Superman and his new pal Baka head to Venezuela to see what type of trouble Lana Lang has gotten herself into. They find Ukur and his army of beasts.
Normally, I'd be not on board at all if a superhero had a little animal buddy. It reminds me a lot of a campy 80s cartoon. However, the Superman/Baka relationship here really works out. Superman shows compassion for the creature, who recently was much larger and "smashier," by keeping him at the Fortress of Solitude and then taking him along to Venezuela. Baka is cute and comes in handy during the fight.
The opening of this issue is fantastic. Here, a seven year old Clark climbs a tree and wants to fly. He can start hearing the world around him much better than any other human. Writer Greg Pak does a fantastic job at getting the reader into Clark's head. In these opening pages, R.B. Silva does the pencils, along with Eva De La Cruz on colors. The art is beautiful here and fits the scene extremely well.
There's three different artists on this book. The opening pages, with Silva, a five page chunk by Mike Hawthorne, and the rest of the book by Aaron Kuder. Silva's opening pages work well with the rest of the issue. It makes sense, too, because it deals with Superman's younger years. There's no real reason for the Hawthorne and Kuder split though and their styles clash. On their own, both artists are extremely talented, but together, it doesn't work.
The story here isn't really grabbing me. I enjoyed it for what it was, but I'm not on board yet. Sure, it's well written, but the mixture of Superman and these subterranean creatures isn't that interesting of an opening. I'm a bit down the middle of the story. I find it weird that Superman will be battling a villain one moment, then having a casual chat with him the next.
It's an interesting start to this new story line, but it's down the middle of the road story. The opening pages are brilliant, and I really enjoyed Baka, but the rest of the book was a tad troublesome. The changes in art between Hawnthorne and Kuder simply did not work, but Silva's art in the opening was great. It's a bit of a mish mash of an issue, so overall, I'll give it a mild recommendation.