Publisher: DC Comics
Writer(s): Peter J Tomasi & Patrick Gleason
Art: Scott Godlewski, Gabe Eltaeb (colours)
Letters: Rob Leigh
Release Date: 2nd August 2017
Since the Rebirth continuity began we have had Superman and his family continually face off against all manner of foes and threats. This issue however provides a little side story off the beaten path celebrating what it is to be an American and appreciating how much sacrifice was made by our ancestors to get where we are now.
Peter J Tomasi and Patrick Gleason join forces this issue to bring us a tale with a more personal slant. The whole story revolves around Clark and Lois trying to explain to Jon a little about American history and how those who came before had to endure a great many hardships to give the people of today the freedoms they take for granted. Despite coming from an entirely different planet, Clark and Superman have always been portrayed as super patriotic, and this issue explores this concept a little more in depth.
Scott Godlewski works his magic on the art, illustrating both current day America and a time period during the Civil War. There are various famous landmarks on display with some sentimental moments attached to them. The scenes featuring the ghostly soldiers seem a little unnecessary and for some may appear to be in poor taste, but the vintage scenes from the 1860s look great.
Gabe Eltaeb colours this issue with sharp and vibrant tones bringing with it a more grounded and safe place for Superman and his family to be. It does actually feel like the Kents have gone on vacation to our world and left the fantastical universe they normally habit behind… well, save for Clark flying around that is.
My main issue with this book is perhaps a regional thing, with the story attempting to push a lot of emotional buttons both with its imagery and its narrative links to historical events. The problem with this is that the wider international audience are not going to have the same built-in national pride for an event that happened in a different country. It does come over as fairly politically charged and more than a little preachy in places, something you might normally get as a backup story around the 4th of July. It also feels a little like the creators needed to stall for time before the next big arc and have been handed a ‘filler’ issue to tide us through.
In the end, this isn’t a bad issue, it just seems strangely disconnected from the rest of the series at the moment. While the story itself does tie in with Clark’s personality and isn’t specifically out of character, it isn’t really a lot of fun to read and will likely leave a large chunk of this book’s non-American audience shrugging our shoulders with indifference.
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The writer of this piece was: Dave MacPhail
Dave Tweets from @ShinKagato