Review: Superman #31

Amidst all the signs and portents of the upcoming events and the tie-in’s of the current one, DC are still able to put out a straight forward comic book.

Despite the name of the book, this issues is more about Lois Lane than her more famous husband, as we see her endeavouring to interview a killer called Carlos “The Grave Maker” Gorzman.  Gorzman has a reputation of killing his competition as he became the largest drug lord in South America.  He also has his own You Tube channel, dedicated to himself and at times those that he kills.  Still, to paraphrase a certain Jedi, “there is always a bigger fish”, and  quicker than you can shout “hold the press”, Lois has a new person to interview, Deathstroke The Terminator.

James Bonny is the writer chronicling Lois’s journey across the world as she looks to gain her audience.  It is a simple story in all honesty, but Bonny keeps the cogs turning and puts in a decent little story.  It’s as if with all the main courses on offer from the majority of DC books, sometimes you just want a smaller sandwich.  The key to the story is Lois herself.  For many, Lois’s journalistic skills are a bit of a joke as she failed to put two and two together; in a similar way that James Gordon hadn’t worked out who his crusading vigilante was, until the latter became an open secret.  Back to Lois; people forget that she is a strong character in of herself with the ability to ground Clark and help humanize him to a readership who can become jaded at how powerful he is.  The fact that Bonny is also the writer on Deathstroke helps give the character an air of authenticity as he moves into the super powered arena.

The art is by Tyler Kirkham who delivers some really strong pieces, yet also lets the details of some of the smaller panels get away from him. From the top, we have Superman at his imposing best, as he takes on a bald scientist (no not that bald scientist – it’s a different one). The details on show in these early panels is fantastic with only the last panel in the act failing on perception.  It is that type of panel that pops up every now and again that distracts the eye.  This is a shame as I think that Kirkham has done a tremendous job for the majority of the book.  Inking the work himself, allows his vision to come through, though thinner lighter inks may accentuate his work better.  The panel structure is creative, giving the book a quick pace for what is in reality a simple enough story.  Colors are provided by Arif Prianto who produces a painted style that is becoming more common in comics.  Here, whilst it does give the book a totally different look to Action Comics, I am not sure that it works as well as it does in other books such as Aquaman for example.

At any other time, this issue would seem average at best.  Yet, in the context of the current marketplace, its simplicity, along with a strong female lead, feels like a super breath of fresh air.

Writing – 3.5 Stars
Art – 4 Stars
Colors – 3.5 Stars

Written by; James Bonny
Art by; Tyler Kirkham
Colors by; Arif Prianto
Published by; DC Comics

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