clark & Lois on his campaign staff.  After a brief amount time has passed, Clark accepts the role as Peteís campaign manager and resigns his position at the Daily Planet.  As the campaign continues, Pete makes many tv appearances & then campaigns in Louisiana delivering a speech but then the unthinkable happens.  Clark is nearby, but not fast enough to prevent many shots fired at Pete, but as the assassin continues to fire at Clark his civilian clothes are in shreds revealing his secret identity to the public as he arrests the assassin.  The following page is a Daily Planet article of the assassination attempt on Pete & the revealing

of Supermanís identity to the public at large.   

At Bethesda Naval Medical Center where Pete recovers from the attack.  He tells Superman he wants him to continue in the race as he is pulling out.  He encourages him to run for the office.  After discussing it with his wife, Lois & his mom, Martha, Superman decides to run for office of President.  Pundits debate whether or not he can run for office at all with the requirement that the candidate for office be a natural born citizen of America under the US Constitution.  In John Byrneís revamp of Superman, he was inside the birthing matrix until he arrived in Kansas and was born in America when the Kents discovered him.  Superman turns over the birthing matrix over to STAR Labs for verification of his story. Upon the conclusion of STAR Labs the US Supreme Court rules in favor of Supermanís candidacy by a 9-0 ruling. Lex Luthor II (a clone of Lex disguised as his own son) still wants to destroy Superman at all costs even after learning Superman can run for President.   Superman accepts the nomination for president and gives a heart felt speech & announces his running mate, US Congresswoman Sarah Hemming.  Superman does numerous appearances; he is in various magazines & in televised debates with his challenger, former US Senator Hebert Forrest.

On election day, Forrest concedes to Kent and Clark Kent (Superman) becomes the president-elect and will take office the following January 20th 

Clark Kent as Superman takes the oath of office for President & delivers his inauguration address to the public while Lex Luthor II meets with Supermanís challenger in the last election Sen. Forrest.  Luthor says he wants to destroy & kill Superman.  Unknown to Luthor, Forrest is wired to record the words that will convict him for threatening Supermanís life.  It is a crime to threaten the President and is arrested promptly by the US Secret Service.   Aquaman is searching for & finds the freighter.  Inside with Supermanís help they deliver the contents of the freighter with news crews everywhere for the discovery of lots of gold.  And Superman pledges to find more gold to help with the US trade deficit but to do it slowly as to not disrupt world markets. Superman then address matters like terrorism single handily, creating a ecology corps, major energy conservation program using orbital solar power station to address that problem.  But Superman (as in Superman IV:  The Quest for Peace) plans to rid the world of all weapons to achieve world peace & talk to world leaders to do the same for their country in achieving this goal.  He calls on the JLI (Justice League International) to assist him in this effort.  But Guy Gardner decides that he will challenge Superman and calls Superman a traitor. Flash tries to overpower him but fails, Wonder Woman & Batman are about to take down Garner, but Superman wants to fight Guy.  Superman overpowers Guy as he is blasting him with his power ring, but in the end Supermanís willpower is no match for Guy Gardner.  Superman takes the ring from him and Guy keeps attacking Superman but Guyís hands are broken without the power ring to help in the attack. Soon Hal Jordan & Jon Stewart (the other Green Lanterns of earth) imprison Guy for going too far.  The JLI will be forming a new world peace league (is that the United Nations role).  Hal Jordan returns to the White House in the oval office and offers him a solar battery to match the ring.  But Superman declines the offer and says it is too much power for himself and to give it to someone else & Hal accepts Supermanís decision and takes the ring.   

Superman then tells the American public that the orbital power stations are up & running and is delivering energy across the globe.  It is then in the White House with Lois & Ma Kent at his side that he focuses on what is next for him to do with the upcoming talks about disarming the world of its weapons and talks with Northern Ireland.  It is then Superman thinks of his adaptive father, Jonathan Kent.   Then we are flashbacked to Clark & Lois back at the elevator at the dinner after the merger with Waverider.  Waverider concludes that Superman can not be the Monarch.  Clark runs to Smallville to check on his father.  Superman arrives just in the nick of time to save Jonathan for his dangerous fate.  Superman wants Jonathan to take care of himself and listen to Ma Kent more often in the future.  Superman says he loves him & the father does likewise to his son & fixes the tractor.  Waverider sees the events that transpire & continues his search for the Monarch as the issue ends.  The Monarch is later revealed to be Hank Hall, Hawk from Hawk and Down after it was leaked it was to be Captain Atom in the beginning.    

Here Is How The Bullet Fired (For Me) 

Art: 9.0 out of 10 Raging Bullets   

Story: 9.8 out of 10 Raging Bullets 

Cover Art: 10.0 out of 10 Raging Bullets 

Overall Rating for this Annual is 9.6 out of 10 Raging Bullets 

If You Like This Try:  Other Superman Annuals from 1987 thru 1991.  You may also like to try the upcoming Action Comics Annual number 10 (coming out in January 2007) written by Richard Donner & Geoff Johns.   

The Bottom Line:  This is a great annual to read.  It is a story showing the promise that Superman could bring to the world if he were real and be the President of the United States and spotlighting the possible dangers of power also.  The best advice for annuals is if you donít like the one you recently bought; try another one from a earlier time to compare them to. 

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