Perry White has a point.
My favorite Superman stories are those in which he must face his humanity. Sometimes that means he makes mistakes; others, that he simply can’t always be there for everyone. In Johns’s first issue, Clark’s humanity is wrapped in a simple question: who is his supporting cast? That is, who does he turn to at the end of the day for companionship, friendship, or comfort? Who does he work with, and what are his priorities as Clark in the everyday world?
Superman is at a low point in his life as a hero, and as a result, some distance has naturally emerged between him and the people he is closest to. The choices that Clark makes in light of this about his professional life and how he reacts to a similarly powerful character’s arrival stand to give Superman a clear direction going forward in the New 52.
I enjoyed Romita’s art on the issue; it has an over-the-top, bombastic feel that is well suited to Superman and a sense of motion that serves the book’s action well. Laura Martin’s colors complement the art beautifully with rich tones and a strong quality of light.
I always worry that the introduction of a Superman foil will end in the same all-out fight that we’ve seen before, but this is a minor concern as long as Johns focuses on the questions this issue asks going forward.
This issue marks the beginning of what looks to be an exciting and interesting new direction for Superman. I look forward to seeing Clark have to face his humanity and his place in the world in some fairly mundane—but important—ways. Couple those questions with vivid art, and this book is definitely worth a read.