Comic Vine Review

36 Comments

Superman #34 - The Men of Tomorrow, Chapter Three: Ulysses Review

5

Superman finds out more about Ulysses. And who's this Machinist guy?

The Good

New characters, new threats, answers, more mysteries, and big action. Things are looking good in the pages of SUPERMAN. With the new creative team of Geoff Johns, John Romita Jr, Klaus Janson, and Laura Martin, we've seen a slight shift in Superman's world. With the arrival of a new super-powered person, Ulysses, we've seen a lot of parallels to who Superman is and how things could have been different.

In the previous issue, Superman, as Clark Kent, uncovered some clues to Ulysses' origin. As they both discover more of his backstory, you get an almost eerie telling of what happened to him as an infant. I'll be honest, at first, I wasn't too sure how I felt about it. It seemed like too much of a coincidence. I wasn't too crazy about his hair style either. But as the story continues to unfold, he's becoming more and more interesting. Seeing him interact with others, again, offers a sort of parallel to Clark's life. Hearing some of the details of how he was raised is fascinating.

All the while, I still can't help but be a little unsure of his true motivations.

As similar as Ulysses and Superman may be, there are some differences that set them apart. When the two are on the same page, John Romita Jr. and Klaus Janson get to cut loose. More than that, there's a pretty cool dynamic between the two. We don't often see Superman with someone on the same level he is. And don't get me wrong, while Romita Jr excels at drawing big physical action scenes, there's more than that here. As Ulysses gets more answers about where he was originally from, there is a calm quiet peace permeating through the pages.

Then there's the Machinist. We have a new villain. He started off as a fairly interesting nemesis but then upped his game. I'm reminded a little of a certain classic Marvel villain but this guy does things in his own way. Villains for Superman can be tough to write since you need to figure a way to work around all his abilities. The Machinist shows he has some skills in taking him on.

The Bad

There are moments where it's not entirely clear where the story is going but that's part of the fun. We don't really get any of the other civilians in Clark's life in this issue. It felt as if we'd be seeing them have a bigger role but the other characters and action makes up for their absence. The Machinist sort of gets away with something right in front of Superman. With his super-human abilities, you'd think maybe he would've noticed before hand. Still, it was a nice twist.

The Verdict

I've often laid out my opinion on Superman in the New 52. He hasn't felt like the character I grew up with but more and more, I'm starting to get interested in him again. Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr. have introduced a new character in Ulysses that has been making us look at Superman in different ways as we learn who this new character is. The brash behavior the New 52 Superman often displayed is gone as we see more compassion exuding from the character. We're seeing new characters and mysteries and that's making this title exciting. I didn't think I'd care about Ulysses, but with him, and now the Machinist, I can't wait for the next issue to arrive. This comic brought a smile to my face.

37 Comments
Posted by Squalleon

I was expecting JRJR's art to become worse after so many issues in the row. While I saw some things, the art is still good and the spread above proves it. JRJR's art is so dynamic when it needs to be, excellent use of focus points.

As for the story, we got some background, some bonding and characterazation as usuall, it seems Johns is going for a character-centric story (and when you think about it the twist in the end make that very clear). Still the pace is a little slow but its ok, If I want fast pace action and story, I have Action and Unchained. THIS is were I come for character moments.

Edited by feedonatreefrog

Great issue.

But does every Superman review have to mention how New 52 Superman doesnt feel like Superman?

It's as if Pak's run doesnt exist or something.

Posted by Fallschirmjager

Guess I'll have to be switching my Superman ongoings. Doomed has kind of ruined the others anyway :p

Edited by MrTummyTumms

I think it's time to start pulling Superman comics.

Posted by Nick-SV(ril)

@g_man The Machinist's mask could have been lead lined. He seems to know a lot about Clark, so that wouldn't really surprise me.

Edited by The Stegman

Guess I need to add this to my pull.

Edited by UltimateSMfan

That last page literally made me go, "Oh S#!@" in the best way :D Loved this issue! Love this book...Great Character moments, great action, real Super stuff ;)

Posted by Squalleon

Guess I need to add this to my pull.

Definetely. Especially if you need a Superman fix and Doomed or delays are killing your title. Anyway Johns made his title totally different from what we have seen from New 52 Supes. He cut back on the action and he put more focus on characters.

That last page literally made me go, "Oh S#!@" in the best way :D Loved this issue! Love this book...Great Character moments, great action, real Super stuff ;)

Good Stuff, I was literally shocked by the end, totally unexpected :D

Posted by G-Man

@nick_sv_ril_: I was thinking more he'd be able to either hear a difference or sound of a transmission. I'm just being picky. Obviously I dug the issue.

Staff
Posted by Kervan21

I look forward to reading this issue. I've thoroughly enjoyed the last two. Geoff Johns returning to Superman is one of the best things to have happened to Superman in the New 52, and I'm really digging John Romita Jr.'s artwork on here. I remember his work on UNCANNY X-MEN back when I was reading comics in the 90's, so this is working for me. This book and SUPERMAN: UNCHAINED are the kind of Superman stories I wanted to read when the New 52 started. Even though I'm bummed UNCHAINED is ending, having this as my go-to Superman book feels really good.

Posted by The_Titan_Lord

Nice

Edited by MadeinBangladesh

I'm loving this series 100x more than batman title. Superman is kikcing ass in New 52 right now.

Posted by feedonatreefrog

Superman - by Johns/JRJR

Action Comics - by Pak/Kuder

Superman Unchained - by Snyder/Lee

Batman/Superman - by Pak/Lee

Superman/Wonder Woman - by Soule/Daniel

(Has the Superman line-up ever been this stacked?)

Edited by Boynerdgeek

Superman comics is on the right hand. I'm glad Lobdell is not on this book anymore. Now DC New 52 is keep improving with the right creative team on the right book. Hopefully they will keep improving

Posted by Jphu8414

Love the Johns/JRJR team, here's to hoping that they keep it up like this for a long time.

Posted by Superguy1591

Great issue.

But does every Superman review have to mention how New 52 Superman doesnt feel like Superman?

It's as if Pak's run doesnt exist or something.

Right? People are still hung up on Morrison's Superman from the early days of the N52 that they refuse to see how much he's grown since being that brash kid who was cocky and full of himself and his abilities.

Posted by Superguy1591

@feedonatreefrog:

Superman/Wonder Woman by Tomasi and Mahnke ought to make the Superman books perfectly crafted since I'm not really feeling Soule.

Posted by Squalleon

Superman - by Johns/JRJR

Action Comics - by Pak/Kuder

Superman Unchained - by Snyder/Lee

Batman/Superman - by Pak/Lee

Superman/Wonder Woman - by Soule/Daniel Tomasi/Mahnke :D

(Has the Superman line-up ever been this stacked?)

And suddently the Superman line is DC's strongest line. Good! Considering the mediocrity we have been getting this is a nice pay back.

Edited by Boynerdgeek

Where is Geoff Johns haters (erm especially for those claim they are Batman fans) ? This issue is great read for Superman comics. In Johns we trust

Posted by Squalleon

Where is Geoff Johns haters (erm especially for those claim they are Batman fans) ? This issue is great read for Superman comics. In Johns we trust

Hush! We don't need them here :P

Posted by jwalser3

But does every Superman review have to mention how New 52 Superman doesnt feel like Superman?

Lol.

Posted by HushoftheWind
Posted by Squalleon
Edited by Saint_Wildcard

@superguy1591 said:

@feedonatreefrog said:

Great issue.

But does every Superman review have to mention how New 52 Superman doesnt feel like Superman?

It's as if Pak's run doesnt exist or something.

Right? People are still hung up on Morrison's Superman from the early days of the N52 that they refuse to see how much he's grown since being that brash kid who was cocky and full of himself and his abilities.

Didn't read the review but I shouldn't be surprised Tony bashed New 52 Superman again -___-

But yeah, he's ignored Pak's work which is filling me with nerd rage.

Edited by Superguy1591

@saint_wildcard: He didn't bash; you can read the review. It's a good review, but he still thinks of Action Comics # 1 and JL # 2 Superman as N52 Superman. Did is you read the issue yet BTW?

@g_man: Were you talking about VVD when you said Machinist reminds you of a Marvel villain? And I disagree on Ulysses' hair; I happen to think it is badass. As far as Superman not hearing the transmission, Superman turns off his superhearing when he needs to concentrate on something. He isn't always listening. When he's Clark Kent, he keeps it open so that he could hear a distress signal.

@boynerdgeek: Don't forget Pak! In Pak we trust, too! =D

Edited by entropy_aegis

Where is Geoff Johns haters (erm especially for those claim they are Batman fans) ? This issue is great read for Superman comics. In Johns we trust

Maybe cause we dont like spoiling the fun of others? or because it has no relevance here?

@feedonatreefrog said:

Superman - by Johns/JRJR

Action Comics - by Pak/Kuder

Superman Unchained - by Snyder/Lee

Batman/Superman - by Pak/Lee

Superman/Wonder Woman - by Soule/Daniel Tomasi/Mahnke :D

(Has the Superman line-up ever been this stacked?)

And suddently the Superman line is DC's strongest line. Good! Considering the mediocrity we have been getting this is a nice pay back.

Nah,the Batman line is the strongest.

Posted by obsidian_raindrop1
Posted by senglord

@squalleon: for those who think that the Superman Line is Strongest. No. If Red Hood gets killed off the Bat titles will have no weak links at all. Andraneko is dong a good job with Batwoman, the previews indicate that Batgirl will have some good art to go with a solid writer. Grayson is fresh and original. And the last I checked the Detective Comics run of Bucallato and Manapaul is the best run of the whole New 52. Add in the great work of Tomasi in writing fun and fast Bat stories and we have a flawless line up.

Posted by Superbat420

I really want to know about the being keeping tabs on supes

Posted by Superguy1591

@superbat420: Cleric. The Machinst is new, but Cleric is not. Geoff loves the silver age.

Edited by obsidian_raindrop1

@senglord: redhood is an acquired taste. (Full disclosure I love Batman more than superman) Catwoman suck Batgirl since the new 52 started has been the second most depressing book in dc besides batwing (a book s sad I stopped read cause I wanted the main character to kill himself to end the sadness) batman's line up is stronger but it's close with one bad book (catwoman) to one average book (supergirl) but that to be expeced in a line up of ten awesome books (batman batman and robin detective batgirl batman eternal batwoman redhood and the outlaws geryson harly quin catwoman)

Edited by kivatt

@feedonatreefrog: I know right. Pak's Superman has been great. You can feel the feels from his Superman. I think if they just put the red undies on Superman whenever Pak writes him, they wouldn't have that complaint.

Posted by Fastestmanalive

Great issue. Not as good as last issue. Felt it was a bit choppy at times. But still a great issue.

Posted by Nick-SV(ril)

@g_man: Ah, good observation. That didn't even cross my mind.

Edited by MarcosVergara14

Depsite my initial dislike for Romita in this tittle, he has become one of my favourites Superman's artist. He seem to be getting better trough the issues and i was suprised his art hasn't go down in quality since then. Johns as a witter is allways a plus one for me. He seems to work better when he's only writting one character like Hal and Aquaman, than when he writtes the JL book

Posted by phocracker

@entropy_aegis: once Geoff leaves Superman, the series will be mediocre [at best] again. As well, Zero Year is over, Batman is #2 at the moment