Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Superman #5 Review

Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Jamal Campbell
Colors by: Jamal Campbell
Letters by: Ariana Maher
Cover art by: Jamal Campbell (cover A)
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: June 20, 2023

Superman #5 explores the blossoming love between Jimmy Olsen and Silver Banshee (???) when the reformed vocal villain is forced to do the bidding of Pharm and Graft.

Is It Good? 

I liked this issue a lot because it's probably the best of Joshua Williamson's run so far (or at least a close second to issue #1). Why is it so good? Because it has everything you want in a Superman comic - big action, heart, genuine stakes, fantastic art, and an "Oh snap!" cliffhanger. Williamson creates the pieces and assembles them for a comic greater than the sum of its parts.

When last we left, the Man of Steel, Pharm, and Graft coerced a retired Silver Banshee to attack Superman after receiving a kryptonite-powered power upgrade. The issue ended with the amusing twist revealing that Silver Banshee and Jimmy Olsen are in a romantic relationship. Now, Silver Banshee's boosted powers spiral out of control, Superman steps in with a little tech help from Mercy and the Supercorps, and Jimmy Olsen jumps into the fray to save his girlfriend.

Williamson's approach to Silver Banshee's predicament works on multiple levels. Through a flashback, we see how Jimmy and Siobhan met and fell in love. Superman is in top form when Mercy's delivery of sonic weapons is rejected, except for what he can use as a non-lethal solution. The aftermath of Silver Banshee's apprehension leads to a surprisingly fun double date. And Luthor learns a hard reality about prison life.

That's a lot to take in, but it all works because Williamson executes each scene with a fine balance of drama, humor, and heart. The dialog is on-point. Jimmy Olsen gets multiple opportunities to have his character elevated beyond the mild-mannered office boy. And the ending creates a cliffhanger built on the consequences of the story. You could argue the cliffhanger is only possible due to a contrivance from Superman's battle with Silver Banshee, but it makes sense.

So much of the success of this issue is possible due to Jamal Campbell's outstanding art. In terms of art, the last few issues are outstanding. Still, this one is better because Campbell flexes creative muscle during the main fight to show Superman fighting against supernaturally created sound. It's tough to imagine, but Campbell makes it easy to see. The entire issue is infused with movement and energy that serves Williamson's writing well.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Superman #5 may be the best issue in Williamson's run, with a highly entertaining and amusing mix of action, heart, drama, and humor. Jimmy Olsen gets a big moment to shine with Superman, and the art is fantastic.


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