DCAU #218: The Bodyguard of Steel

IN THIS ONE... Superman becomes the president's bodyguard to stave off an assassination attempt.

CREDITS: Written by Mark Millar; art by Aluir Amancio and Terry Austin.

REVIEW: I don't think the fake-out intro, showing Superman getting into the Oval Office, as if to assassinate the president (obviously Clinton, though they play coy with his identity) actually works, but I guess it gives Hardcastle, the xenophobic general from "The Prometheon", a glimpse into his greatest fear. But POTUS obviously isn't afraid of the Man of Steel. He agrees to have Superman act as a bodyguard until a peace treaty is signed and the billion-dollar bounty on his head becomes moot. Which again, gives Hardcastle some anxiety. I didn't think much of Hardcastle in his TV appearance - he's what Sam Lane became, a character I don't like either - and thought the comics could redeem him. Not really. His feelings about Superman are explained, but not resolved, and he basically becomes an exposition delivery device, having intel that acts as a rather cheap shortcut in the story .

The issue at least introduces a new villain (or newish, see below), which will reappear. That's Multi-Face, a disguise artist with a cool-looking tech-suit that allows him to fool all manner of sensors, including Superman's senses. His prancing through LexCorp as Lex, just acting ironically opposite to his boss, and pretty fun (and a fake-out that actually works), and the reason he's defeated is clever. Be careful who you choose to impersonate, let's just say. (And shame on you, cover, for kind of blowing the deal.)

Toy-Man throwing stuff at the President is just bonus. Good Perry and Lois moments too.
IN THE MAINSTREAM COMICS: One of Lex's employees is called Julia Schwartz, an obvious reference to famed DC editor Julius "Julie" Schwartz. The Brave and the Bold #63 also featured a character called Multi-Face, who fought Wonder Woman and Supergirl, but aside from the name and basic shtick (which is derived from the name), the characters share no similarities (this Multi-Face uses masks, not an innate power, for example).

REREADABILITY: Medium-High - A well-plotted story featuring a good new villain; shame Hardcastle had to be used to cut corners on how Superman found out what he had to.


Andrew said...

"Bang . . . you're dead." comes from Jim Lee's X-Men #1, where it's Wolverine popping his claws on Xavier.

Chameleon's pulled the "get caught by disguising yourself as the hero's civilian identity" at least once, but I'm not sure the one I'm aware of should count because it happened in the newspaper strip.


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