Mild Mannered Reviews - Superman #2

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Superman #2

Scheduled to arrive in stores: March 21, 2023
Cover date: May 2023

"Chapter Two: The Night of The Parasite"

Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Jamal Campbell
Cover: Jamal Campbell
Variant Cover #1: Tony S. Daniel & Brad Anderson
Variant Cover #2: Gabriel Rodriguez
Variant Cover #3: Jonboy Meyers
1:25 Variant Cover: Juanjo Lopéz
1:50 Variant Cover: Rahzzah
1:100 (A) Variant Cover: Nathan Szerdy
1:100 (B) Jamal Campbell Sketch Cover

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel
Click to enlarge

Superman barely escapes from the swarm of Parasites, seemingly a dozen slender clones of the original. Superman sees that the city has suffered a blackout and scans the city with what's left of his telescopic vision. He's horrified to see thousands of parasites swarming the city and draining it of any energy source.

Elsewhere we discover the Secret Order of Mad Scientists. They bicker amongst themselves over the recent experiments on the villains of Metropolis. They were the greatest minds in the field before Lex Luthor sidelined them, or at least that's their viewpoint. Their leader Dr. Pharm eludes to much bigger threats ahead.

Back in the city the Parasites have somehow invaded Supercorp. Mercy barely survives by using her own nanotech before Superman intervenes with his arctic breath. When Clark quizzes Mercy over who could have altered Rudy's powers, Mercy lies that she has no clue.

Lex interrupts asking Superman to break him out of prison, Superman refuses and asks Mercy to restore power to the building in hopes that Parasite Zero will be drawn to it.

Jon and Kara, the Steels, Super-Man, and the Super Twins are working hard to contain Metropolis inside a wall of ice, seemingly the only way to slow down the swarm.

Jon tells his dad that he hasn't been able to locate his mother and Superman races to rescue his wife. Instead he is met my Marilyn Moonlight, a mysterious cowgirl with supernatural powers. She supercharges Superman with moonlight as a favor and vanishes.

It's then Clark is met by Lois and the other Planeteers... only they've been infected. The Superman family warn Clark that the ice walls are crumbling but Superman has his own problems... the Parasites infect with an airborne virus...

...and he has succumbed to it!

To Be Continued...

5Story - 5: I thoroughly enjoyed this issue, the character writing was brilliant, Superman felt like a hero even with only a small amount of power. It's great when a writer can give you that glimpse into the person behind the powers, a rarity to be honest. That moment when Clark realizes Lois is in danger had me cheering. The threat is high and it looks like it's definitely going to be a challenge for Clark and the family. I love that the Parasite threat happened so fast and escalated to levels that are genuinely deadly.

So why did I dock the book a point? The characters that just appear. I would have appreciated a name credit by the cameos. I know who the Superfamily are but mainly due to "Action Comics" and issue #1, but this Secret Order of Mad Scientists, they just appeared, mid-nefarious plot and I don't know who they are (though I can guess a few). Considering this is a new run I feel like it would have been nice for a newcomer to be introduced to them.

5Art - 5: Last issue was all about colour, hope, brightness and optimism, this issue the art flips to the exact opposite. Campbell's art does a great job of adding atmosphere to the script. I don't think it would have had that element of fear and danger if it weren't for the art. It's also great that even in the darkness, Superman still stands out as heroic and doesn't go down the route of gritted teeth and glowing eyes.

5Cover Art - 5: Exuding darkness and danger, a bold choice, given Marilyn Moonlight is a completely new character and I had fully expected Parasite Zero to be the big bad of the cover art. It really works though when compared with issue #1's bright and bold color choice.

4Variant Cover Art #1 - 4: The shattering of kryptonite chains is an iconic image we've seen many times in Superman's history. Daniel's take bursts with determination and takes the pose to the next level, it utilizes layer blurring to great effect.

4Variant Cover Art #2 - 4: You know you have a great horror cover when looking at it makes your hairs stand on end! The Rodriguez cover level ups the creepy factor of Rudy Jones to the extreme. I don't suffer from trypophobia but even I'm wincing at the thought of Parasite's gross fingertips draining life from Clark.

3Variant Cover Art #3 - 3: This cover is literally exploding with energy. Who doesn't love Superman battling parademons and the big bad Darkseid? It's a bold cover but the framing is why I'm docking it points, it just feels like it needs the other half of the image. Just my opinion but I want to see more! (If that's a valid reason!?)

41:25 Variant Cover Art - 4: This Henry Cavill homage is great fun, a nice way for the mainstream comics to acknowledge the movies existence. The airbrush technique really gives it a unique feel compared to the other cover offerings this month.

51:50 Variant Cover Art - 5: Rahzzah's cover is absolutely fantastic! I love the cgi technique, it feels like a video game cutscene. Kind of disappointed Zod isn't in the book because looks like an epic battle!

41:100 (A) Variant Cover Art - 4: Szerdy makes Marilyn Moonlight look deadly with and sultry with a 1960's vibe and limited color palette. It definitely adds to the mystery of the character.

21:100 (B) Variant Cover Art - 2: This is a really, really disappointing offering as a front cover. It actually takes Moonlight and mad makes her look... dull. I'm not a fan of sketch covers, but I'm sure they have their audience. I'm old enough to remember designs like these being in Direct Currents or a sketch page inside the book itself.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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