REVIEW: Superman: Rampage comic book

Superman: Rampage comic book (DC, 2006 edition)
Superman (Vol. 2) #7 (1987)
Superman: The Ultimate Collector’s Edition, bonus item

Writer/Penciller: John Byrne
Inker: Karl Kesel
Colorist: Tom Ziuko
Letterer: John Costanza
Cover Artist: Ed McGuinness (from Superman: Our Worlds At War Complete Edition)

When I first heard that a reprint of Superman #7 was to be a bonus item as part of Warner Home Video’s Superman: The Ultimate Collector’s Edition 14-DVD set, I had two questions.

1.) Did they mean Superman #7 from 1940 or Superman #7 from 1987?
2.) What’s so special about Superman #7?

Since The Ultimate Collector’s Edition encompasses Superman’s entire history, I was hoping it would be the 1940 comic though I figured it would be the 1987 one.

And now, the answers to my questions have been revealed.

1.) 1987.
2.) Not much.

The original edition of Superman (Vol. 2) #7 had a street date of July 1987. This was also the month that the last Christopher Reeve Superman movie was released, so that’s likely why this issue was selected. The Reeve movies were influenced by the Silver Age comics rather than the Modern/Steel Age ones, so there’s really not a lot here to tie in with the movies.

Since 1987’s Superman IV: The Quest for Peace was, unfortunately, a pretty bad movie, perhaps this is just DC’s way of saying, “Look how much better we were doing it in the comics.”

Oddly enough, for the first showing of Superman IV way back then, I was actually standing in line behind the owner of a local comic book store. He was trying to let everyone in line know that he was a Superman expert. He also kept slamming the Superman movies.

Being the snot-nosed 12-year-old I was at the time, I asked him why he didn’t like the movies.

“Because the comic books are better,” he told me.

This was my first exposure to the whole comic fans vs. movie fans rift. I only read a scattering of comics as a kid, but I was a huge fan of these movies.

“Then why are you in line?” was my response to this moron who proceeded to ignore me.

Needless to say, I didn’t rush out to this guy’s store to buy the latest issue. Ironically, if I had, it would likely have been this very comic. I guess he gets his revenge on me after all.

Only this issue of Superman isn’t that engaging, either. And if DC’s goal was to draw film fans in to their local comic book stores, this just wasn’t the issue to choose.

A very 1987-looking Lois is investigating a new power source devised by Dr. Kitty Faulkner and Dr. Tom Moyers. Moyers doesn’t think the power source is ready for public viewing, since it’s not exactly stable. To demonstrate this, he purposely cuts off the regulators and nearly causes an explosion.

Best line of the book is uttered by an angry Lois at this point, “Generally speaking, I prefer my life-threatening situations to be of my own creation!” Shortly thereafter, there is a real malfunction and explosion.

Meanwhile, Clark is back at the Planet trying to track down information on his latest infatuation: Wonder Woman. Seems he wants a date but can’t find her telephone number. His super-hearing picks up the explosion and he’s off with a “Great Scott!”

Clark says “Great Scott!” no less than three times in this single issue. I think one is more than enough.

As Superman, Clark arrives on the scene to find a mutated monster woman. After trying to reason with her, he is forced to fight. He really goes ballistic once Moyers tells him it is Lois.

The wrap-up is very old-fashioned, with a Clark Kent wink-wink-nudge-nudge to the reader.

This comic is reprinted to the size of a DVD case, which actually makes for a pretty cool size. I’d like to see more reprints at this scale, but just choose some better comics next time.

Story/Writing: 5 (out of 10)
Art: 5
Cover Art: 3
Bonus (Various recent covers): 1
Overall Experience: 4