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Review Brew: Superman 41

Writer: Gene Luen Yang

Artist: John Romita Jr.

Inker: Klaus Janson

Colorist: Dean White

When we get new starts from DC, I always look out for new approached on major characters. In the trinity, Batman and Wonder Woman have gone through change (most notably Batman), but in terms of line wide, Superman may have the largest change, unsurprisingly based on the previous views on Superman. I’ve tried all of the Superman line books with the new status quo this month, and all have been successful. This week we got one of the more anticipated titles in Superman 41, cementing the Superman line in a solid place going forward.

Before Convergence, Geoff Johns returned to Superman and seemingly brought that title into the light, following the path laid forward by Pak, Tomasi, and Soule. When hearing that Gene Luen Yang would take over writing duties post Convergence, I was very excited. Yang is known from the 2006 Graphic Novel American Born Chinese, which was critically lauded in comic book and literature circles alike. What we got was a promising first issue. While it was intensely plot based, the Superman voice appears to be there, which was what was lacking in Superman for much of the post new 52 continuity. What really got me excited about this though, was the usage of Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane. This finally feels like the book where we’re going to get the support cast in the spotlight. When Clark Kent receives a mysterious text tipping him off to a major arms deal in Metropolis, Superman and Jimmy Olsen thwart the bad guys as expected. The mystery texter, however, isn’t finished with Clark, and with Lois closing in on Clark’s secret life as Superman, things are getting hairy. This story feels grounded, but the stakes remain high enough for a character like Superman. While I was looking for a little bit more in the character moments, I’m holding out hope for that in future issues, knowing that Gene Luen Yang is a writer of very high quality.

To prefix really getting into the art, I want to come out and say that Romita Jr. is one of my favorite artists in comics. That being said, this issue felt a little heavy on Janson’s inks, which you can kind of come to expect from Janson. At points, the art got incredibly shadowy, which isn’t totally what I come to expect in a Superman story like this. While tonally odd, it was still beautiful stuff. There’s more reason to believe that the quality of the art can go nowhere but up with the reputation this team has. Panel to panel, especially in the action scenes, the movement and kinetic style cuts like a knife. Dean White’s colors brings a clarity to these high motion panels, really giving the art a nice all around feel. If I had one nit pick there, I would love to see some more of White’s stuff, and slightly less of those heavy Janson ink’s.

For Superman fans, I would definitely recommend checking this book out. Along with Action Comics, it looks like DC finally has a strong hold on the Superman everyone has come to know and love (not commenting on the movie universe here at all). Moving forward, it looks like this story is going to be a fun one, and a great introduction for Gene Luen Yang in the DC universe.


4 Blue Dreadlocks out of 5

About Brett I (152 Articles)
Born in Philadelphia and currently residing in Portland OR, Brett has been reading and collecting comics in some capacity since 2008 and is now fully immersed. Also, Brett is an avid follower of Professional Wrestling since the crumbling of The Alliance. Philadelphia/Chicago Sports consumed here.
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