Action Comics #666: "Red Glass: Picking Up The Pieces"

Action Comics #666
"Red Glass: Picking Up The Pieces"
June, 1991

James D. Hudnall: Writer
Ed Hannigan: Penciler
Willie Blyberg: Inker
Bill Oakley: Letterer
Glenn Whitmore: Colorist
Dan Thorsland: Assistant
Mike Carlin: Editor
Superman Created By Jerry Siegel And Joe Shuster

The Man of Steel cradles the Martian Manhunter's body in his hands and refuses to believe it.

As the United States Army advances upon him in the desert, Superman vows that there will be no more killing! As tanks and soldiers open fire, the Man of Steel pleads that there will be no more blood on his hands! Air support is called in to blow the Kryptonian out of the sky!

He needs to get away to someplace quiet before they push him too far! The missiles are locked on target and the kill order is confirmed! Missiles are launched! CHOOM

Superman finds himself falling -- just as a U.S. Army surface-to-air missile is activated. VSSSH The world is spinning as the Man of Steel strives to pull out! More surface-to-air missiles are launched! CHFFF CHFFFFFF Superman falls to earth, just ahead of the missiles overhead --

After the fall

In the middle of a giant crater, the Man of Steel finds himself still alive, and surprised that they hadn't been able to kill him! This remains to be seen, with the arrival of Captain Atom and Firestorm, who turn up the heat!

Their assault causes the rocks and the soil to become molten! There is absolutely no trace because their combined atomic powers must have disintegrated hi-- "AHH!!" The Nuclear Man is seized and pulled down into the bubbling lava!

SSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHH SHOOM Superman has had enough of the madness and fires his heat-vision at Captain Atom! "YAAH!!" KA-FOOM

Who is going to kill him now -- oww -- AAOOOWW?!? Rebis's negative form passes through him. As Robotman gives thanks, another member smells burning meat, and it makes her hungry!!

The Man of Steel can't take this any more! Why don't they all just go awAAAAAY! Cliff Steele's robotic housing goes to pieces, Rebis' bandages are suddenly woefully inadequate for healing, and the Doom Patrol dies again for the second time!

The Kryptonian continues to scream and an army of men and tanks suddenly cease to exist.

He -- he has killed all of them. Just like he killed a couple of muggers this morning... All of Metropolis, millions of lives are gone! All that he has fought for and believed in... he has betrayed it all! The time has come for payment and Wonder Woman has brought the instrument of his destruction. He doesn't know what to say... in his sorrow, and she reminds him that he should have been aware of the consequences.

One moment, he was flying over Metropolis, and then he found himself killing people! His greatest fear of losing control came true! For him, having super-powers does not make things easier, but makes them harder. He has always been afraid... She knows all of that. He must pay for his actions and put an end to this nightmare. As he holds the green Kryptonite in his hands, there is communication from NASA, Houston Control. Superman had stopped transmitting several times in the past hour. They sent him to --

They sent him to investigate the strange radioactive anomaly on the moon, the mare nublum in the sea of clouds. NASA wanted him to determine what it was. He remembers coming out of orbit and finding himself in Metropolis once more... As they ask if he has found the strange activity, he tells them about the red crystal in the crater. Has that been messing with his head -- making him live out his own anxieties? Answers will have to wait and he goes forth to investigate.

As Houston Control attempts to regain contact, the Man of Steel makes contact with the red crystal, and the call is answered. It/they had come to this solar system looking for suitable planets, finding none.

The third planet was inhabited by carbon-based life forms, making it unsuitable for raising its/their children. Solar activity prevented departure and it/they were shut down for several cycles. It/they were locked into the path of a meteor. It/their protective screens prevented extensive damage, but the collision drove it/them to impact with the moon. Because of the screens, it/they went into the lunar soil and became buried there.

It/they were trapped for ages. Distress signals were sent across the radiation bands, but no aid came. Not for many cycles... until he had arrived. Communication was attempted, but there was no understanding... it/they may have said the wrong things... he had left it/them... Houston had sent him... only he had gone berserk and began tearing up the lunar surface. Realizing its/their language was in contact with his sub-conscious, it/they saw the violent images in his head against other strange beings. It/they mean no harm. All it/they wanted was to be set free. It/they cannot bear children here.

The Man of Steel moves at super-speed and uses his great strength to set it/them free!

It/they helped to set him free by having him face the darkness within his own mind... and renewed his ability to overcome it. It/they gave him the power to survive the bad with the good.

Knowing the future fate of the moon... the Man of Steel feels good to have been able to save a life.

On the cover by Andy Kubert, the Man of Steel finds himself between a moon rock and a lunar surface.

I've enjoyed the writing of James D. Hudnall in Legends of the Dark Knight.

The Red Glass Trilogy was a perfect example of a classic DC Comics story where the reader is asked if they can solve the mystery before the main character does.

I've enjoyed the art of Ed Hannigan on Defenders, Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Batman, Detective Comics, Legends of the Dark Knight, and Green Arrow.

Martian Manhunter and Captain Atom were members of Justice League International and Europe, respectively.

By the time of this story, Ronnie Raymond was no longer merging with Professor Martin Stein, and adopted a new appearance.

At the time of this story, the Doom Patrol was being written by Grant Morrison.

For once, Houston did not have a problem, and Superman was on the case.

At the time of this story, the Post-Crisis Superman required an oxygen supply to survive in outer space.

Steve Chung
"Red Glass: Picking Up The Review!"