Review: Superman #2 by George Pérez & Jesus Merino

The real problem is what can you really say about Superman that hasn’t been said 100 times already. And the best thing about this series is that George Pérez doesn’t try to. He leaves that to Action Comics, where Grant Morrison is writing a story that casts Superman in a completely new light. Pérez is writing a simple Superman story.

An arc that establishes who is Superman in the new DC Universe, and who is Clark Kent in this new Metropolis. He might be the perfect man for the job, so it’s a real shame he is leaving after issue #6. Pérez is old school, but he has always been an artist who is looking forward to new ways of doing things, and not mired in the past.

I also really enjoy how these issues are resolved in a single issue. Some heroes, like Batman, work best with story arcs where the story can unfold slowly like a mystery. Other heroes, like Superman, work best in a single issue format where the plot and the resolution are able to be captured within the 22 pages. And yet there is still a sense of an overall story developing behind the scenes.

And so, of to issue #2

Superman #2: Flying Blind

Publisher: DC Comics
Script & Breakdowns: George Pérez
Pencils & Inks: Jesús Merino
Cover Price: $2.99
Review: Digital Version (from Comixology)

In issue #1, Superman battled a flame creature around the city of Metropolis, using the last vestiges of the demolished Daily Planet to finish it off. At the same time, Lois Lane launched her new career as the head nightly news producer of the Planet Global Network (a combination of the Daily Planet and the GBS network). Superman is able to defeat the flame creature, but not before it speaks in the Kryptonian language to him.

Synopsis

  • Superman is studying (governmental?) star charts to try and figure out where the fire creature came from, when he is chastised by Gen. Sam Lane.
  • Superman reminisces about Clark’s new relationship with Lois Lane.
  • In the Metropolis subway, two police officers try to help remove a homeless man whose eyes glow red.
  • Superman is attacked by a creature that is invisible to Kryptonian vision, but he can see the creature in video cameras. He takes the creature to a video store, where he is able to see the creature from multiple angles.
  • The homeless man visits the night watchmen who was trapped in the fire last issue and starts to talk to him, in the same language.

Questions and Answers

Q1. What was the last confrontation between Superman and General Lane? Was it five years ago in the current Action Comics storyline?

Q2. Where is Superman when he is reviewing star charts? Military? Military Contractors? STAR Labs? Other?

Q3. Obviously, the fire creature and the invisible creature are related. Is someone testing Superman?

Q4. Superman wishes that things could be different between he and Lois. Is there something other than his secret identity that is keeping him from Lois?

Analysis

Once again an enjoyable issue of Superman. Sometimes I think Superman writers go so far afield trying to create a realistic threat for Superman, and they end up with long story arcs and detailed plot lines. And here, someone like George Pérez is able to create two simple creatures who are able to push Superman to the max for a single issue, and then they disappear like the monsters of the week that they are.

For the most part this was just pretty good/above average, but it is so refreshing to have a conflict introduction and conflict resolution in a single issue. Don’t get me wrong, in the late 80s I would have killed for story arcs, but I like a nice balance in my comic reading.

I’m not a big Superman fan, so I don’t know if anyone has ever played with an alien that was invisible or one that couldn’t be detected by Kryptonian yellow sun abilities. For me, this was a very refreshing take on a new villain for Superman. Not one that he couldn’t combat, but one that would give him enough trouble to make the issue appealing.

And thank you very much for not going with the obvious covering the villain in flour routine. That went out with Saturday morning Scooby Doo episodes.

Lois says that Jonathan is just a friend visiting from out of town? Um, he was in her apartment with his shirt off, and she tells him to get back in bed. If you’re hooking up with someone, then say you were hooking up with them, or rekindling an old flame, enjoying old memories. Unless Lois is VERY promiscuous, there’s no way she would describe it that way.

I’m old school enough to appreciate Cat (Catherine Grant) being reintroduced to a new audience, and I’m new school enough to cringe at dialog such as “You know — all that boring ‘social issues’ stuff.” I’ve met shallow people in my life, but none would express their shallowness in this way.

The breakdown of the homeless man was not as good as it could be. I see a face, and then I see glowing red eyes. Is that the homeless man, or someone else? I know the answer, but I like a story to tell me, rather than me having to put the pieces together.

This book is well drawn, but sometimes the characters look waay to young. I mean yes, maybe people like a younger Superman, but I’m fairly sure they don’t want him looking like he was in a boy band either.

Okay, the Fortress of Solitude is a common place where Superman can hang out. But this is its first appearance in the DCnU. Can’t we have a full illustration of the Fortress, and not just a tight shot? I’d like to know what the DCnU Fortress looks like. Maybe Superman has some new kickin’ Kryptonian swag!

The voice mail from Lois is really well done. Superman sitting in the Fortress of Solitude by himself, the work closing him in, and Lois calls about him living in Solitude. That is something very interesting to explore, the reason for the naming of the Fortress of Solitude. I’m sure the name of his fortress has been explored previously, but even so it is a very nice parallel with excellent artwork to nail the point home.

Verdict

I’m enjoying the reading of this series, and yet nothing is really pulling me forward with it. I’m not overly intrigued with where the book is going, but each page is well done and quite good. Like a really good peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It doesn’t make you want to eat it every day, but it’s still really good.

7.0

 

 

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