Superman Annual 2023 #1
Scheduled to arrive in stores: August 8, 2023
“The City of Secrets”
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artists: Mahmud Asrar, Edwin Galmon, Caitlin Yarsky, Max Raynor and Jack Herbert
Cover: Mahmud Asrar & Dave Mc Craig
Variant Covers: Jock, Chris Samnee, Matheus Lopes, Mikel Janin, Edwin Galmon & Jorge Jimenez
Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel
Superman is battling a giant Toyman robot and in the meantime Lois Lane is holding a pitch meeting with the Daily Planet staff asking about recent events. The staff all have ideas, the problem is they are just plain, boring ideas. There are no stories to set them above the crowd. She angrily sends them out to hunt for stories and tells Jimmy to investigate Supercorp.
Jimmy meets Mercy Graves and receives the standard tour of the building but it suddenly takes a turn when a skinny Rudy Jones (aka Parasite) enters. Following Superman’s instruction, Parasite is in a work release programme with a Supercorp armband that steadily feels him energy to regulate his good mood and strength.
Jimmy is suspicious and when one of Parasite’s last offspring clambers out of the air ducts everyone tries to attack it thinking Rudy had backed out of the deal with Superman. Rudy intervenes and helps calm the frightened creature and begs for it to be spared as his pet. Rudy really is reformed and Superman’s deal with Supercorp is actually working!
Jimmy finally has a scoop!
Meanwhile Lois is missing the newsbeat and some off the cuff remarks from a slovenly Steve Lombard encourages her to hunt for a story herself. Visiting Strykers Island, Lois wants to get a one on one interview with Livewire, but of course things don’t run smoothly as Red Cloud uses the distraction to attempt a break out.
Cue a battle between Livewire and Red Cloud. The ensuing fight inspires Lois and she decides she has a bigger, better idea.
Cat Grant is on a ride along with Chief Kekoa when they run into Marlyn Moonlight and through their shared pain, Cat may have got her exclusive.
Elsewhere Superman tracks down Toyman to a hideout but is stunned to find him bound and beaten. Could it be the same mad scientists that have caused so much havoc recently?
When Superman returns to the Daily Planet he and Lois uncover a secret about someone they are both close to that could completely destroy their relationship…
Dr. Pharm and Graft are also busy, they’ve managed to capture Lobo and are experimenting on him. They accidentally activate a tracker within him and that alerts one of Superman’s deadliest enemies and reveals a secret about Lobo in the process…
To Be Continued… in “Superman #6”.
Story – 5: I didn’t think I’d enjoy this issue, but I was dead wrong. The Daily Planet staff prove more than capable of sharing the spotlight in a multithreaded story. It was curious that the death of Adam Grant is still continuity so I’ll be interested in seeing more of Cat Grant as that is explored, especially as she was able to bond over her tragedy with Marilyn Moonlight. I enjoyed Rudy’s progression to someone more fleshed out too. No spoilers from me but there are some huge story points that definitely have ramifications going forward not least for Superman and Clark Kent.
Art – 4: I know it’s an Annual and that there is a lot to cover but I’ve never hidden the fact I don’t like multiple artists rotating through a single story as I find it a bit jarring. The different story strands help make the art more engaging.
Cover Art – 4: The main cover has movie poster vibes with tidbits of several stories hinted at in the art. I really like the style of the art and that it covers a few of the story angles.
Variant Cover Art (Jock) – 3: Superman looks menacing here. It a really beautiful piece of art but it feels like this would be truer of Injustice Superman more then a figure of hope.
Variant Cover Art (Chris Samnee) – 5: A really fun and classic depiction of the Man of Steel. The simplicity is this covers greatest strength. Probably my favorite of the bunch.
Variant Cover Art (Edwin Galwin) – 4: Really beautiful composition and palette work here. Always fun to see Superman doing super feats.
Variant Cover Art (Jorge Jimenez) – 3: Optimistic, hopefully, warm and friendly but this doesn’t feel as strong to me as previous Superman art by Jorge Jimenez. It’s so positive it’s almost over the top.
Variant Cover Art (Michael Janin) – 4: Absolutely stunning cover. Would be a 5 if Superman didn’t appear as almost an afterthought.
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