After seeing a younger Superman in the pages of Action Comics, we now get to witness Superman in current time. With big changes happening in Metropolis, this Superman will have to figure out where he fits in.
With each 'New 52' issue, we're not sure how much is going to change and how much will stay the same. From the very beginning we find out there are some changes going on with the Daily Planet. It's an interesting decision but it makes sense with where we are today. Seeing the different supporting characters throughout the comic adds to the fun in trying to see who has survived the transition to this new DC Universe and what new characters are popping in. The big question is how will Superman be portrayed. In Action Comics, the younger Superman was quicker to take matters into his own hand. He was going to do things his way, end of story. The Superman here is obviously a little older. You can see a difference between the two appearances. It's a good mix of updating his attitude without making him the stiff hero that does everything by the book.
The bigger change is with the supporting cast. Change isn't always a good thing but here, some of the changes we're seeing are more of an evolution, and that's a good thing. How much of a role they all play will be interesting to see as they sometimes get shoved aside as Superman deals with giant threats to Metropolis or even the world.
The art is appropriate for a Superman comic and you still get a feel that this Superman is a little younger than the Superman we've been reading the past few years. Besides writing, George Perez does the breakdowns with Jesue Merino doing the pencils and inks. I would love to see in a future issue or trade what Perez's breakdowns look like compared to the final product. Somehow I missed the announcement that Brian Buccellato is doing the colors (colorists are unfortunately underrated in comics). It's great seeing the darker colors used in Superman during the night scenes and the way the flashback sequences are colored to make it clear it's a flashback without having to make fuzzy edges around the panel. There is a lot of darkness here (for a Superman comic) but when the story calls for brightness, it's there in full force.
We're now seeing Superman's early days (in Action Comics) and his current days. There clearly is a difference in the character and we're left wondering what has happened in the years in between. Superman feels a little more distant to the people of the city and I wonder how the coordination with his character is with Action Comics and Justice League.
I felt a little confused over the nature of the threat here. There is mention of a connection to a 'New 52' issue from earlier this month. Of course that's the one I hadn't gotten around to reading since my comic shop didn't get their full shipment of that title when it was first released. There might be more to it that it appears but I would've liked to have seen a bigger villain/threat for the first issue of Superman.
The issue was enjoyable in setting things up but felt it needed just a little bit more. Because Superman was portrayed as a little distant, it didn't quite give the issue a warm feeling. I want to care about Superman and cheer him on as he fights. The guy here wearing the S-shield didn't quite inspire me to root for him.
The Man of Steel is ready to protect Metropolis. Things are changing all around. It's not just Superman's costume that is different here. Some time has passed since his appearance in Action Comics #1 earlier this month. We're left with a bit of a mystery as to what has happened in the years before. We get to see a lot of familiar faces around Metropolis along with some new ones. The changes some of the characters have gone through are interesting to see and definitely feel like an evolution for them. How this new Metropolis plays out and what Superman's role will be is going to be interesting. The art was fitting for a Superman comic yet still made it clear that this Superman is a little younger than the one we've been reading prior to 'The New 52.' The first issue is pretty dark (literally as it takes place at night) and Buccellato's colors really enhance Superman's new costume (which I'm still on the fence over). I would have preferred a bigger villain for the first issue but the tease at the end for next issue sounds like it's going to be some old school fun.