Written by: Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Art by: Patrick Gleason
Publisher: DC Comics
Superman has been without a doubt my favorite Rebirth title. It fulfills the goal of taking of taking the character back to his core, while continually building on the mythos and adding new story elements to keep things fresh and exciting. Because of this, even a weaker entry as is the case with this issue is still a solidly entertaining issue, sure to be among the week’s strongest books.
This issue sees Superboy begin step into his dad’s leagues as the two of them take on Eradicator, while Clark feels conflicted over his roles as a hero and a father. This issue is punctuated by a lot of big moments, having Gleason as artist and writer is undoubtedly a good thing, as I feel he brings a great visual import to the story in order to make these moments land. There’s some clever mirroring between Jon’s actions with those of Clark in the series debut. It’s this continual dedication to creativity and layout that masks some of the issue’s rougher art in spots. Occasionally faces or angles look a little weird or more exaggerated than in previous issues, though again, the creativity and boldness of the art more than make up for it.
The main problem with this issue for me is how at times parts of the script feel a little disjointed, as if there was dialogue missing or something I just wasn’t getting. The fight with Eradicator makes for a lot of great scenes and moments, including a touching moment between Clark and his father, but why any of this was happening felt lost on me. The ghosts generated by Eradicator apparently talk to Superman, but we don’t get any insight into what they’re saying, or why they affect the story the way they do. Transitions between scenes feel equally as strange, with a scene with a moon rock totally baffling me (though does allow for the best Boston accent pronunciation of Superman). It’s something that will likely improve on multiple readings, or perhaps I just read it too quick, but it was a little off-putting considering how tight the other issues have been.
Overall though, Superman is still the Rebirth book for me. Issue 4 is definitely the weakest book so far (aside from the Rebirth one shot) though still contains powerful moments and great character drama that make this book special for me.