writer: Geoff Johns / artist: John Romita, Jr.
I’m not sure if this latest issue of Superman is the best of the new Johns’ run on the Man of Steel, but I really appreciate the care that he seems to handle the man and the mythology. The first half of this issue is dominated by the backstory of Ulysses and his acclimation back to Earth and his real family. It’s all very sweet, and I say that not being sarcastic in anyway, giving Superman a family of sorts. One imagines the other shoe will drop on that as I can’t imagine that all will end well with Ulysses, but it was still a nice sentiment to see play out. The rest of the issue plays out like a buddy cop adventure of sorts and you know, what, it’s actually pretty damn cool. I like that Ulysses and Superman are supposed to be mirrors of each other in the most topical sense, but that they’re powers do work very differently in addition to how they got them.
The biggest challenge I imagine for any Superman book is building a sustainable villain and we might just have one those. The Machinist is driven by money and greed, which at least doesn’t make him some far removed psychopath. His manipulation of the heroes puts another spin on how they will navigate the crisis.
Not to shortchange the art, Romita, Jr. is awesome. But you already knew that. His handling of the emotional and quiet moments stand out the most to me. The paring of Johns and Romita, Jr. is really paying off.
This is the Superman that DC needed (even if though Pak and Soule have been doing good work in their versions). More than anything, it needed to be a consistent and thoughtful approach to the most recognized superhero and this book is doing it well.