Review – “Superman by Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason Omnibus Hardcover”

Superman Omnibus

Author: Peter J. Tomasi
Illustrator: Patrick Gleason

Publisher: DC Comics
(May 25, 2021)
Language: English
Hardcover: 1128 pages
ISBN-10: 1779509251

Reviewed by: Craig Boehmer


In May I received my very first brand new Omnibus in the mail. This new Omnibus was a crisp and beautiful copy of Peter J. Tomasi, and Patrick Gleason’s fan acclaimed Superman run. Needless to say, I was thrilled to open up the package and view that wonderful Gleason art, brightly staring up at me. I had only read this run digitally and had been looking for ways to purchase it physically ever since. When this omnibus was announced I hemmed and hawed about laying down the $150 cad for the book, but in a moment of weakness I pre-ordered it. I have not regretted it for a moment! Way back in the early days of DC Rebirth I was in the process of moving my family to China, and so missed out on collecting the single issues. I routinely heard about how great the story was and picked up a few digital issues, but never really got on board with it until I returned to Canada. But now I finally have this massive tome in my hands.

Here is a rough breakdown of the story arcs contained in this Omnibus:

Reviews:

  • Super Sons – Superman: Rebirth, Superman #1-6
  • Sons, Monsters, and Fairs – Superman #7-13
  • Far and Wide – Superman Annual #1, Superman #14-17
  • Reborn and Black Dawn – Superman #18-25, Action Comics #975-976
  • Apocalypse and the Future – Superman #28, #33-38, Teen Titans #15, Super Sons #11
  • Bizarre Home – Superman #39, #42-45, Superman Special #1, Selection from Action Comics #1000

I love the way this Omnibus looks on my shelf, especially compared to my other trade paperbacks. It just gives off this clean, bright look. The dust jacket design is great in its simplicity. The spine has a yellow on red design with a small Superman logo at the top and the title and the authors running down. The dust jacket cover image is a great illustration by Gleason showing Clark and Jon triumphantly standing, revealing themselves as Superman and Superson. The characters are brimming with joy and optimism that reflects how Tomasi and Gleason characterize them in the story. As this was my first Omnibus, I looked up some videos on YouTube about properly opening a book this size to protect the binding, yes that is important! After following these YouTubers advice I found the binding to be quite good with a good eye. The gutter loss is also minimal, even in the middle of the collection, though I do not have any other Omnibus of similar size to compare it to. Learning to read a comic of this size has taken a bit of getting used to. I typically read comics while in the bathroom or sitting outside my toddler’s door waiting for him to go to sleep, neither of those places are very conducive to reading a 1100 page comic book. I have also found I am very tentative with the book, $150 cad is a lot of money and I don’t want to wreck it… which sucks because ever since I showed my older kids “Superman: The Movie,” they have been trying to consume as much Superman as they can and they have been drooling over this behemoth ever since I got it.

5Story – 5: Tomasi and Gleason cowrote these stories. And they are fantastic! The stories excel when they focuses on the intimate moments of family. I find myself rereading the issues about trips to the county fair and family vacations. Witnessing how the Kent family interacts is heartwarming and exactly what Superman needed in his title. We don’t have a Lois who sells her family for a story, we don’t have a Superman struggling to meet familial and superheroic responsibilities, and we don’t have a bratty kid who is rude and looking for trouble. This is a far cry from the teenage superhero who can’t find the right balance. Instead, this is a book about a family that we can all aspire to be. Superman is a loving, and responsive father. Lois is his true equal in every sense of the word. She continues to kick butt throughout it, showing how her ingenuity and detective skills puts her on par with the best in the DC universe. Jon… I miss this Jon, I fully intend to read and probably enjoy “Superman: Son of Kal El,” but I miss the wide-eyed innocence this Jon provided to the comic. It must have been like the impact the original Robin had on the Batman comics way back in the 40s.

The action packed, save the world story arcs are also great. The fight with the Eradicator is intense, and I loved how Lois wore the Hellbat suit. Multiversity was also a favourite of mine, I initially wished that it had been a bit longer, but I am beginning to enjoy the short two issue story arcs more and more. Not every story arc is perfect though, there are some weaker moments. I’ve never been a big fan of Bizzaro, so his stories are always my least favourite in a collection. The future of Jon story arc was likewise, not my favourite. I also did not like how Superman treated Luthor, nor how his treatment of Luthor pushed him back to villainy. That aspect did not ring true to the character, I understand him not being fully trusting of Luthor, but to be outright hostile after everything they had experienced together. Presumably Luthor had been a hero for at least a year at this point, maybe longer. It felt like a rushed job to get Luthor back to his role as a villain. I would have loved to have seen Luthor’s slow descent into villainy again. Bit by bit. Maybe have him slowly become corrupted by Manchester Black or something over an extended period of time.

This omnibus provides a great glimpse into Superman’s rogues gallery and scenic worlds of the DC universe. Superman and son face off against the Eradicator, Manchester Black, Kaliban, Granny Goodness, Mr. Mxylptlk, Bizarro, and future Batman Tim Drake, as well as an assortment of monsters, dinosaurs, and aliens. Tomasi and Gleason also introduced fantastic new villains to torment the heroes. They visit locales such as Dinosaur Island (from Darwyn Cook’s “New Frontier”), Bizzaro World, Apokolips, Hamilton County infested by Manchester Black, Metropolis, the Fortress of Solitude, the headquarters of the Justice League Incarnate, and a gap in space twisted by Mr. M. It is an amazing two year tour of the Superman universe. And, not to bag on Bendis (I did enjoy aspects of his run too), but to think this creative team had more to give, had more stories to tell… What were we robbed of? Do you think if we as fans asked nicely that Gleason and Tomasi would come back to finish their run?

5Art – 5: The art is great, all those who contributed were amazing. I loved it. Gleason and Mahnke are the two standouts. I could look at their drawings all day.

I’m going to cut myself off now, but I could continue to gush about this run. I love having the complete story all in one spot. I think this book is going to sell out quickly, if you want a copy you’d better order it soon. Believe me, if you can afford the standard omnibus price tag, this is a story worth having all in one spot. Let me know if you are planning on getting one, or what your thoughts are of the series. Also, if you happen to know anyone who has a copy of “Batman and Robin Omnibus” by Gleason and Tomasi, ask if they’d be willing to sell it to a needy fan.

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