Mild Mannered Reviews - Superman #1
Superman #1Scheduled to arrive in stores: February 21, 2023
Cover date: April 2023
"Chapter One: Voices in Your Head"
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Jamal Campbell
Cover: Jamal Campbell
Variant Cover #1: Adam Kubert & Brad Anderson
Variant Cover #2: Ariel Colon
Variant Cover #3: Ibrahim Moustafa
Variant Cover #4: Riccardo Federici
Variant Cover #5: Gabriel Rodriguez
Variant Cover #6: Ed Benes, Wayne Faucher & Dinei Ribeiro
Variant Cover #7: Alexander Lozano
Variant Cover #8: Francesco Mattina
Variant Cover #9: Nick Dragotta
Variant Cover #10: Jorge Jiménez
Variant Cover #11: Tom Derenick & Matt Herms
Variant Cover #12: Simone Di Meo
Variant Cover #13: Sebastian Fiumara
Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel
Click to enlarge
Superman is back in action and unburdened by all the recent chaos that came with the loss of his secret identity. The restoring of it, however, came at a price. An uneasy alliance with Lex Luthor who is still trying to control Superman's actions from prison.
Superman and Lex bicker constantly, but Clark still finds time to capture Livewire, officiate a wedding and get to work at the Daily Planet.
Lex has one more surprise up his sleeve, manifesting in the Lexcorp building altered to have Superman's shield replace the L.
Mercy Graves greets Superman upon his inevitable arrival and explains that Lex has given him all the resources he needs to build a better tomorrow with... SuperCorp.
Superman has had enough of the manipulation and races to confront Lex, however, fate has other plans and an attack on Metropolis may mean the end of Superman.
To Be Continued...
Story - 5: The story jumps straight into the action and introduces new elements without hitting the reader over the head with them. Superman's origin, for example, a must to cover, is handled in a simple unobtrusive montage. A technique repeated for current readers designed as a catch up.
There are a variety of changes that come with a new first issue, Chief Kekoa, a new ally to Superman and Lois' temporary promotion to Editor in Chief of the Daily Planet, high on the list along with a very big change... but we'll come back to that.
The story and its title refer to Lex Luthor. As a quick recap, Lex was able to use technology and psychic manipulation to restore Superman and Jon Kent's secret identity, including a deadly price for anyone that even suspects they are superheroes. For reasons known only to himself, Lex has offered an alliance for something he suspects needs Superman, his family and himself working together.
I really enjoyed this issue and the dynamic between Lex and Superman. Their back and forth dialogue was very entertaining and I could fully empathise with Clark as he found Lex steadily more and more annoying. Of course I don't believe a word coming our of Mercy's mouth either!
The hero/villain alliance has been done before but the creation of SuperCorp really threw me for a loop. It will be interesting to see how he balances parenthood, journalism, superheroics and helming a business empire.
As much as this main story is entertaining, the parallel story involving a pantheon of villains that share Superman and Luthor as enemies is interesting. I feel like there could have been a little more exploration of that this issue.
A solid first issue that wasn't too in your face with the usual 'all-new and edgy' vibe. It has me looking forward to more because I feel like we only scraped the surface.
Art - 5: The art is a vibe. I bought into the art style immediately, it's optimistic, energetic, bold and bright. It was quite atmospheric and I definitely felt like I was in Metropolis. I like Clark wearing can headphones and why, not so much Jimmy's haircut though.
I am fan of inking giving a bit more depth to the art and panel composition so, although I'm aware it's a specific art choice, I wasn't too keen on the coloring doing some of the heavy lifting. As it's a new direction I am sure it's something I will notice less and less as issues go forward, especially as I felt drawn in with the visuals almost immediately.
Cover Art - 5: Echoing the art inside we have the same atmospheric and optimistic approach. Really nice to see everyone happy on the cover. The sunrise helped give a real positive and warm feeling. Very heroic.
Variant Cover Art #1 - 2: Personally this just didn't feel like it fit the book at all. In comparison to the story and art, this was just too dark. It doesn't feel like Superman.
Variant Cover Art #2 - 4: Ariel Colon has chosen to highlight Lois and in a painted style. It's nice to see a strong woman like Lois take centre stage and here she looks like she takes no prisoners.
Variant Cover Art #3 - 3: As a piece of art it's a really nice painting, in context of the book I'm not sure where it fits to be honest. It's a personal choice but it just didn't fit the book especially as a first issue. It has a feeling of wonder and curiosity but I don't think its very strong.
Variant Cover Art #4 - 4: Federici's Superman means business here. I really like the cover and the painting really draws your eye to Superman. Very atmospheric.
Variant Cover Art #5 - 5: Ah! The Luthor cover! I really like this confrontation and how Lex is completely unfazed. I like that no computer effects or art layers are used here to emulate a reflection relying fully on the artists skill.
Variant Cover Art #6 - 5: I like that this trio have opted for a a civilians eye view. It's always nice to see how the citizens of Metropolis view and react to Superman. A really nice cover, though for my tastes I wish Superman were a little bigger.
Variant Cover Art #7 - 5: I can understand how the cover can trigger a trypophobia sufferer. It really creeped my out. I'd prefer never to never see Parasite up close like this again! Feels like its straight out of a horror movie!
Variant Cover Art #8 - 5: Wow, if you wanted an action cover, this definitely delivered! Mattina knows exactly how to make an impact!
Variant Cover Art #9 - 5: Dragotta's cover has an real iconic feel to it. It is determined, colourful and showed a really confident Superman.
Variant Cover Art #10 - 4: Nice to see the relationship between Lois & Clark shown positively. This isn't as dynamic as some of Jiménez's work and I feel like there is a little too much line work on Clark's face.
Variant Cover Art #11 - 4: Love some recognition of Bibbo, but wouldn't he have a photo of he and Superman together? I feel like it was a missed opportunity for a a buddy cover. Having said that, it's still a fun cover and seeing Superman having fun is always a great cover.
Variant Cover Art #12 - 4: Great depiction of Livewire, though I like a Leslie that is a little more gleeful as a personal choice. The use of computer editing to accentuate the electric charge really makes to cover stand out.
Variant Cover Art #13 - 5: Revisiting Superman imprisoning villains in the phantom zone is an interesting choice. It's beautifully realised and if I have to be nitpicks, I don't like this version of the S Shield. Other Thant that tiny issue, it's a top score from me!
Mild Mannered Reviews
2023Note: Except for digital first releases, the month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.
- The Death of Superman 30th Anniversary Special
- Superman: Son of Kal-El #17
- Action Comics #1049
- Superman: Kal-El Returns Special #1 (One Shot)
- Batman/Superman: World's Finest #9
- Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #6
- Dark Crisis: Young Justice #6
- DC vs. Vampires #11
- Multiversity: Teen Justice #6
- Dark Knights of Steel #8
- DC: Mech #5
- Young Justice: Targets #5
- Superman: Son of Kal-El #18
- Action Comics #1050
- Batman/Superman: World's Finest #10
- Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #7
- DC vs. Vampires #12
- DC: Mech #6
- Young Justice: Targets #6
- Action Comics #1051
- Lazarus Planet: Alpha #1 (One Shot)
- Lazarus Planet: Assault on Krypton #1 (One Shot)
- Batman/Superman: World's Finest #11
- Dark Knights of Steel #9
- Superman #1
- Action Comics #1052
- Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent #1
- Superman: Lost #1
- Batman/Superman: World's Finest #12
- Superman: Space Age #3 [Final Issue]
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