Writer: Brian Michael Bendis / Artists: Ivan Reis and Brandon Peterson / DC Comics
All right. All caught up. Let’s go punch somebody. Superman #10 finishes up Jonathan Kent’s journey back to Earth and sets up the next fight right away. After finally escaping Ultraman’s volcano prison, Jon finds himself face to face with Superwoman, the evil, superpowered Lois Lane of the Crime Syndicate. This horrifying meeting is cut short (especially compared to the years he spent with Ultraman) as a Deus Ex Machina results in him returning home.
My qualm with this book was how little attention was given to Superwoman. After a deep dive into Ultraman’s psyche, I was hoping for a similar back and forth between Jon and Superwoman to contrast her with his mother. Instead, she was only a violent berserker barely saying three words before the scene shifted. The book forsook this chance to move the story along quickly. Jon confronts Superwoman, gets out of the Criminal Syndicate’s dimension, and gets to Earth with haste.
The art is this book’s strength. I’d love that Adam Hughes variant cover as a poster on my wall. Ivan Reis and Brandon Peterson have been going hard on this book for a while now. Throughout the trauma Superboy has faced these last couple issues, the terror and fear on his face creates real impact. No longer at the mercy of Ultraman, Superwoman’s relentless pursuit is a new threat. Later, when he’s safe, there’s a look of relief in one panel that captures the joy of freedom after being captured for years. The art team also gets to shine with a lot of over the top action; both the Superwoman chase and the following events are full of nice little action shots.
There was also a lovely choice in color throughout the issue. Now out of the volcano, we get a chance to see the cityscape of Earth-3. Black sky with purple streaks among lightning strikes were chosen for the dangerous setting of Superwoman’s assault. The theme was kept when a different danger briefly strikes Jonathan during his respite. There’s no lightning but the black and purple are used again, giving danger a consistent palate. This was striking against the scenes where Jonathon is back on Earth with Superman and Lois in the Fortress of Solitude. There’s a bright, soft blue that cools the scene and shows the safety and comfort of Jon’s family.
With the ending of this book promising an epic battle, I’m actually a lot more excited about where this leaves Jon in the DC universe (What’s up Teen Titans? He’s definitely old enough, now!).
8 “Drunk Moms” out of 10
Reading Superman? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.