Story: Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason
Art: Mick Gray, John Kalisz
Release Date: 15th June 2016
SUPERMAN IS DEAD!
LONG LIVE SUPERMAN!
When the New 52 was launched, the new poster boy for DC was one of the most courageous and bold changes to a character whose mantra was ingrained into comic book readers everywhere. Not only did we have a younger Superman with a new uniform (gone were the red trunks), but more importantly we got a new attitude from the last son of Krypton. Gone was the boy scout and in came a socially conscious superhero who could be described as more than a little cynical towards the world he vowed to protect. I personally liked this new modern direction of the character, so when the ‘Rebirth’ universe was announced by DC I was a little sad to see this figure I had (re)grown to love coming to an end.
However, it turns out I needn’t be sad in the slightest.
At this point I should urge anyone reading this review to do themselves a favour and grab a copy of Superman: Rebirth #1 before picking up Superman #1. Not only to bring them up to speed, but because its a damn fine read.
Anyway, on to business…
Superman is back, and it turns out he never went away. In the New 52 universe, the Superman we know and love made a cameo right at the death, flying in from his self-imposed exile to fight side by side with Superman52… ultimately to the latter’s demise. We are now left with this definitive Superman, older and wiser from his time in isolation. Gone is mild mannered reporter Clark Kent (his secret identity being outed previously) and in comes mild mannered farmer Clark Smith, husband and father (his family being re-established pre-New 52).
The story here casually builds the scene of ‘normal’ family life, but it’s not long until we are reminded that this family is far from normal, as well as just how big the task facing Clark as a father actually is. We are teased until the closing panel before we get to see The Man of Steel in full uniform – a uniform which owes more than just a slight nod to its New 52 predecessor. Perhaps more that just the threads, some of the attitude of the previous incarnation of Superman has rubbed off on him as well? I sincerely hope so.
The artwork in this book is exemplary; Mick Gray and John Kalisz use bold lines and strong primary colours to force emotion, and provide a larger than life feeling that draws you in and doesn’t let you go. The story itself is written carefully, building in rhythm till its crescendo. Peter J Tomasi and Patrick Gleason tease the reader with a peek into the lives of the “Smiths” and the roller-coaster ride that awaits the family of the Man of Steel.
DC needed its flagship character to be a hit straight out of the gate, and in the hands of these custodians they certainly wont be disappointed. As I said at the start, Superman is dead….LONG LIVE SUPERMAN!
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The writer of this piece was: John Patterson