Superman #32 [Final Issue?]
Scheduled to arrive in stores: June 22, 2021
Cover date: August 2021
“The One Who Fell” – Part 3
Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artists: Scott Godlewski
Cover: John Timms
Variant Cover: Inhyuk Lee
Pride Variant Cover: David Talakski
Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel
Jon arrives just in time to protect the natives and calls out to Superman for help. To his dismay the Shadowbreed reveal he has been assimilated as part of their legion.
Jon battles the giant robotic beast, buying time for Superman to finally break free. Superman joins his son and tells him that everyone the Shadowbreed is actually still alive. He swears to release them by any means necessary.
The heroes are shocked when Qarath joins them in battle and tells them that the only way to stop the Shadowbreed is with hyperviolet light.
Superman cannot access hyperviolet light with his vision but somehow Jon can. Superman urges his son to step up and pierces the Shadowbreed’s armor with his brute strength creating a hole for Jon to concentrate his hyperviolet vision on. Dealing the final blow that will be the stuff of legend.
Superman realizes that this is the point in time that he must pass the torch to his son…
…the Superman he aspires to be.
Story – 2: Where to start? If you buy into the schmaltz then this is a 5 star read for you. I don’t. This is the point in history Superman’s career ended? This is the premise of Jon’s return from the future. He feared Superman would die at this point in history. This proved a red herring. While I’m happy Superman is alive we then have a deus ex machina in a vision power Superman suddenly is devoid of but Jon is not? Okay… The Amanda Waller story arc went nowhere. The Shadowbreed were a dull villain to end Superman’s career on. This was just a vehicle for Superman to pass the mantle to Jon. It was not even a convincing resolution. I was annoyed by this story arc because it started well and then decided to become an M. Night Shyamalan script.
To be fair Johnson had a mammoth task to fix and maybe it has gone too far beyond fixing that this was the only way out. Will this change in the status quo stick? I guess time will tell.
Again if you like the fluffy story lining this may be right up your street. For me it felt like a lacklustre end to Superman.
Art – 3: The energy is there. The broad strokes, the larger panels and bright colour palette certainly go some way to selling the epic scale of the battle. I’m not sure why but it just feels a bit by the numbers. The narrative between panels seems absent in lieu of ‘bam!’ ‘bam!’ bam!’ set pieces.
Back up story:
“Tales of Metropolis: Redemption”
Writer: Sean Lewis
Artist: Sami Basri
Gangbuster admits her excessive force pushed Loose Cannon over the edge, but points out that Projectress started all of this and by default that lays fault at Bibbo’s feet.
Bibbo admits he finds Projectress intoxicating and has fallen for her manipulations many times. Last night, as ‘Dolores’ she asks Bibbo to introduce her to Superman.
Bibbo explains to the others he tried to find Loose Cannon by exploring the more unsavoury side of Metropolis’ night life. It was during his investigations that Acrata Master of Shadows sought him out and on the proviso it was not for Projecteress, she reunited Bibbo with Cannon.
Acrata and Cannon explain that Projectress’ magic dust that enables her manipulative ability is still plaguing Cannon. Bibbo however has discovered an antidote. If you cannot see the dust, you cannot be manipulated.
Later, Acrata brings Jimmy to see Bibbo at his apartment and Bibo explains he has a plan, tricking Projectress to meet him in an abandoned building where Superman will be. Except Superman isn’t coming. Instead Jimmy and his team are going to take her down.
It works to a point. Loose Cannon arrives to defend the villainess!
During the fracas Bibbo is led away by Projectress. Could he have fallen for her again? In short, no! Acrata appears to help Bibbo, could his plan actually work?!
(I’ll let you enjoy it)
Story – 5: Now THIS is a finale. This is how you end a Superman run. Inspiring the citizens of Metropolis to step up, to continue his legacy. I wish THIS was the story that they went with instead of the Shadowbreed. Maybe with Jimmy and Jonathan as the team leaders taking out ground level crime and Supervillians, while Superman handles the likes of Brainiac and Mongul?
If there is any justice in the world, the powers that be will green light a series; even if it is a limited run.
Art – 5: Perfection. My only sadness is that because it was the back up feature they trimmed out Loose Cannon’s fight with Steel, Gangbuster and Ambush Bug.
Cover Art – 4: Timm’s delivers a great action scene that looks great but as with the others in this storyline. Superman just seems to be there like an extra on a film set. Even if they followed the storyline – have Superman piercing the creature encouraging Jon to finish the job it would have been more appealing.
Variant Cover Art – 5: I like the cover but I still find it a bit frustrating that some artists can’t get a fix on Jon’s age. I like that Superman is the focus and looks iconic doing his traditional shirt rip.
Variant Cover Art – 5: A great pride cover that embraces all but is understated in its depiction.
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