Capeless Crusader Reviews "Superman #9"
While the rest of the DC New 52 may be "in-your-face!" with how different it is from previous incarnations of characters, Superman is a little bit of salve for the longtime fan's troubled soul.
With art by Dan Jurgens and a script by Keith Giffen, this book contains a story that could very easily have made it's way into the pages of a Superman book anywhere between 1986 and 2012. Superman saves a russian submarine from sinking, but there is something more than meets the eye. Clark receives grief from Lois for failing to pick up her sister at the airport. In his defense, he was kind of possessed by an alien consciousness at the time. Superman squares off against a mysterious new foe with daddy issues.
It is a throwback book in almost every sense of the word. While some fans may feel irritated that a flagship title like Superman isn't doing more to move the overall story of the DCU forward, the book's relative strengths as a stand-alone title hearken back a few years to when not every story needed to impact a wider universe in order to be enjoyable.
The script is simple and straightforward, without a lot of the depth that goes into something like Scott Snyder's Batman or Grant Morrison's Action Comics. We do see a carryover of the more "worldly" Superman here, as he does carry some mental concerns over not starting any sort of international incident when asked to leave Russian territorial waters.
The book's greatest strength, it's simplicity, is also it's greatest weakness. There is not a lot of meat to this tale. It is a cut and dried super hero action tale with a dash of personal drama.
Jurgens' art has not evolved much in the decades since he was last on Superman, and the style is beginning to show it's age. The style of line-work that he employs seems somewhat ill-suited to the richness of color that is being employed, and leaves the final product looking somewhat muddled. Some of this may a result of Jurgens being responsible only for the pencils, as his work on Booster Gold seemed a great deal cleaner.
All-in-all, an enjoyable story, but nothing truly special in this book.