This review was original posted on June 16, 2014.
It's funny, just last week I was thinking about how much I used to really like Superman. People often said he was too much of a boy scout or too boring. What has bummed me out a little is I can't exactly say I like Superman as much today as I used to. That shouldn't be the case.
The New 52 has made efforts to make Superman a little younger and a little edgier. He's not the perfect superhero that won't do any wrong. That makes him a little more relatable but, still, something for me has been off. Now with Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr taking over the SUPERMAN title, this could be a good time to make some little changes as he enters a "new era," as the solicit put it.
Geoff Johns is back writing Superman. His run on ACTION COMICS between 2006 - 2009 remains one of my favorite recent runs on the character. Even though he's been writing Superman in the pages ofJUSTICE LEAGUE, this will give him a chance to focus solely on the Man of Steel. It seems that some of Superman's better New 52 stories have taken place in books he's shared with others (JUSTICE LEAGUE,BATMAN/SUPERMAN, SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN) and he should really be shining in his own title.
If you've read the solicit for this issue, you know some changes are being made. One in particular was great to see, Perry White trying to get Clark to return to the Daily Planet. Whether he agrees to or not, you'll have to wait and see. The idea of Clark being a blogger was an interesting one but it caused a lack of a central playground for Superman to hang out. There are some wonderful characters associated with the Planet and it'd be great to see them more active in the New 52.
The other thing Johns is doing is introducing a new character named Ulysses in the story. You'll find some interesting parallels in Ulysses' story but what he'll mean for Superman and his corner of the universe remains to be seen.
Regardless whether Ulysses is a friend or foe, he could be another thing that Superman needs. Superman's always lacked powerful characters that could share the pages of his title. I am indeed intrigued to see what Johns will do with this character and what it might possibly mean to Superman.
This marks the first time John Romita Jr has worked on a DC title. I've grown to appreciate Romita's art as there are some things he does really well. Romita's action and destruction scenes really let you feel the impact of what's going on. Klaus Janson's inks, as usual, are great. What makes it all really shine is Laura Martin's colors. The blues and the reds really hit home and this just feels like a Superman comic. Romita's style also has a slight callback to it that, for me, takes it away, a little, from the current New 52 standing.
If you haven't been reading SUPERMAN lately, this issue is the place to jump right in. It's definitely new reader friendly.
It's too early to form a full opinion on Ulysses. His origin is definitely interesting but we'll have to see how it plays out and what sort of impact he'll have on Superman and the DCU.
As much as I enjoy some of the changes, there is that feeling over how many changes this series has gone through since the title relaunched in 2011. Remember how Lois was pulled away from being a reporter and what that meant for the Planet? Then there was all the effort to remove Clark from the Planet as well. We've seen the build up of his blog with Cat Grant and it seems all that could be wiped out with one fell swoop. But, as with Ulysses, we just have to wait and see.
This is a build up issue. We briefly see a battle with Titano. There's a feeling of the characters all being introduced to new readers and just when we start to see some new developments, we have to wait for the next issue to find out more.
My only distraction with Romita's art is the way he draws teeth on certain creatures and shattered glass.
Geoff Johns is back on a solo Superman title and he's brought John Romita Jr with him. This Superman title, in particular, has seen a few changes in direction with the various creative teams. With this marking a new creative change, you get a clear feeling that the groundwork is being firmly planted to drive the title further ahead. Romita's art may be an acquired taste for some but there's no denying what he brings to the big action scenes. This issue is a new jumping on point for new readers. That means existing readers will have to sit through moments of build up but what we're getting is intriguing. Make sure you check this issue out to see what Johns and Romita are laying out for us.