Superman: Space Age #1
Scheduled to arrive in stores: July 26, 2022
Cover date: September 2022
“Superman: Space Age – Book One”
Writer: Mark Russell
Artist: Mike Allred
Cover: Mike Allred
Variant Covers: Mike Allred, Steve Rude, and Nick Derington
Reviewed by: Marc Lax
1985: Superman returns to the Fortress to be with Lois and Jon as the world crumbles.
1963: Clark awakes to find Pa Kent in his room reading the article he wrote for the school paper. He’s proud of his son for getting the front cover but Clark scoffs. It’s just a school paper he says humbly. Later Clark and Pa Kent are loading hay on their truck when Clark remarks how quickly he could have gotten it done using his abilities but his dad says he could do it quick but doesn’t mean it would be done right. This results in a discussion about Clark’s powers and how he could save the world. Pa Kent recounts a tragic incident that took place during WW2 while he was in Japan. Thinking he was shooting at a soldier he ended up killing a young boy. Distraught after the war looking to the universe for a sign a streak flew through the sky crashing on the farm. It was Clark. He found the sign he was waiting for. Despite the horrors in this world miracles can still happen. Jonathan mentions that after they retrieved him from the ship part of it flew away to parts unknown. He tells Clark he would know when the world needs him but he’s just not ready. As the two enter the house they find Martha crying. President Kennedy has been assassinated. This is the event that sparks the age of heroes.
Clark flys off thinking the Russians might send a missile to take advantage of the President’s death. Clark is quickly shot out of the sky by Hal Jordan!
Meanwhile in Washington Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor are both bidding on a defense contract when they are informed that the President is dead.
We then cut to the Daily Planet where a frantic Perry White needs someone to get to Dallas pronto. But the only one in the area is Lois Lane who is the Planet’s Kooks and Kranks reporter. Reluctantly Perry says to contact her. She is now their Point Person covering the assassination. Lex Luthor is roiling. He needs to salvage the defense contract. He slyly realizes he needs someone on the inside. Someone with gambling debts.
Lois puts through her article on the death of President Kennedy and Perry wisely runs with it. Cut to Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox marvelling on the new bulletproof vehicle Lucius just built. Luthor is gauging what the survival rate would be if we had a nuclear war. And finally we find Clark sensing a beacon making his way to the arctic. He watches as the Fortress of Solitude is constructed and meets his holographic father Jor-El. He tells him about the destruction of Krypton and that he was sent to this planet to be a beacon of hope. Holographic dad seems to think that Clark has already mastered his abilities and everything he needs to know about the planet. He shows Clark the suit he will wear as this planet’s guardian. A confused Clark feeling overwhelmed leaves the Fortress and returns to Kansas. He’s crying and upset realizing that Pa Kent was right. He wasn’t ready. He’s welcomed with open arms by his dad.
This my friends is just the beginning of this story. I wanted to give the introduction in detail because this is where we meet our characters and their motivations. We then follow them through the next two years. Clark gets a job at the Daily Planet and inherits the Kranks and Kooks column from the Pulitzer Prize winning Lois Lane. He meets a “kook” calling himself Pariah who says the end of the world is coming in 20 years and tells Clark how a Crisis is coming. Hal Jordan encounters a crashed alien ship and is given a ring of great power. Lex wins the defense contract. Bruce Wayne decides to take things into his own hands. Lex, secure in his bunker with his team, blows up Coast City setting up an incident that should set in motion the end of world so when he finally emerges from his bunker the world would be his. The President does send missiles to Russia but they are intercepted by a now trained and suited Clark whose actions avoids war. Luthor rants. Batman blasts through the bunker and grabs Lex who is then charged with two million counts of murder. Lois publishes an article on segregation in the south while she and Clark seem to get closer. We deal with the fallout of Coast City. A proud Ma and Pa Kent welcome Clark home. Meanwhile the crisis in Coast City has inspired others to become heroes. And a wealthy Bruce Wayne builds a Hall of Justice as a meeting place so our heroes can gather and strategize for the next crisis.
Story – 5: Whew! That was some issue! I haven’t enjoyed a comic book this good and this long in years. The attention to detail. The nods and winks. The way this story sets up a world so familiar and yet original. Russell has blended pieces of every origin, every motive for the characters and bits of history from all over the DC Universe. This first issue alone is an epic story and it’s only Book One! Clark’s motivations at the beginning were noble but naive. He learns along the way. After Coast City he emerges the hero we’ve come to know. Luthor’s plan is so calculated and evil and I wouldn’t expect nothing less from him. The Kennedy assassination is the catalyst for bringing the age of heroes, leading Luthor to start a war which backfires, and instead of destroying the world it brings them together. It inspires the heroes to act. There are threads leading to other threads that creates a kind of canvas. This story was really amazing. I was exhausted at the end but also very pleased. Bring on book two.
Art – 5: Mike Allred is not to everyone’s taste. I get that. I usually enjoy his art but here I was amazed. Every panel is almost cinematic. His story telling is vivid and conveys every emotion. I’m so looking forward to what he does next.
Cover Art – 4: The main cover is almost a poster sized image of Superman holding the earth in his hands. It gives an idea of what we are about to see.
1:50 Variant Cover Art – 4: Nice image of Superman. The sketching in the background gives a glimpse of what’s in issue. Very detailed.
1:25 Variant Cover Art – 4: Striking image of Superman silhouetted against the stars. A bold image.
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