Unencumbered by continuity or connectivity of any sort, “Adventures of Superman” #3 simply allows Justin Jordan and Riley Rossmo to tell a Superman story that is fun to read. This adventure pits the Man of Steel against Bizarro over the course of twenty screens in a one-and-done story. The creative team’s energy translates through the imagery, making it apparent that Jordan and Rossmo had fun pulling together “Bizarro’s Worst Day.”
Although Superman himself doesn’t appear until nearly one-third of the pages are passed, Bizarro is present from the start, setting this story very much in Superman’s realm. Bizarro just wants to hurt everyone, which in Bizarro-speak means “help,” but Bizarro’s help really isn’t much help at all. Bizarro-speak gets tricky to handle sometimes, and as a Superman reader, I find that some writers just get it while others don’t or perhaps even I don’t get some writers’ take on it. In “Adventures of Superman” #3, however, Justin Jordan not only gets Bizarro-speak, but he also shows that sometimes even Superman struggles with it, subtly emphasizing the “man” behind the “super.” Jordan’s story is a nice done-in-one adventure featuring a character and situation tailored to the strengths of his artist.
Rossmo’s art was perfect for the adventures of John Prufrock over in Image’s “Proof,” which featured the adventures of a Sasquatch in the employ of a government agency. It’s about as far removed from the exploits of Kal-El as comics can get. With Bizarro at the core of “Adventures of Superman” #3, however, Rossmo’s art is spot on. There is an overarching sketchiness to Rossmo’s style that is visible throughout this story. It magnificently enhances the awkwardness of Bizarro but also adds energy and motion to the drawings of Superman and bustling streets of Metropolis. It certainly helps that Rossmo is coloring his own work, as the extra lines are additive rather than distractive.
While this series could be considered a tryout for artists and writers to see what they can bring to the adventures of Superman, I view this as a celebration of the character, calling upon comic book industry talents who might be otherwise too busy to create a Superman story or simply might not have the opportunity presented to them to do anything more than contribute to an anthology. For the price attached to the weekly installments of this series, however, Adventures of Superman” simply cannot be beat. It presents consistently high quality craftsmanship and entertaining stories that show Superman at his best. Jordan and Rossmo add their names to the talented roster to grace “Adventures of Superman,” and I sure wouldn’t mind seeing them come back. I’m pretty sure Rossmo’s style would be just as effective on the Parasite or even a gritty version of Brainiac.