After the lackluster issues with ‘Superman Annual’ #1 and ‘Superman’ #0, I wasn’t sure to to expect with this issue. I didn’t care for writer Scott Lobdell’s retelling of Krypton’s doom in ‘Superman’ #0 but I’m always willing to give anyone at least 2-3 issues to find their footing. So did Lobdell get a grip on the Man of Steel? Let’s find out…
As this issue opens, Superman is in a lab called The Block which is “sort of” near the Earth’s core. I’m not sure what that means but the gist is it’s inside the Earth. Superman’s there to test the limits of his powers with the help of Dr. Veritas. It’s not clear who Dr. Veritas is but it appears as if Superman trusts her (despite her being named after the secret society on ‘Smallville). What we get from little interlude is that Superman is still as powerful (if not more so) than his pre-New 52 counterpart. So far, especially in ‘Action Comics’ that detail Superman’s early years, Superman has seemed powered down from the past incarnation. Now it’s made pretty clear in the first few pages of this issue that this isn’t the case.
But even as cool as the opening sequence is, the real meat of this story comes when Superman returns to Metropolis. As Clark Kent, our hero has a humorous run-in with his roommate Jimmy Olsen and then a not-so-humorous confrontation with his boss at the Daily Planet. The end result of this scene was leaked days ago but it’s still a bit of a shock to see it in action. I kept wanting to yell… “You go, Clark!” Plus, as a bonus, Superman gets back his “Truth, justice, and the American way” tagline that he’d dropped near the end of the pre-New 52 run.
So, despite my trepidation at Lobdell taking over as writer, I thoroughly enjoyed this issue and can’t wait to see where the upcoming ‘H’el on Earth’ storyline. Add to that the simply stunning artwork from Kenneth Rocafort and you’ve got a darn solid issue. I just hope that this level of quality keeps up on this series.
Written by Scott Lobdell
Art by Kenneth Rocafort
Cover by Kenneth Rocafort