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.
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.
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.