When you’re dealing with a Character that is older than 90% of his readership it’s hard to find new and exciting ways to entertain that fan base. Superman started in June 1938, you remember, back when FDR was making his new deal and the Foxtrot was all the rage?
To gripe about a writer recycling story lines when it comes to Superman is just a waste of breath. You’re bound to tread over familiar ground, regardless of your approach. The trick is to make the same old tired story feel fresh and new. The creative team that gets saddled with the man of steel has their own superhuman efforts in front of them. How do you say something new about a character that has literally had millions of words used to describe him?
Dan Jurgens has been lauded as one of the best creative minds to ever work on the man of steel. He was one of the masterminds who killed of Supes back in the 90’s and now he is trying to tackle the character from the opposite end of the spectrum by rebuilding the superman mythos after the events that lead into Rebirth. We are now watching Superman try to come to grips with his new surroundings and make a life and name for himself.
This issue is Superman talking with Clark Kent. If that seems impossible because Superman and Clark are one and the same then you would be right, but in this case you would also be wrong. Clark is a separate human (yep, human) being and while Superman also has his own version of Clark Kent, this Kent is not that Kent…and now my head hurts. The entire issue is devoted to Superman grilling Kent about his identity. Is he legit? Is he a clone? Is he another superhuman hiding as Clark? All of this is answered by the end of the issue.
Longtime readers have seen this scenario before. Superman and Clark are separated, but how separated? Jurgens takes this storyline and plays it slow. Like I said, the entire issue is devoted to these two questioning one another in the fortress of solitude.
It’s here at the mention of the fortress that I should tip my hat to the artwork of Patrick Zircher. It’s been a minute since I found myself really pouring over the panels of Superman to try to take in all the beautiful artwork. This is craftsmanship at its finest.
Final Thoughts: While the story might feel a bit stale, there is enough life in these pages to keep me coming back and checking out what this creative team has in store for the last son of Krypton. Let’s just hope that something new lies in wait…which judging by the last panel of the book, it looks like something big is on the horizon.
Final Grade: 3.5 Stars
Story: Dan Jurgens
Art: Patrick Zircher
Colors: Ulises Arreola
Letters: Rob Leigh
Publisher: DC Comics