Superman #1 review – super start for The Man of Steel

Tomasi and Gleeson make parenting super fun

While it didn’t have some immediately resolved conclusion or major action scene, Superman #1 was another in a continued string of enjoyable reads in the Rebirth era.

I remain impressed with how hard the death of the New 52 Superman has affected Superman. What could have been a half-hearted lazy swap of one character sporting a big S for another has instead been handled with grace and a genuine sense of loss.

Entitled Son of Superman, the first issue explores Superman bracing for his new role as this world’s Superman while nurturing his son, Jonathan’s developing powers.

Superman playing Super-Dad could have made for a risky start of this new era, but if any character can make being a husband and father seem less than ordinary it’s Superman. Considering how hard the New 52 worked to erase longstanding relationships it was a treat seeing Clark and Lois talk like a real married couple. Marriage and parenthood looks good on Superman and writer Peter J. Tomasi reinforces that’s an asset for The Man of Steel not a hindrance.

Patrick Gleeson’s versatility will continue serving him well as the series’ artist. He handles the big, showy cinematic style moments in one panel. Then the next he’s humanizing Clark to emphasize the man in Superman. Colorist John Kalisz uses bright colors to further that comforting countryside vibe. And if nothing else seeing Superman in his vibrant primary colors outfit was a treat.

One trait in common with the post-Rebirth titles so far is they are quick easy reads that end far too quickly. The condensed storytelling format isn’t bogged down with years and years of continuity. That allows the writers to tell a straightforward story. This is hardly a new approach, but in the writing for the trade era most stories were artificially stretched out to six or seven issues.

Superman was a breeze to read. Tomasi organically set up numerous subplots. From Jon’s developing powers and the family’s new identities. Not to mention the arrival of two famous superheroes stopping by for a visit. By the final page, I wondered how 20 pages flew by so quickly. If this quality can continue it’s a very good thing Superman comes out bi-monthly.

Rating: 9 out of 10

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