Comic Vine Review

38 Comments

Superman #33 - The Men of Tomorrow, Chapter Two: The New Superman Review

4

The newest member of Superman’s universe gets a pair of new names, and perhaps a new lease on life after a reunion.

The Good

Superman’s been on quite the rollercoaster ever since the start of the New 52 about three years ago. From Grant Morrison’s head-trip origin tales in ACTION COMICS to a slew of creators taking the character in as many different directions in his own title has gone, and his newest team seems to be intent on continuing that tradition. And that's not a bad thing. Geoff Johns, of course, has some experience writing the Big Blue Boyscout and what we get here is actually something of a return to form. This is about as earnest, humble and approachable, in his own way, that Superman’s been since the relaunch. Johns seems intent on bringing him back down to Earth, so to speak, and I think it’s a great direction for the character to go in. As much as I enjoyed the brashness and bravado of the younger Man of Steel, it too quickly came off as arrogance and an almost callous disregard for the average people, but in this story we see Superman, and Clark Kent, as warm and compassionate as they’ve ever been, particularly as they deal with the new interloper introduced last issue: now dubbed Ulysses.

John Romita Jr. is still an interesting presence as the penciler on the book. The artist is definitely most well-known, at least in the modern era of comics, for excelling at drawing more street-level, character-driven superheroes (Spider-Man and Wolverine immediately spring to mind, as well as a recent run drawing Cap’s adventures in Dimension Z) and, even more especially, drawing people that have been beat the hell UP. There’s little to none of that in this issue, nor was it terribly prevalent last issue, but since we seem to be dealing with a Superman who’s getting in touch with the people, and characters, in his life, Romita Jr. is so far making a lot of sense as a choice. This book is driven far more by characters and dialog than action, even when Big Blue makes an appearance, it’s mostly as cleanup or exploration and Clark Kent actually dominates most of the pages of this issue. Part of the credit for this also has to go to Klaus Janson’s inks for making the imagery as crisp and clear as it is. Romita’s pencils aren’t as wild as a lot of other artist’s, and since he and Jansen are longtime partners, there are lots of tiny, subtle nuances that make up every panel. Laura Martin’s colors can’t be discounted either, this is a bright, shining example of a comic book and her colors are a massive part of that, with a simple, but thrilling palette that makes every panel practically shimmer.

The Bad

While the characters are, so far, the highlight of this book, the overall narrative thus far is not as great. It isn’t that it’s bad, it’s just very, very by-numbers at this point in the story. We’ve seen numerous tales in the past of superbeings that may or may not be Kryptonian, but have similar powers, and how that impacts Superman is part of the appeal of such stories. The problem becomes, there are only so many ways that it CAN impact him, and only so many ways it can turn out. This is, so far, a very good Superman story, but it feels like one we’ve seen numerous times, even in the recent past.

The Verdict

A return to form isn’t the worst thing that could happen to the Man of Steel, and doing it in this way is certainly going to be a big help. A team of top-tier creators with total creative control and freedom could be just the shot in the arm that Superman’s needed, and with a support network like the one we’ve seen here, there’s nowhere for him to go but up. Up. And away.

40 Comments
Posted by Lvenger

A return to form is just what Superman needs for his comics. Nice to see a more character and Clark Kent focused drive to the issue. If Johns is reconnecting Clark with his cast and setting up the direction of the story, that sounds like the right way to write a Superman story.

Posted by Apparatus_Unearth

Every time I hear about this Superman series I wanna pick it up, I've never really read Superman.

Edited by MadeinBangladesh

I'm excited to read this. I loved the last issue and it the first ever SUPERMAN comic I enjoyed reading.

Edited by JV

@madeinbangladesh: Have you tried Action Comics since Pak took over? I like what he is doing with Superman.

Posted by Bezza

This sounds very promising! Liked issue 32, so this should be good I hope

Posted by Mercy_

@apparatus_unearth: This is only the second issue of this team's run on the book, so there's definitely not a better time to start reading it.

Moderator
Edited by Superguy1591

The ending had a nice moment that has been missing in all Superman books since the N52 with the exception of Pak's Action Comics. I gave a nice smile to myself.

I give it a 4/5. It's not Action Comics 29 good, but the characters are well defined, the Planet is back in focus and I'm really digging Ulysses. Great name, great backstory, great look and a great way to humanize Superman like Pak was doing pre-Doom. Still too many questions to answer, but Geoff, as always, has my attention.

Wonder Woman 33 was the book of the week for me; talk about badassery!!!

Posted by Agent_Prince

It's the Superman we've been waiting for, even if it is a little 'safe'. Always been an admirer of Romita's art. Good issue.

Edited by JoshuaDBr

I love to hear that we're getting the real Superman and not a gritty reimagining. I loved Morrison's New 52 run on Action comics, and it sounds like I'll love this too. What I didn't like was the first year or so of Superman (not Action) comics in the New 52. I'm a huge fan of Superman being a good guy with good morals and I LOVE to see Clark in the stories. So this sounds great.

Edited by Superguy1591

@joshuadbr: Morrison's Superman is the grittiest version of Superman in the N52. How is it that Grant Morrison gets a pass and everyone else gets blamed for his Superman? Plus, Pak already wrote a human Superman.

Posted by Ultron345

If ONLY JRJR wasn't on this book. Extremely unfortunate.

Edited by longbowhunter

I'm really enjoying Perry's involvement in this. It's cool seeing him step out from behind the desk and work with Clark on a story. When it was first announced John Romita Jr. would be on this title I, like most people, thought it was pretty ill fitting. But I'm eating my words on this one. The book looks great.

Posted by bladewolf

Really dug this issue, and I agree it was 4/5. Not as good as 32, but still Romita and Johns have moved things in a great direction and I'm sticking around for the ride!

Posted by buttersdaman000

I'm definitely looking forward to the next issue!

Posted by AllStarSuperman

I'm really enjoying Perry's involvement in this. It's cool seeing him step out from behind the desk and work with Clark on a story. When it was first announced John Romita Jr. would be on this title I, like most people, thought it was pretty ill fitting. But I'm eating my words on this one. The book looks great.

I agree. I will say this though I love JRJRs art when their is not a whole lot of movement, when he draws speed things tend to look sloppy.

@lvenger said:

A return to form is just what Superman needs for his comics. Nice to see a more character and Clark Kent focused drive to the issue. If Johns is reconnecting Clark with his cast and setting up the direction of the story, that sounds like the right way to write a Superman story.

Yes. I loved this issue.

Posted by Pperspectiveandreality

Meh. Lackluster.

Posted by dagmar_merrill

@superguy1591: it's because Morrison knows how to pull off his superman

Edited by SmashBrawler

I knew Johns wouldn't disappoint, he's great when he writes stuff you can tell he genuinely likes (like classic Superman, for example). Romita has been a big surprise though, I thought he'd suck but his art has been relatively good so far.

Edited by JoshuaDBr

I suppose Morrison's was gritty, and maybe gritty isn't the right word. Morrison's run showed young Superman learning to be a hero and becoming the Superman we know. It was a very gritty version but what Morrison did, I think was amazing. Although, that may just be my kind of story.

What I didn't like was Perez's New 52 run on Superman. It made him a lonesome stern and very alien Superman. I love the down to earth Superman stories, and I can read as many of those as I need if they just keep making them.

I'm slightly new to comics though. I started with the New 52, and I suppose if I had been reading comics for a long time I would be tired of certain kinds of stories and want something new. But since I haven't been reading comics for a long time, I'm not tired of any particularly kind yet.

Posted by Superguy1591

@joshuadbr: Try Action Comics 25-29 by Greg Pak, thank me later.

Posted by Superguy1591
Posted by dagmar_merrill
Posted by Superguy1591
Edited by AllStarSuperman
Posted by Pperspectiveandreality

@pperspectiveandreality said:

Meh. Lackluster.

It just isn't for me. I'm glad you guys enjoyed it though. I'm looking forward to hen Pak's Action returns to normal after Doomed. That was the Supeman book for me.

Posted by AllStarSuperman

@allstarsuperman said:

@pperspectiveandreality said:

Meh. Lackluster.

It just isn't for me. I'm glad you guys enjoyed it though. I'm looking forward to hen Pak's Action returns to normal after Doomed. That was the Supeman book for me.

Last I read of Pak was Superman stabbed and laying bleeding on the ground. I haven't even ever seen what happens next. Paks Superman was just to boring for me. And Kuders horrendous art didn't help one bit. Glad you can enjoy it though. I haven't read any Superdoom stuff.

Posted by Pperspectiveandreality

@allstarsuperman:

:) we have different opinions of what is boring in this regard, friend. We also disagree on art. I'd take Kuder over JRJR any day of the week. I haven't read that crap either.

Posted by Brione

This story has been really good so far and I'm starting to get used to JRJR's art. The cover is pretty awesome.

Posted by Primebonnick

it was already i'm not wowed as yet but i like the new character. Hope he doesn't become a villain.

Edited by Zeeguy91

@ultron345: eh, it is nice to have a very unique and distinct art style on a mainstream DC book like Superman. Sort of like Capullo's on Batman. Romita's style takes some getting used to, but once you do, it is something to be appreciated. I wasn't too crazy about his art either, until I picked up his and Slott's Amazing Spider-Man.

Posted by JoshuaDBr

@superguy1591: I sure will...whenever I have money to buy more comics. Haha, but seriously, I'll add it to my list. Thanks.....you know what? I take the thanks back. I'll thank you later. LOL

Posted by JoshuaDBr

@superguy1591: You don't like Morrison's writing? The only thing I've read of his was that New 52 Action Comics. It was confusing, but I really did love it.

Didn't Morison write All Star Superman? I may have the name mixed up. I've never read All Star Superman, but I know almost everyone loves it.

Posted by Squalleon

Good issue. I agree the story at the moment feels very familiar and the Ulysses sub-plot was very by the books...at least until the last page. The main strength of this book is in the character interactions and the focus on the supporting cast which I loved. Especially the focus on Perry, one of the most underused and unexplored characters in Superman's cast and the fact that Supes parents are dead, make Perry an excellent father figure for Supes. Also I LOVE JOHN ROMITA JR.'S ART, I didn't have high expectations for it but the art is so good for me, you can see the expressions on the character's faces very clearly. The colors by Martin are great too, the scene were Clark is in the field wouldn't be as good if the color contrast wasn't as good.

The pace was a little slow and considering that we have seen similar plot elements before and that Supes needs to build up hype, I expected it to be faster. They can only ride the "JRJR in DC" train for so long.

Didn't Morison write All Star Superman? I may have the name mixed up. I've never read All Star Superman, but I know almost everyone loves it.

Morrison did write it and I am actually surprised you haven't read it yet. If you like Superman this is definetely a must read.

Posted by JoshuaDBr

@squalleon: Ya, I know I should read it, and I really want to. I've only been reading comics for a couple of years and I haven't read any pre-New 52 books. I also haven't read any of the classics. But I'll get to it eventually. I just can't by to many comics because I'm short on money but I'll get to it, thanks.

Posted by Ultron345

@zeeguy91: Anytime I hear 'unique' I just associate it with garbage. I don't need art to be unique. I need it to look good.

Posted by redwingx

I loved it. Great issue!

Posted by consafo80

Good run so far I just hope Ulysees doesn't end up being evil as it seems just way too cliched a direction to go and am liking him and Superman working together.

Posted by phocracker

I like it, while Ulleyses has his ups and downs, such as when they built it up to him being the man from Earth, I was like OOOO. An hour later, I was like, wait...this isn't really that original. That being said, everything else about the series has been perfect. The Daily Planet, Perry, Lane and Olsen, the right amount of Superman and Kent. I felt like I was experiencing something equivalent to George R. series. Gotta step up Ullyses though, if they can pull him off, everything will be 100/10 (yes, ten)