The creative team from Image Comics’ “Revival” comes to DC’s digital first “Adventures of Superman” #21. Writer Tim Seeley and artist Mike Norton bring their teamwork to the Man of Steel and deliver a story that scratches all of the right itches readers have when it comes to Superman stories.
Seeley’s story is split to two fronts: the adventures of Superman and the activities of young orphan Tonya Chayka. The comic bounces between the amazing and impossible — a superhuman man flying through space grappling with other beings of immense power — and the all-too-possible as young Tonya waits for a home to call her own. While the connection between the two tales is not immediately apparent, Seeley does a magnificent job of melding the two together in an emotional conclusion. In the meantime, however, Seeley’s Superman is confident and kind, strong and smart. He’s the type of hero who inspires hope in others and finds reason for hope in every situation.
Seeley’s story is brought into focus through the collaborative visuals of artist Mike Norton, colorist Jordie Bellaire and letter artist Wes Abbott. The trio blends nicely each augmenting the strengths of the others. This is most apparent when Seeley introduces readers to the Annigh-Hell space station. A stunning tribute to Jack Kirby as the Annigh-Hell station is enveloped in energetic emerald crackle as the sounds of battle designated by “THRAKOOM!!” and “KROOM!” echo throughout the orbiting station. The combatants are none other than Superman in his traditional costume, Wonder Woman in a hybrid of classic and new with silver accents thanks to the colors of Jordie Bellaire and a significantly alien, but comfortably familiar Martian Manhunter. Norton might be the very best all-ages comic artist currently plowing through this beloved four-color industry as he’s equally adept drawing a lineup of hopeful orphans or a battling titanic trio. His rendition of Darkseid is powerful and menacing, detailed and simply strong.
Charming and graceful, “Space, Actually” is evocative of the energy and enthusiasm of the once-popular Super Powers toy line given life through the work of Seeley, Norton, Bellaire and Abbott. It helps that Norton is among the best all-ages, any subject artist in the industry today. The crux of the story isn’t anything readers haven’t seen before, but the execution is simple and rewarding. As long as “Adventures of Superman” can continue to draw talent like Seeley and Norton to produce work like “Adventures of Superman” #21, this title will continue to be a go-to outlet for the adventures of the most well-known Kryptonian.