The Portions are Off
(This review contains minor spoilers.)
People hate aliens. This time around, the citizens of Metropolis aren't very comfortable with their new savior's other-worldly origins.
We get a taste of Krypton at the beginning of the issue. The exact cause of the planet's destruction appears to have been changed; it's only hinted at and while I'm in favor of changes to the status quo, this is the first alteration Morrison's made that I find questionable.
This is Clark's issue. The last two installments were very focused on action and this issue is like an interlude. We find out more about Clark's life and situation and I enjoyed that. A couple of things struck me as being out of character, however.
When talking to the cops, he definitely is not "mild-mannered" by any stretch of the imagination. Prior to this, I got the impression that he counts on the written word to fight his battles, but his tone with the police shows that he has the capacity to get loud and in your face, even cracking jokes and making snide remarks. It just feels like he's letting a little too much of his Superman persona shine through. Another questionable decision involved Clark's reaction to the way public opinion about Superman has changed. I feel like he wouldn't just give up. It feels like a Spider-man No More reference (costume in the trash can), but we're only treated to some talking heads on television and an angry crowd when he rescues the little girl. That's not enough anger and hatred to really illustrate why he would come to that decision. I mean, yes, this is young Superman so we can't expect him to act entirely in a way we'll recognize, but this is big for me because plenty of heroes do the job without the adoration. Is Morrison saying he needs the acclaim? Why not appear before the people and explain? Or at least offer Lois the exclusive interview? We know she'd do it. (There's a reference to an article she wrote about him in Superman #2; perhaps that interview is what gains the people's trust.)
I only point this out because I feel that Morrison didn't do a good enough job of telling us how bad Clark feels about this and why he would think the best option is quitting. I mean, we see Clark apologizing to his deceased parents in a way that shows he feels he's failed. I'm just surprised all it took were a couple of demonstrations and some rioting.
I understand that Morrison is having Clark learn the lesson that his brash vigilantism probably isn't the best way to enact the changes he seeks. If he can't deal with being hated and feared (like some other heroes we know - Batman, I'm looking at you) then he definitely needs a new approach.
The introduction on Krypton figures in very heavily to the ending; unless we're being taken for a ride, we can expect to see Braniac pretty soon. I'm also anxious to find out what's going on with Mrs. N. Just how much does she know?
Apart from my main complaint, I thought this issue was great. I love seeing more of Clark's life. However, I think if he wants to really succeed at all this, he needs less Superman in his Clark persona and more Clark in his Superman identity. I think in the near future Supes is gonna mellow out a lot and become more recognizable. I love the "jerk" Superman, but it doesn't seem that he fits in Metropolis too well.