Adventures of Superman #1 Review
By: Rob Neil Gruszecki
Crazed and vicious, a man rambles down the streets of metropolis unleashing his dangerous thoughts onto the unwitting civilians of the city. His eyes boil with rage and he shouts deranged nonsense as mass hysteria grips the unwitting inhabitants. The scene looks bleak and harm reigns down until the appearance of a red and blue clad hero who not only will clear the chaos but will also help this poor soul as he manically spews anger outwards, clearly lost and not in control of his own thoughts.
Two children run through a farm field and play, their imaginations vibrantly bursting with stories. As they run together into the barren fields their adventures of their own creation take them beyond the stars, to a fortress of solitude, face to face against a plethora of enemies including Brainiac, Bizarro Superman and Lex Luthor himself and ultimately places of hope and wonder. The two friends are brought closer together through their tales of heroism as they walk home under the watchful eye of a silent protector from above.
As a child is trapped in a burning building he cries out a window for help and a rapid flash of colours breezes by his window to give a confused but well intentioned version of rescue. Bizarro Superman wants to ‘hurt’ and in doing so he has captured the attention of his opposite who plans to put a stop to the backwards alien and perhaps put him to better, more productive use.
Three Digital first stories of Adventures in Superman have been collected in their first anthology issue from DC Comics and honestly have some of the best Superman material being published currently. Episodic in nature, the shorts are outside of the currently crippled state of New 52 Superman continuity and set free to explore worlds of their own design. Each story a different but equally inspired love letter to Superman. Scripting the stories are Jeff Parker who writes the first exciting tale where Superman saves an innocent life possessed by a common villainous face in Violent Minds; Jeff Lemire who shares a heartwarming and absolutely loveable story of friendship and creativity in Fortress; And finally Justin Jordan who writes a fun Bizarro tale filled with opposite talking and misunderstandings with Bizarro’s Worst Day. Each story is a great example of each writer’s unique voice and strengths.
The main attraction to the collection is the outstanding artwork in each story. The first being drawn by Chris Samnee who draws a perfect cartoon Superman that highlights the best features of Kal-El’s chiseled jaw and hair quaffed to perfection. Samnee’s style is a dream suit for the character and one that I hope is used again in the future. Jeff Lemire’s beautiful art style is another treat as his villain designs and action panels are breathtaking followed by a gorgeous watercolour touch given to the two kids as they play. Jeff Lemire only gets better with each subsequent project and watching his skill grow from Lost Dogs to Underwater Welder to Fortress and soon Trillium has been one of the best reasons to be reading comics these days. On the final installment to the edition Calgary’s own Riley Rossmo displays his versatility and masterful interiors with an amazing take on the hero. Rossmo’s style is one I never would have expected a Superman story from but his adaptation to the world and look was seamless and he drew one of the best looking Superman stories in a long time and my favorite take on Bizarro since Eric Powell.
With a fun action story, a sentimental small town tale and a crazed Bizarro short, the first installment into the Adventures in Superman anthology contains three solidly entertaining and incredible looking short stories, each of which a highly recommended read to any Superman, superhero mythos fan or to any comic reader who has claimed a distaste for Superman in the past. This anthology series will give you the best examples of what makes the character so timeless and loved.
Rob Neil Gruszecki is a writer, musician, podcaster and Wednesday Warrior
Dear Ghost Factory. What Should I Read? Comic Reviews & Weekly Comics Round-Up Podcast at www.Geekstampede.com