I’m certain most readers will undoubtedly agree that when Mark Waid declares something “the best Superman story I’ve read in years,” it’s worth checking out. Of course, most Superman fans are already in the know about “Adventures of Superman,” the digital-first comic from DC Entertainment. For those of you that aren’t, “Adventures of Superman” #12 written by Rob Williams and drawn by Chris Weston is a very enjoyable story, but not necessarily the best Superman story in recent memory. It is, however, the best Ma Kent story ever.
Parents will find this tale especially poignant as it is told from Martha Kent’s perspective as she watches her son return to his life in another town with other responsibilities that she has no deep knowledge of. She knows what she taught her son, she’s seen the things he can do, but like any parent, she is unable to keep an eye on her child forever. It’s that letting go and wondering that fuels the narrative from Williams. The writer gives readers the unfiltered thoughts of a mother whose son just happens to be the most powerful being on the planet. The story beyond the captions is a mix-tape of highlights from the Last Son of Krypton’s career: fighting Luthor and Brainiac, rescuing Lois Lane and being hollered at by Perry White.
Those scenes are given just enough room to breathe and more than enough space to show off the talent of artist Chris Weston, who handles the colors and the line work. The foes of Superman are classic versions: the robotic alien Brainiac, the purple and green bandolier wearing Lex Luthor. Weston builds the story to fill the horizontal screen of a computer or mobile device with sufficient details also appearing in the “larger image” once the guided view display zooms out to reveal the entire screen imagery. The scene with Adam Strange gets wider and more intimidating, while Superman flying through space dynamically crosses out of panels, tying the entire page together as one image with inferred motion for Superman in an iconic pose.
While so many charges of heartlessness and out-of-character decisions and actions have been levied the Man of Steel’s way of late, it really is enjoyable to read a comic with soul and compassion, especially when it features Superman. Williams packs humanity into this series, continuing the short-lived but growing tradition of strong stories in the pages of “Adventures of Superman.” Whether you’re waiting for the paper copy or considering downloading the digital version of the series, “Adventures of Superman” #12 is one that absolutely should not be missed.