Hello all, it’s time for another special review from your friendly neighborhood Silverwolf! Today I’ll be discussing Superman #1, the final #1 of the New 52 I’ll be looking at!
Superman is without a doubt the most famous comic book icon of all time; even people who have never heard of DC Comics can probably identify the meaning of the famous red S that adorns his chest, and will pick him when asked to name a superhero. Since the 30s, the Man of Steel has punched giant robots, fallen in love, died, resurrected, gone to alternate dimensions, saved lives, rebuilt entire planets…the list goes on. Superman truly is the ideal human: he has physical perfection, genius intellect, and an unwavering moral code. Some people find him dull for this reason, saying that he is too “vanilla”; I, on the other hand, think Superman is one of the most interesting characters ever created. With that in mind, I snatched up the DC revamp of this classic character this past week. But, do the Last Son of Kypton’s newest exploits live up to the grandeur of his classic conquests?
Superman #1 begins somewhat bleakly: the Daily Planet Building lies in ruins as an off-panel voice waxes lyrical about the meaning of this esteemed newspaper, as if giving a eulogy over the loss of a great humanitarian. As the speech finishes, we find that it is merely that the old Daily Planet has been torn down after the newspaper was purchased by a media empire, and now Perry White, Jimmy Olsen, and the rest of the gang reside in a post-modern skyscraper. All the while a sense of melancholy pervades as Clark Kent speaks unhappily with Lois Lane about this merger, his eyes drawn to the Planet’s golden globe that now lies amidst the rubble of its former home. Clark has little time to worry about business dealings, however, as a beast from beyond the stars made of pure fire attacks Metropolis. Before we know it, Superman flies to combat the creature, but finds it stronger than he expected. Can the Man of Steel best this monster? Why did it come to Earth? And why target Metropolis?
The mind behind the new adventure of Kal-El is none other than acclaimed comic writer George Perez, famous for his work on series such as The New Teen Titans, Wonder Woman and Avengers. Perez brings his experience and devotion to the essence of Superman, the dialogue and events feeling like a classic Superman story from the 50s or 60s. The story has just enough drama and suspense to keep you interested, but not so much that one feels lost or overwhelmed. One big change is that Lois Lane is involved with a new man, her marriage to Clark terminated in the wake of the New 52. Some people may dislike this choice, but I’m interested to see what could developed from this altered plot: maybe Superman will find a new love interest, at least for a little while? (Though don’t get me wrong: I love Lois Lane and would have a hard time seeing her NOT end up with Big Blue). The only thing I took issue with was the use a third person narrator; I’m used to first person narration in comics, and while this wasn’t a poor choice it just felt somewhat distant. It seems that the comic is the starting point for some giant new plot that will affect the entire DC Universe and tie-in with Stormwatch, so I’ll just have to be patient and see what happens. In general, however, the plot is good and will make even the most die hard Superman fan think of the old days.
Jesus Merino provides the art for this issue of Superman and does not disappoint. The artwork is refreshing and crisp, with a mixed palette that helps make scenes vibrant and exciting. The design of Superman’s new costume, dubbed “Kryptonian Armor” at least in some circles, looks cool, much better than his economy model clothes in the new Action Comics #1. Lois Lane once again has undergone a slight character remodeling, but it still manages to look good. As an aside, I feel like Lois is the character that is drawn the most different from comic to comic: sometimes she has jet black hair, other times it’s light brown; sometimes she dresses like a tomboy, other times she only wears dresses and heels (there’s even probably something in this to set the stage for another article, but I’ll leave that for another day). Superman’s enemy, an unnamed alien composed of fire, also looked fairly awesome, as did the scenes of their fight. I’m looking forward to seeing what else Merino has in store for us.
Superman #1 is a solid read and definitely worth the buy if you’re even a passing Superman fan. The story-telling style may seem weird for some, and others may take issue with the continuity changes, but at its heart this is a modern take on a classic plot line. I see a lot of potential in this series and I plan to follow it for the foreseeable future. All in all, if you’ve got any interest in Superman, or even just a hero who stands for truth, justice, and the American Way, then look no further than Superman #1!
Brett Simon is a twenty-one year old recent convert to the world of comics. He’s amazed that time passed so quickly, it feels like just yesterday that the first wave of New 52 stuff was released!
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