Thursday, March 04, 2010

Geez, Clark, no PDA's at work.

Looks like he's going to eat Lois's face there...worse, Lois isn't ready at all, since Clark isn't her husband! This one's from Zero Hour, and Adventures of Superman Alpha Centurion #518, "The Hero of Metropolis" Written by Karl "Claudius" Kesel, guest pencils by Peter "Caesar" Krause, guest inks by Jackson "Augustus" Guice.

With Zero Hour causing disruptions in the timeline, Superman returns to Metropolis to discover no one there remembers him or Clark Kent! The hero of Metropolis is now Alpha Centurion, who Supes met in Zero Hour #2, and is engaged in battle with one of his foes, Bloody Mary. With Supes' help, the Centurion defeats Mary, but gets shanked good, and has to return to his headquarters. (Superman notes that the Centurion's A-shaped building is where the Lexcorp building should be...)

After reviving in the "Aquavitae," the gregarious Centurion has his serving wenches bring out food and drink, so he can recount his origin: two thousand years ago, when he was Roman citizen Marcus Aelius, aliens arrive and propose an exchange of ideas and representatives. After a special series of games, Marcus wins the prize, and journeys to the aliens' homeworld for ten years of study.

However, "due to the vagaries of quantum physics," Marcus returns after twenty times that time, in the twentieth century. The arrival of his ship nearly causes an accident, so Marcus goes into action to save a damaged space shuttle, and a reporter gives him his heroic nom de plume. The story sounds familiar to Clark, and so does the reporter:

Clark is crushed: this timeline isn't his, and he sets out to correct it. Owing Superman his life, Alpha Centurion nobly joins him; although Supes points out correcting the timeline could wipe AC out of existence. The Centurion laughs that off: "My life spans twenty centuries, Superman. That's not an easy existence for time to eliminate."

Oddly, the end of this issue says it's continued in Zero Hour #2, while a footnote previously mentioned Supes met AC there. The timeline's more jacked-up than I would've guessed...I know the Centurion appears a few times in Zero Hour, with fellow timeline refugee Batgirl, as Parallax Hal Jordan tries to tempt them with the reality of their choosing.

The art this issue isn't the best; perhaps rushed, or perhaps the pencils and inks didn't gel just right. But the Centurion is an interesting character here: while he shares Superman's nobility and sense of duty, he seems to have waaaaaay more zest for life. I didn't like, however, that without Supes in the picture, Lois gets passed over to AC like she comes with the hero of the city job. While I don't have any of Alpha Centurion's later appearances, I imagine there's gotta be a story where he fights Superman over Lois. Unless maybe AC isn't a one-woman man, which I could kinda see...he seemed like he'd be a good Hercules to Superman's Thor.


Sea-of-Green said...

Ah, that whacky Zero Hour. Damn you, Hal Jordan!


Anonymous said...

So Lois is Renee Zellewegger in Appaloosa right?