Superman #6 Review

Posted September 7, 2016 by Jean-Luc Botbyl in Comic Books

Written by: Peter J Tomasi & Patrick Gleason

Art by: Patrick Gleason & Mick Gray

Publisher: DC Comics

Superman #6 is ostensibly a collection of big pay off moments. It’s the last issue of the Eradicator arc, and while not everything is wrapped up with a neat little bow, there’s more than enough of an endgame here to leave me satisfied. Like the previous issue, this installment consists mostly of an action scene, but it’s intertwined with powerful character moments.

The most important part of this book is that Tomasi and Gleason have a complex understanding of Superman as a character. While I hate the argument that Superman is intrinsically boring, he does lend himself decently well to writing traps and general laziness. Tomasi and Gleason avoid all of these by taking the focus off the conflict with an antagonist, and instead place it on the family dynamic between Clark, Jon, and Lois.

It’s not like this is breaking any new ground – aside from Superman having a son – but the duo execute on it with incredible finesse. This issue actually has Superman doing more traditional Superman things than any issue yet, in part because it probably focuses more on Superman than any other issue. A lot of the family stuff is confined to the last third or so of the book – there are moments before then, but most of the issue is dedicated to the final confrontation between Superman and the Eradicator.

This conflict has been filled with emotion from the start. Gleason and Tomasi had me invested in this set of characters from their debut issue, and the Eradicator’s motivation has made for a truly heartfelt story. So seeing Superman taking him head on (and ultimately getting Krytpo back!) is really cool.

To be honest, I’ve kind of been torn on all the Kryptonians trapped inside the Eradicator since that reveal. The previous issue did a really good job of justifying their existence, and this one does it even better, as they get an incredible send off. It does kind of feel like the creative team leans on deus ex machina a little bit, but most of what goes on in this issue feels pretty justified based on what we’ve seen before.

It’s funny that, in a book filled with so many big, fist pump worthy moments, my favorite panels are the more subdued ones. Jon shares a quiet moment with each of his parents at the end of the issue – both of which stab at the heart of Superman’s ethos in different ways. These are the most triumphant moments, and the reasons that I truly love this book.

There’s very little to complain about when it comes to Superman #6. It may spend a little too much time on the action sequences, there’s a bit of deus ex machina tossed in, etc, but none of these are dealbreaking. In fact, they all pretty much get swept under the rug by the stellar character work that has defined this run thus far.

About the Author

Jean-Luc Botbyl

Jean-Luc is a grizzled veteran of We the Nerdy. Most days, he just wonders why he hasn't been formally fired. Follow him on Twitter at @J_LFett to make him feel validated.