Publisher: DC Comics
Script: Phil Jimenez
Artwork: Phil Jimenez (pencils), Matt Santorelli (inks), Jeromy Cox (colours)
Release Date: 10th August, 2016
With all the back to basics approaches going on with the majority of of the Rebirth titles, there’s something refreshingly ’90s about this new Superwoman.
First and foremost, it’s a legacy title. DC spent the ’90s creating new heroes to replace their top tier. Green Lantern, The Flash, Green Arrow and more besides were all dead, but their presence was still keenly felt in their ongoing titles, their stories continued by new faces taking their place. With Superwoman, Phil Jimenez is in the unusual position of writing about the aftermath of a hero’s death when a version of him is still alive and well in the main titles, but there’s nothing about this that feels incidental.
For a new reader, it’s not immediately apparent what’s going on, but Lois Lane (New 52 version) appears to have gained similar powers to Superman when he blew up next to her. Not only that, but Lana Lang was there too and she’s now the recipient of the electric energy powers that Big Blue ended up with back in the ’90s too. Lois takes to her new powers and responsibilities instantly, but Lana needs a little convincing, leading to a nicely-played two-header that Jimenez uses to open up both characters and where they are at in the aftermath of Superman’s death. He’s got a great angle on both women here, capturing Lois’s gung-ho attitude contrasting with Lana’s more thoughtful approach, both women equally heartbroken by loss, but coming at it from different places.
Artwise, he’s an absolute joy as ever. He’s been one of the safest pair of hands in comics since he breathed new life into The Invisibles way back in 1997. Realistic without looking referenced, Jimenez’s characters look like real humans in a real world, regardless of how outlandish a situation they are in. His designs are first rate as always too. Lois, in her reworking of the traditional blue and red looks great, but it’s Lana’s new version of the (unfairly) much-derided energy containment suit worn by the electric Superman that really pops.
Oh and there’s a cliffhanger that, with this being a legacy character title, means we genuinely don’t know what’s going to happen next. When does that ever happen now?
Regardless of quality, it’s much harder for ancillary titles like these to gain any kind of traction, but this is one that really, really deserves your attention. I’ll admit, I wasn’t that excited about it initially, but Superwoman has moved right up amongst my favourite DC titles. If you’re remotely a fan of Superman, get in on this now. If you’re not, and never liked him for being overpowered, this is the title for you. Either way, buy Superwoman. You won’t regret it.
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The Writer of this piece was: Jules Boyle
Jules tweets from @Captain_Howdy