Sunday, October 18, 2015

Review: SUPERMAN #41


[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

WRITER: Gene Luen Yang
PENCILS: John Romita, Jr.
INKS: Klaus Janson
COLORS: Dean White
LETTERS: Rob Leigh
COVER: John Romita, Jr. and Klaus Janson with Alex Sinclair
VARIANT COVER: Karl Kerschl (Joker 75th anniversary cover)
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (August 2015)

Rated “T” for “Teen”

Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster

“Before Truth” Part 1

DC Comics' new-look slash new-direction, “DCYou,” not only means the launch of new comic book series, but it also means a change for ongoing titles.  One of those titles taking on a new direction is Superman, featuring the debut of acclaimed graphic novelist, Gene Luen Yang, as the series' new regular writer.  The art team of Superman remains the same as it has been for the last year:  John Romita, Jr. (pencils) and Klaus Janson (inks), with colorist Dean White and letterer Rob Leigh.

Superman #41 (“Before Truth” Part 1) opens with a tease of what is to come for Superman.  The story returns to the “present” with Clark Kent still dealing with the changes in his Superman powers and abilities.  Something else that is new in Kent's life is unknown figures who sends mysterious text messages that offer tips about the kind of illegal activities that Superman fights.

One tip guides Kent and Jimmy Olsen, who now knows that Clark is Superman, to the underground factory of a black market, hi-teach weapons dealer.  It is indeed a hot and accurate tip, but what are the real motives of this “unknown source?”  And how does it affect Superman's future?

Although I am aware of Gene Luen Yang's work, I have never read any of it.  I was curious about how he would approach Superman, but I expected only a minor change in tone.  Boy, was I wrong.  Everything about Superman #41 seems fresh and, in some instances, new.  This is a Superman that looks forward, with hope and possibility and ready for whatever comes with change.  I think that Superman has always been about tomorrow, about hope, and about the new.  The character grows moribund when the status quo takes hold for years at a time.

In fact, I think that Yang is a better Superman writer for John Romita, Jr.  Previous Superman writer, Geoff Johns, played to Romita's ability to summon the spirit of Jack Kirby in creating king-sized brawls between super-powered beings.  Yang plays to Romita's strengths as a storyteller who is both inventive and imaginative, also to his ability to change mood, tone, and atmosphere within a single chapter.  So this new direction for Superman is about both Gene Luen Yang and John Romita, Jr.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

The text is copyright © 2015 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

No comments:

Post a Comment