This issue had a bunch of new things of interest but first, the general story…
We start with the Reaper type dude, who we later learn is called The Machinist, commenting on how Clark is always full of hope and it appears he’s got someone locked up that may be important later on. Then we jump to Ulysses and Superman meeting Neil’s parents – yup, Neil is Ulysses’ given name, Neil Quinn. They reminisce about the time when they sent Neil to the 4th dimension and what he did as a kid there.
Apparently the planet Ulysses landed on was called The Great World and it was peaceful and without hate, except for once every millennium when something comes from another dimension to cause trouble. During the last one of these events, Klerik came to the planet and in the fight with Ulysses, Klerik’s brother was killed. Pledging vengeance, Klerik leaves to destroy Earth.
Later that night, we learn that Ulysses has been able to tap into the energies of the mechanical critters and can trace them back to their source. They end up in a scrap yard and when Superman tries to use his heat vision, it goes whacky again and Ulysses says sometimes he acts as an energy magnet. But once they get underground, things start to go wrong as Ulysses gets taken over by a mind control bug. Superman and Ulysses fight and Superman knocks out Ulysses and destroys the bug.
Then we’re introduced to the Machinist who’s behind all these mechanical devices. He’s building an arsenal of devices to sell and if he can claim they beat up Superman, he can get top dollar. The fight’s on and The Machinist throws a bunch of the mind control bugs at Superman, but before we can see what the result is, Ulysses wakes up and blasts the guy with heat vision (the energy he absorbed from Superman earlier).
The Machinist is dead, and in the best Scooby Doo reprise, they unmask the bad guy and…it turns out the dead man was mind controlled and was actually an innocent.
The Machinist is still alive and Ulysses is a murderer.
A lot happens in this issue and I’ve got quit a few highlights from it:
- Ulysses is willing to kill someone – quite different from Superman
- Clark needs to sleep while Ulysses does not
- Ulysses doesn’t dream, but Clark does and sometimes he’s Clark in his dreams and other times he’s Superman
- Ulysses has the ability to fly, increased strength, and can store and release energy of any kind
Along with those points, I’m wondering about Ulysses’ energy magnet ability since Superman started having issues with his heat vision before we even saw Ulysses in issue 32. I’m wondering if the interference with the heat vision might be something to do with the Machinist and Ulysses is somehow connected to him.
The bottom line for me is I’m enjoying this story and am looking forward to the next issue. With the introduction of the Machinist and clarification of Ulysses’ origins, I’ll give this issue another B+.