|SUPERMAN No. 32, August 2014|
I must confess I have never been a big fan of “DC Comics” ‘Big Blue’. He’s simply too powerful and as a result usually requires a seriously omega-class super-villain to cause him much consternation. I must also admit that I am not the greatest of admirers of John Romita Junior’s artwork either, much preferring the pencils of his father from his legendary run as artist on “The Amazing Spider-Man” for “Marvel Comics Group”. However there was something about the cover art to Issue 32 of “Superman” which really captured my attention, and realising that is was the first in a series of issues to be drawn by the American comic book artist I quickly bought it along with the following two most recent editions of the title. Even the fact the cover boldly displayed “The New 52” logo in bright red ink wasn’t enough to put me off.
It is clear that as a creative team John Romita JR, Klaus Janson on inks and Laura Martin as colorist are going to produce some sublime pieces of artwork for “Superman”. Almost straight away the artists have the Smallville Boy Scout duking it out with an incredibly well-drawn cybernetic King Kong, which is superbly detailed and given a ghostly green hue which immediately reminded me of the old Man of Steel villains Metallo and Brainiac. Sadly the fight is over all too quickly but Romita Junior’s outstanding line work continues unabated with some lovely clear depictions of Clark Kent and his usual supporting cast at the Daily Planet. I was especially pleased to see writer Geoff Johns give newspaper editor Perry White some considerable coverage in the early panels. But it’s then quickly back off to the action and one can almost hear the immortal Seventies motion picture Da Dadada Da as the reporter unbuttons his shirt to reveal the red and gold ‘S’.
Unfortunately this issue is still not without the odd flaw. As I feared the last son of Krypton isn’t particularly tested until he encounters an alien invader, and whilst I really like the way Romita Junior draws Superman, his illustrations of Ulysses reminded me of why I stopped buying his issues of “The Uncanny X-Men” and “Daredevil” in the Eighties. Indeed to be honest I couldn’t help but feel this ‘last son of Earth’ looked nothing more than a long-haired version of “Star Brand”; one of the better super-heroes from “Marvel Comics Group” New Universe imprint of the late Eighties and who was drawn by none other than John Romita Junior.
These minor quibbles however do little to spoil what “DC Comics” are clearly advertising as one of the best things to happen to “Superman” in ages. I certainly don’t remember such excitement around a new creative team for this particular book since the days of Jack “King” Kirby and later John Byrne doing the artwork. I plan to be in this for the whole ride, though I actually don’t have any real choice anyway as I’ve already bought the next couple of issues.