A rare non-rainy day and I find myself trapped indoors with Wil Moss, putting the finishing touches on SUPERMAN #691, the fourth and final chapter of our latest Superman crossover, “Codename: Patriot”. While Wil goes over some dialogue tweaks involving the not-so-nice General Lane with James Robinson, I’m going over David Curiel’s colors. We’re asking a lot of David on this one, and so far, he’s been more than up to the challenge. So what is “Codename: Patriot” anyway? Glad I pretended you asked. We’ve long had a plan in place for the Super-books, one that would build and build until culminating in a very large story in 2010. It took a while for folks to believe us and see the emerging pattern, but now, I think it’s starting to be clear. Certainly, with hindsight… After stories like “Last Son”, “Superman & The Legion”, “Brainiac”, “The Coming of Atlas” and even “Escape from Bizarro World” set the stage, we began things in earnest with the first JIMMY OLSEN and NEW KRYTPON specials. NK set the stage for our first few months of stories, in which the Kandorians were introduced, hostilities broke out as General Lane was reintroduced, and Superman got evicted from his two titles. After that, we spent some quality time getting to know Mon-El, Guardian and the new Nightwing and Flamebird, even as the society of New Krypton was further fleshed out and the Kryptonians presented themselves as a thriving, formidable society. So what’s next? Uh, “Codename: Patriot”, obviously. After spending so much time and effort on the Kryptonians and Earth’s new protectors, it’s time to show why Earth as an adversary is no wilting flower. Over the course of this month, we’ll see the full scope (well, some of it, anyway) of Lane’s plans to protect Earth from the deadliest threat the world has ever faced (and not just in his mind), catch up with old friends like Atlas and Codename: Assassin, learn more about that odd woman with the funky blue eye named Mirabai, and even get to see some of our latest editions to the character stable like Flamebird and Nightwing cross paths with Mon-El and Supergirl. And no, it ain’t gonna be old home week. The fun kicked off last week in WORLD OF NEW KRYPTON (or as we call it, WONK) #6, as we picked up on the shocking act of violence committed at the end of WONK #5. And that’s only the first act, as the story flows into ACTION COMICS #880 this week, SUPERGIRL #44 next, with SUPERMAN #691 rounding out the month with the big finale. Along the way, we’ve got a SECRET FILES for ya (also out this week) to help you ongoing readers brush up on your facts in time for the crossover, and to serve as an introduction to those foolish stragglers who aren’t as hip as you are. August 19th is the date you should circle in your calendar for the payoff to Sodom Yat’s quest to find Mon-El in SUPERMAN ANNUAL #14, and the end of the month gives you the long-awaited sequel to SUPERMAN’S PAL, JIMMY OLSEN SPECIAL #1. We’ve cleverly numbered it issue #2, and you’ll get to follow Jimmy around as he delves even deeper into the mystery of General Lane’s 7734 operation. I could gush about the tension-filled writing or the stunning art in these books, but I feel pretty confident you’ll look at the books and know what I’m talking about. I could get into the meaning of the story title, “Codename: Patriot”, and speculate with you on if this means we’re introducing a daring new character to Lane’s arsenal, joining Codename: Assassin, Codename: Reactron, Codename: Metallo and Codename: Superwoman (moment of silence), but hey, I ain’t the Shell Answer Man! So enjoy the hints of art I’m sharing instead, let it whet your appetite, find your closest comic store and get started! I’m so sure you’ll like what we’ve got for you that I’m throwing in this bamboo steamer absolutely free!