This issue does a fantastic job of recapping the relaunched DC Universe Superman story over the course of the first seven pages. George Perez throws all sorts of information at the reader, threatening to overwhelm newcomers. The method in which he presents that info, though, as well as the presence of a new penciler (two issues in and a replacement already on the publisher’s flagship title sure doesn’t bode well, does it?) makes the story completely approachable. Unfortunately, it also feels thin and redundant. Clearly some alien force is marshaling its might against the Man of Steel, but who and why? How many more issues can that drag out for?
Perez is doing some good work here. He’s certainly not afraid to expand the cast, threaten the city, and write some dazzling panels for his artist, but I would appreciate a peppier storyline. There’s not a lot that puts the “super” into this title. It actually might be better served as a Daily Planet title. That’s where Perez is really excelling.
Nicola Scott, for her part, is able to step in and deliver some crisp, strong artwork. She’s a nice substitute choice for Jesus Merino, and her style is more in line with his than not. Scott’s work, however, seems more clean and slightly more contemporary. She is challenged, however, to shine through the work of a trio of colorists. For the most part, everything holds together, but there are panels where things do more than hold together. Some panels are brilliant and exude a personality and essence that this book deserves. I’m hoping as Scott’s stay on the title continues, her comfort level will, as well, and that the book will channel her work more cleanly. With regards to the colorists, however, I do think it is worth noting that the lavender hue to Lois Lane’s eyes is really odd and works more as a distraction than an endearing or notable trait.
So far, Superman has fought a fiery being, a slithery monster, and an ice tornado lady. It’s an odd combination, but all have spoken the same alien language and uttered the word “Krypton” in doing so. They’ve all appeared in Metropolis and they’ve all been directed towards Superman. Part of me can’t help but think this might be a relaunched interpretation of the Appalex invasion. That part may be way off base, but given what we’ve seen so far, it seems like a logical leap. Of course, at the rate the story is currently progressing, that may be another two to three months.
The sheer talent present on this title right now should be able to give us a great book, but this issue is far from great. It’s readable and enjoyable, but it needs a little bit more to truly be “Superman.”