Superman #41 Review

Written by: Gene Leun Yang

Art by: John Romita Jr.

Publisher: DC Comics

While I’ve so far been loving the Truth storyline in the current Superman titles, I’ve been frustrated by the lack of explanation for the change in status quo. While new fans probably won’t have minded as the books explained themselves well enough, it’s been incredibly frustrating to have been following the books and then have a sudden change without any explanation or even transition. Thankfully, Superman #41 finally flashes back to before the massive status quo change to begin showing how we got to where we are. From this first issue it seems like this will be a story worth reading about as new series writer Gene Luen Yang crafts a story that both picks up where Johns left off while forging it’s own new direction.

It’s a little weird going back to a pre-truth time given the last month’s Superman books have been so radically different, but it’s a welcome return and feels like slipping back into a comfortable environment. The story begins with Clark receiving an anonymous tip off which prompts him and Jimmy to investigate, after some traditional Superman action the gang reconvene at the Daily Planet where things quickly begin to spiral out of control, putting Clark in an interesting new situation. The plot is full of intrigue and moments that will keep you guessing, it’s a bit disappointing many of the big surprises have been spoiled in advance by the other books, but it will be equally interesting to see how we go from before the big reveal in this book to after it in the other books. Yang picks up pretty much where Johns left off and acknowledges several of the key changes of his run, such as Superman’s new power and Jimmy being aware of his secret identity. It’s a simple touch but makes for some great connective tissue with what came before while building it’s own story, something I feel the other Superman books didn’t do so well. Overall it’s a great debut for Yang, he knows his way around the characters and is able to set up an intriguing story, I’m excited to see where he goes next as he has a lot to play with.

While I’m not the biggest Romita Jr. fan, I actually found his art to be pretty impressive this issue. There were the occasional odd body proportions in some characters, but for the most part everything looks pretty great, the techonology of the 3D printers looking particularly Kirby-esque for example. The most impressive feature of the issue however was how well laid out the whole issue was. Everything has a great feeling of flow and kinetic energy, the story moved really well from panel to panel and was shot with the eye of a great cinematographer. It really helped push the script further and got me really immersed in the story. The art therefore manages to be just as impressive as the story, if Romatia can keep up this level of quality my opinion of his work may just turn around completely.

Overall this is a very exciting debut and a great start to this story. The book is perfectly paced and placing it before the status quo change makes it unique from the other Superman books and offers potential for a great story. If you’ve been enjoying Truth so far but want a bit more background information, check this book out, and if you’re someone who wants to get into the Superman books then this is definitely the one I’d recommend. It’s a great jump on point and looks to be taking the series in fresh new directions. Yang and Romatia knocked this issue out of the park, I can’t wait to see where they go from here.