SUPERMAN #35 by Geoff Johns, art by John Romita Jr, inks by Klaus Janson, coloring by Laura Martin, and lettering by Sal Cipriano is a super explosive bash, but it’s just sort of lukewarm to me.
Superman is one of my favorite superheroes, actually more specifically, I like Clark. But I haven’t been reading that much of him. I always reject the notion that Superman is the actual person, and that Clark is a persona. Yeah. I’m one of those. Superman is who he is because of Clark, because he was raised as an outstanding country farm boy with the uncanny side effect of being able to cleave a car in half. I think the reboot has erased a lot of that good, and the only place to get it lately has been his digital series.
Being said, this is not that bad. Superman has been dealing with a sort of alternate Kirbyfied Superman of sorts, a Nebraska native Neil Quinn, who was sent from Earth by his parents to be raised in the Fourth World and is now back as a vigilante Ulysses. Since I have not been reading both he and Superman are after a Doctor Doom-esque The Machinist. Superman and Ulysses are able to confront him, but Ulysses is shocked, after using his powers which have some telepathic elements, to learn about how war focused Earth still is and makes a break for it, interrupting news streams to announce his offer to take people to the Fourth World. He seems to be setting up for a sort of Noah esque messiah figure chaotic good gone bad.
I’m still not sold completely on Nu52 Clark but John’s Clark here seems pretty outstanding so I’m okay with it. I liked the Machinist and his nanotech-y ravens. It’s not terribly original but his philosophical approach was interesting. Lois is still a pretty central figure, though she doesn’t do too much, it’s still nice to see her as a central part of the book. I’ve said this before, Johns writing is never really that new or fresh, it’s pretty classic superhero ish, it’s slightly smarter here and there but overall it’s nothing more than passable fare.
Not digging the art much. I recognize the artist’s name and I feel like he’s well liked but I’m not just not digging it. Maybe it’s the inking. Some panels looked good. But others, wow no that’s not appropriate art at all. Maybe it’s the coloring? Some pages do indeed look good. In the grand scheme of things none of this is that important. I just like things a little more stylized. When lifting a boat out of the water and facing the nanobot ravens is when I think this issue looked its best.
This is standard stuff. If you enjoy Superman, get it. If you really need a reason to not get, I really can’t say no it’s not worth picking up either. Again, in the middle. Johns needs to spice things up a bit and try to think a little fresher. Otherwise, solid, if not already done narrative, with some interesting elements. Check it, leave it, it’s solid enough to stand either way.