Saturday, October 13, 2018

Superman Giant #3 Review

Dark Universe

Written by: Tom King
Art by: Andy Kubert, Sandra Hope, Brad Anderson, and Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: September 7 2018

This is a review for the Tom King/Andy Kubert original story Superman: Up in the Sky Part One. 

One of the biggest selling points for these 100 page Giants was getting to see Tom King write a full Superman story.  Well, here it is!  Is it any good?  Let's find out...

The issue begins with Superman getting a call from Batman that there has been trouble in Gotham...a family murdered and a little girl kidnapped.  Why is this a job for Superman?  Well, Batman won't tell him, but just says to talk to the girl in the hospital.

Okay, I have been critical about Tom King's insistence on death and tragedy as one of the only things that drive almost all of his stories forward, but I was really hoping this story would be different.  These books are geared towards getting new readers and maybe it's just in my mind, but I figured that meant newer, YOUNGER readers.  I am not saying that young kids should be shielded from darker stories, but maybe ease them in a bit.  This starts off with kidnapping and death...yippee!!!

Superman does talk to the girl in the hospital and finds out about Alice, her sister who has been taken into space by an unknown bad guy.  One of the big points is that Alice loved Superman.  He was her favorite superhero.  Why does this matter?  Superman wouldn't go after her if Green Arrow was her favorite.  It's just there to force the idea that Superman will drop everything to go save this little girl.  It also makes for some good repeated dialogue throughout the issue.

When a big writer gets on a new book with a big character, they seem to want to prove they know the character.  Bendis did it when he started on the Superman books and King does it as well.  We get a scene with a yelling Perry White that doesn't amount to anything.  In fact, the whole point of it is just pushed aside when Clark decides to do what we all know he was going to anyway.  There is also a bit with Pa Kent which is nice, but will come off as strange to anyone reading Superman comics these last 7 or so years.  Of course, Lois is there as well.  Grey continuity aside (Married?), this was my favorite part.  In a few panels, Tom King shows me that he may be suited to write a really kick-ass Lois book!  I do think he goes a bit too far by having Hal show up and mentioning the Green Lantern Corps since this is more of a job for them which only is stressed more by them being included.

All of this is interspersed with action scenes that are like a greatest hits album of Superman battles and after the book takes an even darker turn near the end, I was left wishing it all just had to do with these battles.  By the end, Superman decides to do the hero thing which is no surprise and I was left wondering if this is the type of story to get people onboard the DC trolley.

I think I may have come off a bit more negative in the body of this review than I actually am.  I don't think it's a perfect Superman story, but it's not horrible.  Tom King may force it a bit, but he shows that Superman is a hero even to other heroes and gets across some of his best points.  I just wish it could have been done without the doom and gloom.  Oh well, maybe that is the one thing that new readers should expect if they go off to the regular runs of books...but that's a gripe for a different day.

Bits and Pieces:

Tom King steps up to the plate to show he can write Superman and while he succeeds to a degree, I wish the story could have been a bit brighter.  Readers are treated to the typical King death and tragedy, but also some awesome art by Andy Kubert that plays like a greatest Superman battles mixtape.  I wish we got more of the latter, but sadly that's not the case.  We are left with a decent first issue that may have already lost site about why it exists in the first place.


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