Superman #25 Review

Posted June 21, 2017 by Alexander Handziuk in Comic Books

Written by: Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason

Art by: Doug Mahnke and Patrick Gleason

Publisher: DC Comics

Superman has been arguably the best Rebirth title (save for Aquaman) month in and month out, and while its had its weaker issues, the adventures of Lois, John and Clark have been a joy to read. And perhaps its because the series has been so consistently stellar that issue #25 feels like such a letdown. This issue puts an end to the six-part Black Dawn story arc, which to this point has dabbled in a small town horror tale and does so with generic superhero fighting that for the most part is missing the heart that this series prides itself on, while also getting rid of the great horror elements that this arc has established.

This issue suffers the most from a lack of focus and it’s no surprise that it features a number of DC guest stars. The cast in this issue is made up of more well known DC heroes than any previous chapter as it features Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, Batman and Robin and every character gets a moment and a hokey line. Their inclusion, while cool to see,  takes away from the Superman family and even though Jon’s struggle is featured prominently throughout, and Lois and Clark are there trying to help the issue feels hollow and rushed.

Adding to that feeling is Manchester Black who disappoints on the villain side by adding no menace or sense of real stakes to the issue. And even though there’s a funny moment on the final page that has to do with him, it’s not enough to make up for his bland villainy and over the top edginess.

The art by Patrick Gleason and Doug Mahnke is a bit of a mixed bag due mostly to their inconsistencies compared to each other. Gleason begins the issue and Mahnke takes over in the middle, only to have Gleason’s art return for the ending. It very much seems like Mahnke was just there to do fill in work and the change in art is rather jarring. That being said, the final eight pages are simply beautiful and are consequently the best pages of the issue, and also the only ones that feel like they belong in this comic.

As much as this issue was a disappointment the last eight pages were a reminder of what this series can and has accomplished when it’s a little more focused, and thankfully it’s kicking off a new story arc next issue. I recommend you skip this one and come back in two weeks for Superman #26 which will hopefully be much, much better.

About the Author

Alexander Handziuk

Alex is a comic aficionado who loves Aquaman, Overwatch, the musical Hamilton and medium length strolls on beaches. Check him out on the Comics Dash Podcast, on twitter at @axehandziuk and in real life patrolling the borders of Canada.