Review | Superman #1

The plot is as crisscrossed and cumbersome as the crystalline floor of the Fortress of Solitude. With compact boxes, multiple voices and an abundance of talking heads, it could almost pass for a collection of Sunday newspaper serials. The plus side to this density is that for all the fat, there's an equal amount of protein. As convoluted as the storytelling is, you get your $2.99's worth.


Update: George Perez is already off as writer of the book. Keith Giffen takes over with issue #7.

What an overstuffed comic. Superman packs more panels and balloons than pouches in a Rob Liefeld title, more than in a handful of other DC books combined. The plot is as crisscrossed and cumbersome as the crystalline floor of the Fortress of Solitude. With compact boxes, multiple voices and an abundance of talking heads, it could almost pass for a collection of Sunday newspaper serials. The plus side to this density is that for all the fat, there's an equal amount of protein. As convoluted as the storytelling is, you get your $2.99's worth.

The script rips from the headlines. Kal-El divides his time in the world of journalism, so there's understandably a lot to modernize in the Internet-era Superman mythos. A global media behemoth, Galaxy Communications, has purchased the dying Daily Planet (though graciously giving the rag a sparkling, new 64-story tower). Galaxy is obviously an analog for News Corp. The CEO, Morgan Edge, is Herman Cain taking over for a disgraced and disposed Rupert Murdoch type. Supes' biggest villain here is his new boss, not Lex. I like that.

In all the thick exposition we gather that Superman has returned to Metropolis after a long absence. Hopefully, DC has a good continuity editor, as each Kryptonian book so far shows our hero in a different place in the timeline. We gather that over the last half-decade or so, Superman has gone from wearing jeans and boots to co-forming the Justice League to wandering off. His powers have also been slowly developing ("I remember when he couldn't do much more than leap over tall buildings in a single bound."). The biggest question raised: Did Clark Kent disappear with Superman as well? Was Superman off-world or did he merely give up the crime-fighting biz for a bit?

Pondering this helps distract you from the fact that Jimmy Olsen is a now dead ringer for Justin Bieber and that, as in Action, Kent's round specs give him a silly Harry Potter guise. The art is a bit dodgy as well. Superman looks like a squirrel when he lifts a mysteriously expanding truck into the air. A fire monster is an indeterminate jumble of flames. The reboot picks up when there are domestic battles to be waged. Lois is dating a d-bag. Once earnest and all-American, Superman is frustrated and sullen in the new DCU. In the last panel, a heartbroken Kent sulks into an elevator alone. An alien should be alienated.


Follow us

Time Out Chicago on Facebook   Time Out Chicago on Twitter   Time Out Chicago on Instagram   Time Out Chicago on Pinterest   Time Out Chicago on Google Plus   Time Out Chicago on Foursquare   Time Out Chicago on Spotify

Send tips to:

Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)

laura.baginski@timeout.com