Superman #203 Review

Reviewer: Chris Delloiacono
Story Title: Godfall: Part 6 – Divinity

Written by: Joe Kelly & Michael Turner
Penciled by: Talent Caldwell
Inked by: Jason Gorder
Colored by: Peter Steigerwald
Lettered by: Comicraft
Associate Editor: Tom Palmer Jr.
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Publisher: DC Comics

To be honest, I haven’t been digging the “Godfall” arc since it began. I found it somewhat confusing at the start, as things became clearer, I just felt it to be a bland story that I didn’t need to read, which had only one plus—utterly breathtaking artwork by the team of Talent Caldwell and Jason Gorder. To give the book as fair a review as possible, I decided to read all six parts in one sitting (It took all of thirty minutes).

To be honest, the arc read better as a whole. Even still this sixth part of “Godfall” left me with quite a bad taste in my mouth. I’ve tried to like the story—have I mentioned the art?—but every single issue, I get that same blah feeling as I read. Admittedly the story does come together into a satisfying conclusion, but a conclusion that took far too long to arrive, and then just happened in a flash.

The biggest problem I had with “Godfall” as a whole and this issue on its own was the decompressed story. Considering that throughout the six parts only 16 pages of each comic have been devoted to the lead story, decompression shouldn’t have been an issue. Yet, this issue had three splash pages and several other pages with little more than a few sparse panels. This was the nature of the entire storyline, and what really seemed to stretch story out for no discernible reason.

The biggest disappointment this month is that the pages that follow the main story don’t feature one of the excellent backups that filled out the other “Godfall” issues. Instead, we’re left with, as the cover declares, a “Special 6-Page Jim Lee Sketch Book Bonus.”

I must ask…what the hell is this? First off, it’s not really a bonus when they’re taking six regular story pages to give me a sketchbook. I understand the name “Jim Lee” sells comic books like few others these days, but I really don’t feel like I got anywhere near my money’s worth for this comic. I love grand imagery in comic storytelling, splash pages are wonderful, but this was essentially a comic devoid of story and featuring precious little characterization. It was a big fight scene with some “extra” splash pages at the back of the book.

I don’t want to spend an entire review raging about this comic book, because Talent Caldwell deserves some major credit here. I don’t currently read any of Top Cow’s offerings, so Caldwell’s name was new to me as the “Godfall” story debuted. Let’s just say that Mr. Caldwell left a fabulous and lasting impression on me from the first part and continued to build my awe for his work as the storyline reached its conclusion. His linework is outstanding, and he’s got a gift for translating expression from anger, to pain, down to the more tender moments as well. If Talent Caldwell doesn’t become one of the next big stars of the industry, I’d be very surprised.

To close, I’d like to take a look at the six issues of “Godfall” as reviewed by the 411Mania staff, and come up with a cumulative grade for the storyline.

Part 1 (Action Comics #812) – Reviewer: Kyle Litke – 8.5
Part 2 (Adventures of Superman #625) – Reviewer: Mike Maillaro – 7.5
Part 3 (Superman #202) – Reviewer: Gary L. Day – 6.0
Part 4 (Action Comics #813) – Reviewer: Mike Maillaro – 9.0
Part 5 (Adventures of Superman #626) – Reviewer: Kyle Litke – 7.5
Part 6 (Superman #203) – Reviewer: Chris Delloiacono – 5.5

Averaged out that’s a cumulative score of a “7.5” for “Godfall” as rated by the crack 411Mania review staff. This one definitely split the reviewers, some liked and some…well not so much. Even still that average is pretty solid!