Three unrelated stories celebrate Superman’s anniversary issue, as we get to see the Man of Steel back in costume and back in action in Metropolis, if only for this single issue.
In the first story, James Robinson concludes his run on the character by bringing Superman home and reuniting him with Lois. On it’s own, it’s a solid story with some lovely moments between the couple. Superman saves Lois from Parasite in classic fashion, and we get a shout-out to the flying date scene from the first Movie. Bernard Chang’s artwork is solid, with all characters looking good and their personalities shining through. However, we already saw Lois and Clark reunited at the end of “War of New Krypton,” so this just gives us a little more backstory to that scene. But all in all, it’s a nice calm story in the midst of all the craziness that has been this last year. Robinson wrote the issue where Superman leaves Lois for New Krypton, so it’s only fitting that he writes their reunion.
In the second story, Dan Jurgens presents a team up between Superman and Dick Grayson as Robin in the early years of their careers. Although this was an entertaining read with some great art, with another shoutout to the Superman Movie, with the boat thieves, the only real connection this story has to anything that’s going on now is that Dick is now Batman. So viewed in that way, this is kind of like the first team up between Superman and New Batman. However, this is a pretty Batman Mythos-heavy story, and for the middle eight pages or so, I wondered what it was doing in a Superman anniversary issue. Maybe a few more moments or lines foreshadowing Dick’s future or his relationship with Superman would have helped.
The third and final story kicks off J. Michael Straczynski and Eddy Barrows’ new storyline “Grounded.” In it, Superman, after giving his account of War of the Superman to Congress, is confronted by an angry woman who is ticked that Superman wasn’t around to save her husband from a brain tumor with his super-magic powers, because he was too busy wasting his time saving all of Earth from the Kryptonians. Her accusations bother him so bad that he, apparently, decides to reconnect with humanity by walking across the country.
The scene with the irate woman was a little too similar to the opening of Marvel’s “Civil War”, where Tony Stark is spit on by a mother who blames Iron Man and the Avengers for the death of her son. In fact, it’s almost exactly like that scene.
Barrow’s art is pretty good, with lots of detail and a little less of that Ivan Reis-homage he had going in WOTS. However, a few of the characters looked a little off. For instance, I couldn’t help but wonder why Pa Kent appeared to dosed with Joker Gas.
For myself, I just have to wonder if, after everything we’ve been through with Superman lately, this is the right time for a story like this? I suppose on one hand, it makes sense that Superman would question himself and his methods after something so shocking as New Krypton. But on the other hand, a lot of us just want to see Superman be Superman again, with all the the mythology and status quo that entails. Maybe a little “business as usual” before overturning the apple cart yet again.
However, its possible that this could end up being a great story, just poorly timed. Maybe JMS just wants to wait until he starts on the book proper to really get into things. Only time will tell.
The back of the book is also filled with previews and interviews about the other Super-titles in the future, including Supergirl, Action and the new Superboy. They all look pretty interesting, and at least we will be getting a break from all the huge crossovers.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Three pretty entertaining stories with some good art||The stories aren’t really that connected, turning this more into a mixed bag.|