Artwork by Trevor Scott, Nicola Scott and Brett Smith
George Perez's run on Superman has been taking it's sweet time, creating a current-day world for Superman. While Action Comics and Justice League are focusing on the origins of characters, it's nice to see Perez giving ol' Supes the proper treatment of a standard storyline. And a rather good one, at that.
Last we left Metropolis' savior, he was acting more like a dictator than a benevolent protector - martial law and a near-murder before Supergirl shows up in this issue's opening pages. During their fight, the real Superman wakes up in orbit around Earth. Before impostor Supes can deliver the final blow to a mostly-defeated Supergirl, Clark swoops in to correct the situation. He tells his city the truth about the alien impostor and immediately leaves Metropolis before Gen. Lane's strike force arrives.
It turns out, nanotechnology is the root of this arc's events. From a world whose nanotech could repair any damage doled out to the planet or people, the 'Collector of Worlds' - who makes it into a disappointingly small amount of panel space - wanted their science to add to his own. In a narratively simple malfunction between technologies, the planet's nanotech went berserk, leading to it's connection with Superman (which we apparently don't get to see until next month's Action Comics), bringing it to Earth. Since it's memory matrix-whosit-whatsit was damaged, it tried to 'fix' Metropolis, then Superman himself by creating a replica out of nanites.
And while the last few pages sort-of just fizzle out with lengthy explanations, at least there's a Superman vs. Superman brawl to pad it out. The real value in this first Superman arc is the lead-up to the Summoning arc that's been referred to in Stormwatch.