Review: Smallville Season 11 #1 By Bryan Q. Miller and Pere Perez

Smallville Season 11 #1

Written by Bryan Q. Miller

Art by Pere Perez and Randy Mayor

 

 

The short of it:

 

It’s been six months since Superman debuted to save the world from Darkseid and Apokolips, and we’re treated to a view of what Metropolis is like and where our supporting cast wound up. Ollie and Chloe Queen at Watchtower, Lois sleeping in her and Clark’s apartment in a Superman shirt, and Lex…being up to something. Meanwhile, in orbit, a red light flashes and damages a Russian space station, setting up a critical rescue and on panel debut by the Man of Steel! Superman saves the day and takes issue with people treating him like a hero as he thinks they are the real heroes, and he’s just doing his job.

 

 

What I liked:

 

  • Bryan Q. Miller and Pere Perez! The Batgirl creative team returns!
  • The Superman: Year One feel is…perfect. I mean, yes, that’s where the book obviously had to go now that Clark is Superman, but reading it just feels right. It feels a lot more Superman-like than the other Year One story rolling in Action Comics.
  • The dialogue. If there’s one thing I knew would carry over well, it’s the dialogue. BQM did magic with it in his Batgirl run, and given his history as a Smallville writer, coupled with this being Smallville….I think there was no way this book wasn’t going to be dialogue heavy.
  • Despite one look at the title saying ‘this book is not new reader friendly’, this book is VERY new reader friendly! Being a Smallville fan will obviously help, but I went in with limited knowledge and had no issues.

 

What I didn’t like:

 

  • Despite my really digging the dialogue, there are some ham fisted portions. Like Superman telling an astronaut that he’s the real hero rather than sign an autograph for his kid. The moment is good, but “Your son already has a hero to look up to, Cosmonaut” isn’t.
  • The issue is a quick read, and nothing really happens save for the setup…and even then, there’s no sexy hooking cliffhanger trying to bring me back next issue.

 

Final Thoughts:

 

I’ll admit that I was not the biggest Smallville fan. I mean, I watched a decent amount of it, but it was never a big must watch show for me. In the later seasons Geoff Johns is what brought me in to watch episodes. Lately I’ve been going back and watching random episodes here and there, and I’ll admit that they’ve been the BQM episodes. What can I say? I was missing new material by one of my favorite writers, and those not so new episodes are still new to me.

 

Talk about good Superman, this may very well be the best single issue of Superman I’ve read in a while. It stands alone, tells a good story, and sets up for more.

 

The issue doesn’t have a lot going on, and it really does feel like setup for the future issues, but I can see readers having issues getting hooked just by nature of the book not having a plot to hook on. Instead, this book looks like it’s going to be driven by strong characterization and a likable cast. Given that Q’s Batgirl thrived in that very same way…DIGITAL PULL LISTED!

 

How long until we see Booster Gold in this book?

 

So this book goes weekly starting in June? I think that might actually help it quite a bit. The fact that it’s full sized is a big plus (twenty pages beats eight to twelve), but if it’s coming out weekly then we should have no problem solving any issues with hooks or potential pacing. Smallville worked as a weekly show for a reason. Really, Buffy Season 9 should try this method.

 

Wait, if this book goes weekly, does that mean that Bryan and Pere are locked down? That would suck because I’m still hoping and praying for a return of Stephanie, but at the same time…DIGITAL PULL LISTED!

 

A nice touch is that the characters look like their real life counterparts. Superman looks like Tom Welling able to pull off the suit…while the suit looks like the Superman Returns suit. They could have tried to make everyone look like a generic version of the character, so I’m giving props for the book still looking very much like Smallville.

 

Big props to artist Pere Perez, who does an excellent job here. I look at this issue and imagine that some editor on a New 52 book is kicking themselves wishing they’d acquired him for one of their books. He does great character work, and really captures Superman perfectly. You can see the man as well as the icon, and it’s a nice touch.

 

My biggest weakness really is good Superman. You can tell where I got my start. And beyond that, this book is a dollar to buy digitally! That’s an awesome deal!

 

Overall: 9/10

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