Superman #32 Review
By: Rob Neil Gruszecki
25 years ago in an underground research center in Nebraska a horrible tragedy occurred that saw the deaths of many developers and scientists attempting to find intelligent life in the universe. As the surroundings of the station crash down around two desperate parents they decide to utilize a portal into the fourth dimension that will save their infant son’s life. Shot deep into the cosmos for salvation and leaving behind his home planet, a young boy will have to search for a better tomorrow in a strange and unknown world.
Geoff Johns is back writing the big, blue boyscout in a solo title for the first time since his extensive run on Action Comics but this time he has the legendary John Romita Jr (The Amazing Spider-Man) illustrating his adventures. This is the first DC comic that Romita Jr has drawn for the company in his storied career reaching all the way back to the early 70s and his contribution is an exciting and impressive one.
Geoff Johns has been at the creative helm of the New 52 universe since its inception with his run on Justice League, Justice League of America, Aquaman, Green Lantern and recently finishing the line’s first event with Forever Evil. Directing and guiding the general feel of the whole line and continuity of the universe with its flagship titles, Johns’ architecture of the New 52 is a darker and grittier take. His approach to Superman has always been one of my favorites with stories like Escape From Bizarro World, Up Up and Away or the Legion of Superheroes arc but since this new status quo that has chronicled Superman’s adventures with the Justice League I haven’t found the same joyful, excitement I once did in his writing. Despite all this, I was hopeful for his return to a solo Supes book and with the news that Romita Jr would be joining the team my excitement grew ten fold. Crafting a solid and interesting story arc to start off his run, Johns seems right at home with Clark Kent and is beginning to win me back again as a reader. Although there is still lots of time for him to turn back to the broody, dreary ways that the New 52 tends to lean to, I have faith that this title will be something fresh and fun. Already, he has returned Kent where he belongs at the Daily Planet (barely a year after Lobdell had him quit in a way that didn’t feel organic in the least) and featured a goofy Jimmy Olsen prevalently which is an automatic win for me. So far this seems like a genuinely clever tale and, although it is far too early to claim, could potentially exercise Johns’ peak ability and true talent.
The greatest feature of this new run by far is the artwork of John Romita Jr. Romita’s sensibilities and talent lend themselves perfectly to Superman and I’m so glad that the first project he works on at DC is the Kryptonian hero. This first issue gets Romita drawing some beautiful splash pages, cosmic energy, behemoth alien battles, an incredible Titano fight (that you probably would have seen already in previews over the past month) and a great rendition of Jimmy Olsen and the cast from the Daily Planet. His action and battle sequences are amazing and explosive as an alien force goes head to head with Superman. His storytelling abilities have already placed him amongst some of the finest in the industry and in this newest Superman, his visual directions drive the story so fluidly. It’s a bit of a shame that Romita has to draw the new armour clad Superman (which he does beautifully) instead of the classic look, but that’s just my grumpy, nostalgic self rearing its annoying, bespectacled head.
In this new era for Superman we get a superstar creative team and a look at the Superman mythos with a new powerful character named Ulysses whose appearance is captivating and with Romita’s art and Johns’ natural talent for the character, I think this comic is in very good hands.
Rob Neil Gruszecki is a writer, musician and Wednesday warrior
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