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“Courage is fear trying to hold on a minute longer”

Superman #29 reveals the surprising return of Parallax on the pages of a DC Comic.  Since Hal Jordan dispatched Sinestro back in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #7 months ago fans have wondered what happened to the big bad fear bug, and while this issue doesn’t answer how Parallax found his way to Earth it does set the stage for a big showdown.

The art team makes the possession by Parallax look suitably frightening

With some input from Peter Tomasi writer Keith Champagne builds on the idea that a weakened fear entity’s best plan to rejuvenate himself is to latch on to children.  After all children are easier targets and as Parallax amasses more subjects to feed on while he gets stronger it draws the attention of the Man of Steel.  Superman vows to the parents that he’ll get to the bottom of all the disappearances, but little does he know that he himself is Parallax’s ultimate goal.

I like how Champagne builds up the creepiness, and the scenes where the Parallax possessed boy pays a house call on his next victim is pretty disturbing.  The fear factor is really elevated by the excellent art work by Doug Mahnke and the rest of the art team.  It’s been some time since we’ve been treated to Mahnke’s work on a Green Lantern story and this issue reminds me of what was so great about him time on the series during the Geoff Johns’ era.

“Kalallax” makes his debut

There’s also a surprise appearance on the final page that I won’t spoil, but given the recent events in the Green Lantern corner of the DCU it’s not a surprise that this person would come calling once Parallax gained enough strength to be detected.  With “Kalallax” at full power he will be a formidable challenge for anyone to separate them and thinking about where the story goes next has me eagerly anticipating the next installment.

Superman #29 is a bit of a slow burn which builds up towards a nice cliffhanger for the next issue.  Seeing the Man of Steel deal with Parallax was a lot of fun and combined with the wonderful Doug Mahnke artwork made for a thoroughly enjoyable issue.  Nine out of ten lanterns.

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