Superman ’78: The Metal Curtain #1
Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 7, 2023
Cover date: January 2024
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: Gavin Guidry
Cover: Gavin Guidry and Jordie Bellaire
Variant Covers: Wilfredo Torres and Jordie Bellaire, Doug Braithwaite, Adrian Gutierrez and Luis Guerrero
Reviewed by: Marc Lax
“New Worlds” – Part Two
We see the destruction of the planet Krypton. We watch as a piece of the planet flies through space. The color slowly glowing green. It crash lands into a farmhouse in 1951 USSR. Years later we’re at the docks in Metropolis where a mysterious deal is taking place. Money changes hands and it’s all recorded on tape by Lois Lane. Until she accidentally reveals her hiding place. Next thing she knows she’s being escorted to her death but not before a boot crushes the tape.
She’s sent out on a boat heading towards a ship. Before they crash Lois muffles out to Superman who quickly swoops in and saves the day. Superman quickly saves the ship from sinking and then flies Lois back home. Next day at the Daily Planet building in Metropolis Lois and Perry have it out over Perry refusing to run her story. There’s no proof and no sources. Perry tells her he’s not running a tabloid. “Confirm your sources and then maybe I’ll print the story”. Clark overhearing all this sides with Perry but still believes Lois shouldn’t give up on the story.
Meanwhile in a secret bunker below Moscow we meet Comrade Morosov and his protege Captain Nikolaev. Nikolaev has been trained to speak fluent English and given a false background so he can infiltrate into American society. Morosov shows Nikolaev the piece of Kryptonite that was found in 1951. After all these years they finally have a weapon that will hold the power within the Kryptonite. An armored suit. Nikolaev’s new name will be Metallo!
Story – 4: This issue was a terrific set up to the story. It’s a great premise and a new take on Metallo. As usual we see how Lois will do anything for a story, except making sure she’s careful that she won’t get discovered. Who is the mysterious man in the shadows accepting money from Captain Evers? I’m almost sure it’s Lex but I’m willing to let the story progress before we can be definite. Loved the scene at the Daily Planet. It was pure Lois and Perry from the movie and the comics. And Clark of course meekly taking Perry’s side, and then seeming insulted when Lois mentions Superman, is exactly what we expect from this version of Clark. The scene stays very true to the movie continuity while also staying in line with the last series. The whole plot of the Russians training one of their own to infiltrate America and use a soldier as their weapon gives off vibes of the classic Atom Man story from the radio series, except this time it’s the Cold War and the weapon is Metallo.
The issue was a lot of fun and definitely makes you want to pick up the next. I’m glad we get another chance to visit this world again.
Art – 4: What is great about the art here is that while we have a new artist on the book the look of the characters are consistent. Yes, you can tell this is not Wilfredo Torres’ pencils but, like his take, these characters look just enough like the actors but not enough to make it seem creepy or be a carbon copy. Guidry has his own take and it actually seems a bit simpler than Torres. I like it.
Cover Art – 4: This represents exactly what this story is about. There is a lot of green but we are dealing with Metallo. And the character designs gives a nice preview of what to expect from Guidry’s pencils.
1:25 Variant Cover Art – 4: While there’s a bit of a rough edge, this is a great drawing of Superman in flight.
1:50 Variant Cover Art – 5: This is a colorful, clean homage to “Superman: The Movie”. Gives me a bit of the feels.
Variant Cover Art – 4: Torres shows us with this cover what a great grasp he has on the Reeve version of Superman.
Card Stock Variant Cover Art – 5: McFarlane Toys can do no wrong with this beautiful image.
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