Case in point: just a couple of weeks ago, in Action Comics #24, the Psycho Pirate wanted to save Metropolis from the imminent return of Brainiac. In this issue's continuation he doesn't give the alien invader so much as a thought, wishing only to free the citizens from 'the mental prisons society makes them construct from the day they're born'. That's rather out of nowhere.
The story begins with Superman unconscious, leaving a newly psionic Lois Lane to stop the Psycho Pirate. While a newcomer so far as mental melees are concerned, she makes a good fist of things, but the more experienced villain overcomes her and leaves, to enact his plan to get the citizenry acting on pure emotion. Lois revives Superman, and they're soon joined by a battered Hector Hammond and a 'she's not dead after all, just really ugly' Hive Queen. While the latter two retain their own agendas, they agree with Superman that the bigger picture demands they stop their mutual enemy before the people tear one another apart and the city burns.
Away from the traditional melodramatic back and forth hero/villain banter, writer Mike Johnson brings a chilling intensity to the vignettes of ordinary people driven mad. It's nastier than necessary for a Superman comic, with the artwork of penciller Eddy Barrows and inker Eber Ferreira sparing us little in the way of detail.
I'm much happier with the narration by Lois, which brings the focus down to human terms and lets us get to know her better. The chemistry-filled conversation between her and Superman as he reawakens demonstrates once more that she's the one for him, not Wonder Woman. And there's a similarly tender moment before the end, as Lois comes to a realisation. Plus, her thoughts as she's passing out, saying goodbye to her mental powers, really get to the core of the woman.
And good on Barrows for a cover design that hides the new Superman's lack of shorts and gives us an unapologetic S-curl - while rather young, this guy recalls the classic hero (he'll probably get shot now I've pointed that out).
So, goodbye Psi-War, I'm ready for Psi-War 2. We know it'll be here as soon as there's a gap to fill.