Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Johns, Romita Jr, Janson & Martin
Superman continues the grand story-line that Johns and Romita Jr have been building for several issues now. The comic book is entertaining and definitely puts The Man of Steel in a seemingly un-winnable situation. All of this is a good thing for the comic book individually and for the long run. However, the book is still hampered by the emotionless Man of Steel and a weak supporting cast. The book could reach greatness with these types of stories, but never will if the lead character is this boring issue after issue.
Superman is locked away by his friend Neil after he discovers that Neil is hoarding humans to do something, potentially evil, with. Neil reveals his plans in this issue and they aren’t good at all. Rather than Superman flying off the handle, he explains how there is another way to save Neil’s adopted planet. Superman is unconvincing. This reversal of Superman, his origin and destination is a nice twist but isn’t explored too much. Neil’s adopted planet is about to explode. His adoptive father enlists Neil to help save the planet at all costs. Even though Neil is not native, he calls out Superman as not being native to Earth. He questions why he would save any human when Superman will never be one. Superman doesn’t react or even try to the counter argument to this, which would have helped add some life to the dialogue.
Neil has a sudden change of heart when he discovers that a human or two that he cares for was loaded up on the people carriers. He helps Superman out of his restraints so that Superman and Neil can work together to save everyone. If only it were that simple. The ending is a good one.
The elements to make this a classic are present. Superman looks outmatched and things seem bleak. Superman gets himself off the mat only to get into a worse situation by the comic’s end. This is all stuff that should make this story a classic.
However, Superman, Lois and just about any other character that has dialogue in the comic book feel unemotional and lifeless. Superman doesn’t appear to be passionate about anything. In fact, he seems robotic. Even Neil seems to have two gears: steady then rage. It’s not really a well rounded book in that way and it slows the entire story down.
Romita’s art is a plus for the comic book. The final few pages are almost entirely visual and Romita is up to the task. He seems to have a heavier line style these days and that makes for cool explosions but some odd facial features and hair. The comic book looks epic and that is definitely something this book needs more of to help it through the downsides. I liked the visuals in this comic.
Superman is a comic book that long time Superman fans will probably enjoy. It’s a blockbuster type story that provides situations that Superman seems to be really challenged in, which is difficult to pull off. If Johns can right the ship on the bland personality then the book might become epic. I fear the folks at DC like their Superman gritty, but it comes across as boring and unfeeling unfortunately. Big Blue deserves a little more of an emotional array. It helps to make him seem like he wants to be human. Isn’t that sort of the point of the story that Johns is trying to tell?
3 out of 5 Geek Goggles