Just Pretend It's Superman #1
Look, it's better than the Green Lantern banner because I get the point of this one. It's not hyping a movie that didn't need extra hype, and its for a good cause. But it doesn't change the fact that the "We Can Be Heroes" banner is a huge detriment to the covers its on. Or, whatever. It's blue, there's a lot of blue.... maybe I'm loosing steam at the end of the month. It's not as glaring bright as the Green Lantern banner last year. But either way, can we just NOT HAVE ANY BANNERS? They're stupid, and mess up covers, and they're stupid. This comic is now rooted to the time it came out, it sticks out from the rest of the issues in the series because its got a damn banner on it. Sigh.
GEORGE PEREZ IS OFF THE SERIES! As much as I've been hesitant about a lot of the early creative team shifts, this was one that definitely NEEDED to happen. Superman has consistently been in the bottom five of the New 52 because, let's be honest here, it sucked. It sucked hard. George Perez either hates any semblance of subtlety, or thinks all readers are dribbling morons. His run was awful. So don't give the first six issues to any friends looking to get into Superman. Give them ACTION COMICS. Or, give them this and tell them to pretend it's Superman #1.
Ivan Reis delivers a cover very standard for him. Nice artwork, cool pose, but pretty boring and uninspired sense of design. Although... I kind of wish he was doing the interior art. Something about his style just doesn't mesh well with the interior art.
And actually, I'm not super fond of the interior art. It's not 'bad' mind you, but it feels a little off. It feels like.... Oh I see what it is. Dan Jurgens penciled, and Jesus Merino inked. But Merino is inking as if he's inking his own pencils, and so it looks like Merino's pencils, but a bit off. I can barely see Jurgens shining through, and only on a few occasions. I especially don't like the specific sheen that Merino gives to Superman's costume. It just looks weird, and drastically different from the style of the cover art. It's a shame, because aside from the inking, this is likely some of the best penciling Dan Jurgens has done. It takes some ridiculous amount of scrutiny to examine and see where Jurgens ends and Merino begins, but what I can see of Jurgens looks GREAT.
It's odd, there's still A LOT of dialogue, but it doesn't FEEL like a lot of dialogue. Perez gave us waves and waves of text, but Giffen gives us fun text. Perez gave us exposition hell, and Giffen gives us fun chatter. I say Giffen because... well, having been exposed to both writers, I was able to safely say the script has A LOT More Giffen in it than it does Jurgens. Sure enough, the credits list both of them as co-plotters, and Giffen as scripter. Which leads to another problem. While I absolutely LOVE what he does with the background characters and the general public, his inner monologue for Superman feels a little tongue-in-cheek. There's a ton of fun banter between citizens in reaction to Superman's battle, but Superman himself seems a little too silly. It doesn't seem to match his character, and honestly it doesn't seem to match his external dialogue or his facial expressions.
Helspont is a REALLY interesting villain who opens up WORLDS of possibilities with the continued expansion of the DCU wide Daemonite threat. I'm seeing a massive event in the works here, one that actually has deep roots in the stories without forcing you to read everything, and one that WILL change things. I could be wrong though. Helspont also has an AWESOME design, and an interesting personality. He seems extremely entitled, but not in the usual asshole manner. He seems very self confident, and seems to have the ability to back his boasts. He looks so much more refined than the other Daemonites, it's actually a little creepy. And badass.
In Conclusion: 3.5/5
This isn't QUITE what I was hoping for. Giffen writes Superman a smidge too goofy, and Merino's inks REALLY clash with Jurgens' pencils. But I'll say this. It's already A LOT better than any of Perez's issues. So just forget the first six issues and pretend this one is issue #1. Because this issue sure tries its hardest to completely ignore everything Perez did. And THANK GOD FOR THAT.
No wait, it does acknowledge ONE thing from Perez's run. IT LEGITIMIZES THE APPEARANCE OF THE HORN IN SUPERMAN WHEN IT SHOULD'VE BEEN IN STORMWATCH! HOORAY!