Review – Superman #33 (DC Comics)

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Patrick Gleason & Peter J Tomasi
Art: Doug Mahnke
Colours: Wil Quintana
Letters: Rob Leigh
Release Date: 18th October 2017

Superman and Lex are finally starting to get along and gel as a team.  There is a sense of friendly rivalry between them, but we had to know something would go wrong.  Apokolips is without its leader and it seems that they have chosen their successor – will Lex rule over them or enlist the help of Clark and his family?

After all the recent crossovers and crazy revels, it is great to have an adventure like this.  It isn’t often you get to see Lex as a ‘damsel in distress’ after all.  Gleason and Tomasi set the scene here, laying the structure for what is to come. Lex is really embracing his role as a hero and living up to the Kryptonian symbol emblazoned across his chest.  We see Clark really starting to respect him and the citizens of Metropolis really starting to trust him.  We also get to see Clark, Jon and Lois being pulled into peril as a family unit once more, a true sign that they are more than just a family, they are a team.

Doug Mahnke is one of the most talented artists working for DC (or any publisher for that matter) and he brings some truly stunning visuals to the series.  His attention to detail in every panel is astonishing and really helps to bring the cast of characters to life.  Facial expressions are key here with everyone wearing their emotions like real people.  Every smile and grimace adds a depth rarely seen in lesser artists.

Wil Quintana also lights up every panel with a vibrant palette full of crackling energy and fiery skies.  The landscapes of Apokolips feel hot to the touch and filled with danger, Jon’s heat vision sears through the page whilst Lex’s agents look almost arcane.  Colour is a vital component to this tale and the differences between Metropolis and Apokolips are more pronounced because of it.

This is a fantastic first chapter of an exciting new story that could just have easily been part of the original DCU as it is the current continuity.  New readers and veterans alike will find something to love here as the creative team expertly weave an exciting tale around a premise that really could lead anywhere.  We will see whether Lex has truly changed or if he will fall into his old ways, how strong his bond is with Superman and just how strong a team the Kents can be in a crisis level situation.

It is very easy to recommend this book. The narrative flows swiftly but gives us everything we need to know, the art is sublime and compliments the story beautifully, and we get to see an honest to goodness three-dimensional representation of Lex Luthor!  I am already excited to see just where this journey leads us and just how much of a strain it will put on our two Supermen.

Rating: 5/5.

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The writer of this piece was: Dave MacPhail
Dave Tweets from @ShinKagato

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