DCAU #219: Hide 'n' Seek

IN THIS ONE... Superman struggles to find an armored villain who commits random crimes.

CREDITS: Written by Jordan B. Gorfinkel; art by Neil Vokes and Stan Woch.

REVIEW: This story stretches believably by requiring several things to be true for "Mastertrax" to be so difficult to catch. First, that his crimes are so random, neither Superman, nor the S.C.U., nor the Daily Planet's reporters can ever hope to get a bead on him. Second, that his teleportational energies are apparently untrackable. That's fine in theory, but in practice, I don't think it works. The solution is that a gang of kids are taking turns using the battlesuit, each committing crimes according to their own whims. Well, the fact that they're a group of friends should create a pattern (in fact, many crimes are so small-scale, only a kid would have thought of them), and the script doesn't really sell the whole random thing very well, or explain the more "evolved" crimes (like the kidnapping of a military officer). And we're also supposed to believe each kid makes the suit have such a different "signature", the suit can't be tracked once it changes hands? That's some involved plot from Luthor!

And then there's the whole music element that's woven into the comic, but never pays off. The villain is called Mastertrax, as if there were something musical about him. There isn't. Jimmy is taking pictures of people in his 'hood, including a D.J. who creates a new "megamix" tape every week, which is just mentioned so Lois and Clark can "realize" crimes can be random the same way a mixed tape can(?), and there's this whole exchange where Lois asks how the D.J. knows what the other kids in the pictures will look like that just had me scratching my head. The unfunny punchline to this thing has Professor Hamilton's energy detector being built from an 8-track player. It's like, what?

And if this issue wasn't already confounding, there's a whole thread about Hamilton taking Superman to task for being impatient, and later sending Lois Lane with more of this impatience remonstrating... If this is a lesson Superman is supposed to learn, I don't see how he does from these events. Or how it fits the story's themes, which are admittedly all over the place. A real misfire at this point in the series.
IN THE MAINSTREAM COMICS: Mastertrax has never appeared in the mainstream DCU.

REREADABILITY: Low - I just don't get it.



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