DCAU #366: Law and Orders

IN THIS ONE... The Commander orders everyone in Metropolis to kill Superman.

CREDITS: Written by David Michelinie; art by Aluir Amancio and Terry Austin.

REVIEW: In Superman Adventures #32, David Michelinie introduced the Commander, a hypnosis-based supervillain, as a means to an end. He wasn't the focus of the story. A year later, Michelinie takes him out of hock to give him his due, a story in which he uses his hypnotic powers to get out of jail and then to distract Superman (the one man he can't mind-control) by making everyone want to kill him. The consequences of this are well thought-out, with citizens putting themselves and each other in danger trying to kill and unkillable man, and Superman spends have his time fixing problems his presence has caused. And yet, he can't stay home until it all blows over, because there are crimes to stop and fires to put out.

What isn't so strong is how Superman handles the crisis. The loophole is obvious to me - he should just give himself a different identity, that way the citizens of Metropolis wouldn't be "triggered" whenever he showed up. In a world with other heroes, he could even borrow, say, the Flash's suit. Too Silver Agey? Not by this series' standards. To instead have the story hinge on one of the supporting cast not watching TV is far less interesting to me. And this is the second issue in a row to have Superman smugly put a villain's life in danger to make him comply/teach him a lesson, which bugs me. And speaking of badly thought-out elements, did Lex Luthor protect himself from the Commander's last transmission, an order to NOT kill Superman? Since Lex appears at the end of the story to promise we haven't seen the last of the Commander's tech, I suppose he has...
REREADABILITY: Medium - I enjoyed the dilemmas if not the solutions.



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