Written by: Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason
Art by: Patrick Gleason
Publisher: DC Comics
It has been a rough few years in terms of Superman comics and while there have been a couple of bright spots, for the most part he has been depicted without his usual love and source of inspiration for people. The newly relaunched Superman serious has been a welcomed contrast to this depressing trend and issue two continues to bring the hope that makes Superman great.
Characters in this comic even straight up mention that it’s good to have Superman back and the moments where he interacts with regular people are for the most part strong. This issue deals with Jon (Superman’s son) trying to harness his powers in the wake of an accident that killed his mom’s cat and also attempts to build towards a grander potential threat. This comic is successful for the most part because of how well the creative team grasps these characters.
It seems that whenever Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason collaborate on a book they find a way to tell emotionally charged stories, that take the characters down to the very root of what makes them great. This issue and this series as a whole finds them finding this sweet spot once again, but this time in a more family charged setting. Superman’s trust and belief in people is taken to the next level with his son and his love for him oozes out of the pages. This issue deals with owning up to ones mistakes but also striving to learn from them. Also Jon’s relationship with his neighbour, a girl named Kathy is a heartfelt one and their friendship is one that promises to be a major part of the story going forward.
There are a few plot points that are seemingly building towards a sort of menace for the super-family to deal with and this issue ends on a cliff hanger and a reveal of a potential bad guy. The problem is that the scenes involving this threat and the mystery of it come up flat, when put up beside the family dynamic that works so well in this book. Also, for all that this issue has going for it in terms of Superman and his relationship with people there is a scene at the end where Jon falls out of a tree and Kathy’s grandpa brings him to Superman’s house, where Superman is downright hostile and refuses the man’s help. This is especially jarring because it comes a mere couple of pages after he saves some fishermen’s lives with his trademark grin on his face.
Speaking of his trademark grin, it is lovingly rendered by Patrick Gleason whose work is interlaced with shadows and darkness, yet is bright and vibrant at the same time. He makes Superman look powerful yet kind, as Gleason nails the facial expressions.He also gives every single character no matter how minor their own distinct personalities through their expressions. and over the top facial features blend effectively with Tomasi’s script, accentuating the main moments.
Superman is a character that is at his best when he is a beacon of hope and an inspiration to people he interacts with. Superman #2 achieves this for the most part with solid character moments and emotionally charged interactions. And while their are a few odd moments as well as a bit of lacklustre ending, this issue still effectively demonstrates that Superman is in great hands, under Tomasi and Gleason.