REVIEW: Superman #41

WRITER: Gene Luen Yang
ARTIST(s): John Romita, Jr., Klaus Janson
LETTERER: Rob Leigh
COLORIST: Dean White
COVER ARTIST(s): Romita, Jr., Janson, White
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE DATE: 06/24/2015

This week in the Superman family of books, we continue on with the big TRUTH arc that is seemingly the only thing rivaling Bat-Bunny in terms of fame and/or notoriety. Superman #41 welcomes writer Gene Luen Yang onto the book, and having him take over after John Romita, Jr.’s brief tenure last issue as writer is nice, because that may have been the clunkiest dialogue I’ve yet to see. This issue, however, brings back some better dialogue, though some of it may have seemed a bit forced. Also, the pacing was strange, as it seemed to advance very suddenly with almost no warning. Other than that, though, the issue was fun and another nice viewing of the events that led to the TRUTH arc. I’m curious to see who this mysterious contact is (my paranoia is telling me Lex Luthor, but who knows?), and hopefully this story will pick up in some of its slower moments, since clearly Yang can write a fun, fast-paced story well at times.

Unfortunately, JRJR’s art continues to be a mess. Clunky characters, block-shaped faces, and all-around the laziest pencils possible. Klaus Janson’s inks don’t save this train wreck, and it’s not surprising. Honestly, I’m not sure why this artist is considered one of the greats. I think his father’s legacy has given him a pretty big fan base, but all I ever see is people bashing his art (and I can’t say I don’t see their point). At its best, it’s pretty good, and at its worst, it’s awful to look at. Truthfully, other than his ability to turn in monthly books on time, I have no clue why DC has given him one of their star books. Name recognition is great, but good art is better.

Dean White’s colors definitely salvage some of the worst pencils, and enhance the better ones. Aided by Janson’s inks and Rob Leigh’s letters, they make the overall art in this book readable, but not enjoyable. And it’s sad to say, but as long as JRJR remains on this book, it doesn’t matter how good Yang’s story is, I probably won’t pick it up on a monthly basis.

If you can tolerate mediocre linework, this issue should be on your pull list. The story is getting good, and it showcases the events leading up to the TRUTH arc. Any followers of this fun arc should pick up this issue, if only to have a better understanding of the plot of this new Superman movement.

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