Superwoman looks outstanding, but lacks substance
Since the death of Superman, there’s been a slew of would-be successors attempting to fill his shoes. Rebirth already features five heroes sporting the S shield. Superwoman attempts to make the case there’s room for more. This review contains spoilers.
With the various Rebirth announcements, the massive expansion of the Superman branch was the one that had me most concerned. An un-powered Batman can have a franchise of sorts of like-minded vigilantes. Too many Supermen running around diminishes what makes Superman special in the first place. The Reign of the Supermen juggled four Supermen (+Supergirl) with vastly different abilities. Even then the status quo was changed pretty quickly.
Superwoman doesn’t do enough in its Rebirth kickoff to truly distinguish itself from the other Superman titles. Writer Phil Jimenez can potentially get there more than add more heroes to an already crammed Superman corner of the DCU.
Superwoman follows Lois Lane learning to be a hero. This is the New 52 version Lois, not the old Lois in Superman and Action Comics. Lois was close by when Superman died imbuing her with a portion of his power. It’s hard not to get a sense of DC trying to do its spin on current events in Thor.
To get the hang of heroics, she’s getting mentored by Lana Lang, the same woman who helped Superman stay grounded. But in the big twist, Lana also has powers effectively making her the Electro Superwoman. Lana’s powers are the more interesting of the two and Jimenez finds good ways to utilize them.
Like Action Comics writer Dan Jurgens, Jimenez handles Lex Luthor disappointingly. Luthor is the DCU’s main human villain who was competent enough to be a member of the Justice League. In Superwoman, he’s again portrayed like a pompous windbag out of his element.
Jimenez’s creative struggles surface again with the reveal of the first big villain — a Bizarro version of the Crime Syndicate’s Superwoman. Retelling Superman stories with a female lead was a go-to plot device for the Supergirl TV series. It’s not a crutch Jimenez should rely on so easily in his run.
The big ace Jiminez the writer has up his sleeve to keep readers engaged is artist Phil Jiminez. Most titles should be so fortunate. Jiminez’s writing is decent, but his pencils remain astonishing. Jeremy Cox’s colors are bold and bright making for a striking heroic presentation.
Even if the writing never reaches the next level Superwoman might be one of those titles people stick around for simply because of the artwork.
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
Images Credit: DC Comics