Art by: Moritat
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: July 4, 2015
After the first Batman arc of Gods and Monsters, I was looking forward to what was next. Sure, I knew it was going to be a three part Superman story, but thanks to DC's closed lips policies, I knew little else. I was so happy to see that J.M. DeMatteis was continuing as the writer for the entire series and was even happier to see that Moritat would be doing the art for this story. I am a big fan of Moritat and haven't seen his work much since his awesome run on All-Star Western. Everything else, though, was a mystery to me. Now that I've read the issue and had the veil lifted a bit, does this issue continue the awesome promise that the Batman story began? Let's find out...
This is a Superman origin story, but if you've been reading Gods and Monsters, it won't shock you that things are a bit different than usual. While J.M. DeMatteis is keeping some of the particulars a secret for now, what he gives the reader this issue is great...especially for fans of elseworlds stories.
Superman is Hernan, the adopted son of Mexican immigrants. We get hints of the destruction of Krypton, but other than that, we learn about him from his actions and through the narration of his older sister, Valentina. Young Hernan is brash and a tad arrogant, but one thing is clear, he loves his family. Early on, that love appears to be his greatest strength...and possibly his greatest weakness.
This is more of a traditional origin story than DeMatteis gave us with Batman. Because of that, I already feel like I know this character more than I did the Kirk Langstrom Batman. I immediately liked him and give kudos to DeMatteis for giving us a Superman that is a product of his upbringing. Anyone can throw the character into a crazy situation and go with it, but DeMatteis makes it so real and believable.
As the issue progresses we see Hernan change drastically. The issue opens up with him being a scared, but rebellious little boy, but by the end of the issue, he is a broken young man. Again, it all makes perfect sense in the story and it all stems from his powers, his family (and their plight) and one tragic accident. The issue closes with him far from being Superman.
This is the start of something special. J.M. DeMatteis is giving us an alternate version of Superman that isn't about flash and shock value. Superman may look different, but the core values are in place and I can't wait to see more.
After this issue, I may be a bigger fan of Moritat than I was going in. This issue looked beautiful and I really liked how it started looking almost like a children's book and slowly got darker as the story did. Great job!
Bits and Pieces:
J.M. DeMatteis has another winner on his hands. He follows up his excellent Batman story with a great new take on Superman that has me guessing (and anticipating) what comes next. Moritat's art really shines here and is perfect for this story. I can't recommend this issue and the whole series enough.