Mild Mannered Reviews - Superman Comics

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Superman #31

Scheduled to arrive in stores: May 4, 2021

Cover date: July 2021

"The One Who Fell" - Part 2

Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artists: Scott Godlewski and Norm Rapmund
Cover: John Timms
Variant Cover: Inhyuk Lee

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel
Click to enlarge

Faldr has been possessed by an alien presence known as the Shadowbreed. Both Clark and Jon fight Faldr and the other aliens present. Faldr regains control long enough to beg for his life.

As Superman and Jon escape the chamber they arrive on a floating asteroid. Clark asks Jon how he's gained a new power: detonating heat vision. Despite this new skill, it's not enough to end the Shadowbreed.

Jon accompanies the king to their laboratories, while Superman intends to help the natives. But at first what seemed a wise plan has turned into a battle to the death in a double cross that took them by surprise.

Could this be the mysterious battle Jon learned about in the 31st century? The one Superman doesn't survive? All signs point to yes and the giant robot the Shadowbreed have activated may be the one to finish the job.

4Story - 4: Story development is on the light side here. The story is a thinly veiled attempt to make Superman the older, less capable hero. With Jonathan and his new powers more than a match for the villains. It's not done in an 'aggressive deconstruction' of Superman like the previous writer and this is a far more palatable progression. I would have preferred more exploration of the Thakkram and Shadowbreed as we know nothing beyond the expositionary dialogue.

I guess this storyline is the beginning of the end of the title before the reboot. I didn't mind the two parter done recently as Jon seemed older but no writer seems to be able to get a handle on his age and how he would act at that age. Jon seems so naive in this storyline so far.

3Art - 3: As mentioned in the Story breakdown, Jonathan's age is a fluctuating issue, it's made worse here in the art. On some pages he looks early teens, on others pre-teen and I know there are two artists here grappling with the segue of blending the two but Jonathan is meant to be late teens. The rest of the book was illustrated well but a little pedestrian, but that's more to do with the script.

Back up story:

"Tales of Metropolis: Loose Cannon & Gangbuster"
Writer: Sean Lewis
Artist: Sami Basri

Loose Cannon watches as Gangbuster brutally beats a supervillain named Division (and his duplicates) to a pulp. Cannon notes that this Gangbuster is far more aggressive than the original. Jose Delgado believed in justice, but his daughter Rebekah seems more focused on rage. Rage is something Loose Cannon is more than familiar with, though these days he has control over his rage driven alter ego.

Later, waiting at Bibbo's for Jimmy and the other vigilantes. Cannon and Gangbuster still cannot see eye to eye on the level of violence being dished out. When Rebekah pushes the goading too far Cannon looses control and his hulking monster begins trashing the bar and anyone in his path before disappearing into the night.

Bibbo reveals to the others that Projectress influenced Cannon to destroy their team and used him as a tool to get close enough to do it.

Bibbo watches Gangbuster being taken to the emergency room and swears to make things right, unaware that Projectress is watching him...

5Story - 5: I know I'm repeating myself but the back up story is far more compelling than the main story. In a way I wish they'd switch over as more happened in these few pages than the past two issues of the main story. Also seeing so many characters that make up Metropolis is a joy.

5Art - 5: Deja vu. That's right nothing has changes since last month. Basri's art is fantastic. The layouts, the detail even for background characters. It's a solid 5.

5Cover Art - 5: The cover is pretty good. The threat is deadly the heroes look genuinely threatened but as is the current trend, Superman has become the damsel in distress and Jonathan the force to be reckoned with. I cannot fault to cover unless I say its perhaps overpromising what is actually in the book?

4Variant Cover Art - 4: I hate to say it, but this cover is boring... It's beautifully illustrated, but there's no threat, there's no action. It's the superhero equivalent of someone taking a walk. And it suffered again by Jonathan looking baby-faced.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Except for digital first releases, the month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

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