After taking down Anguish in ‘Superman’ #10, a new story arc begins this issue. The issue opens on Superman smashing into a Russian base, presumably having something to do with that Russian submarine that he saved back in issue #9.
Superman discovers that everyone in the base is dead and finds an alien canister that’s been opened with some sort of cocoon inside. He ponders if something could have escaped and killed all of these people. (Well… duh!) Superman begins watching security feeds to see what happened and it’s no big shocker to learn that the alien container was what the Russian sub was hiding when they were rescued. Before Superman can learn much more, he hear’s “Freeze!”…
…and we’re treated to a flashback to earlier in the day where Clark is taking Lois, her new boyfriend, and Lois’ sister on an expensive dinner. After some romantic banter and character introductions, all of the reporters get a sudden text alert that something big is going down in Russia. And off Clark runs to transform into Superman and save the day. This is where we learn the “secret” of the suit. The Kryptonian armor can apparently change it’s appearance depending on what’s needed. It can turn from a t-shirt into full armor with a few sparkling ripples. I SO hope that this is the suit that they use in the ‘Man of Steel’ film because this is cool!
Back in present time, Superman is held at gunpoint (which the Russians quickly learn is pretty useless). Supes learns that whatever escaped from the alien pod has headed out and directly towards a nearby nuclear reactor. What it wants with a reactor, no one knows but it can’t be good, so Superman flies off again in search of whatever came from the pod.
When Superman catches up to the Predator… er… I mean alien creature, he finds that it is some sort of ninja hunter with a mask. It has ninja stars and other throwing devices that can actually hurt the Man of Steel!
It’s often speculated that Superman has to be one of the hardest superheroes to write. He is virtually an unstoppable force with only two real weaknesses (Kryptonite and magic). Because of that, you just know he’s going to win… often easily. What I like about the New 52 is that Superman has been powered down some from his previous incarnation. On top of that, he’s got wonderful writers like Dan Jurgens and Grant Morrison (over in ‘Action Comics’) giving us a younger take on the character. He’s a little less sure of himself and not as battle-tested as a warrior. He’s also not as pure and boyscout-like as his previous version. He does what he thinks is just, regardless of the law at times. It makes for a more relatable Superman and that will hopefully bring in readers who would’ve normally written the character off before.
Written by Dan Jurgens
Art by Dan Jurgens & Jesús Merino
Cover by Dan Jurgens & Norm Rapmund