Review: Superman #3

[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Writers: Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason
Artist: Jorge Jimenez

Following Jon’s accident from last issue, Superman takes Lois and their son to the Fortress of Solitude to thoroughly examine him. However, upon their arrival, they find that the Eradicator is waiting there already, along with Krypto.

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Superman immediately sees the Eradicator as a threat, and a fight ensues. But when the Eradicator acts to save Lois and Jon from being harmed by the fallout of the battle, Clark realizes that the Eradicator may not be a threat, and an uneasy truce is called.

While the Fortress’ Kryptonian tech analyzes Jon, Superman and the Eradicator discuss the Eradicator’s origins. This version of the Eradicator is a Kryptonian weapon that had been used by General Zod on Krypton to hunt down lawbreakers, draw out their life force, and transfer them to the Phantom Zone. The Eradicator, having survived the destruction of Krypton, had detected the launch of a rocket and set off in search of its passenger.

The Eradicator then declares that Jon’s Kryptonian genome is tainted by Lois’ human DNA, and that his human side needs to be eliminated. He then attempts to do so, but Krypto gets between the Eradicator and Jon, sacrificing his life to save Jon. Jon is devastated by the loss of yet another pet, and the issue ends with him holding onto Krypto’s cape, eyes blazing red with anger and heat vision.

The Positives

Once again, we see that Superman’s primary concern is the welfare of his family. His focus is on finding out what is wrong with Jon and fixing it, and he isn’t willing to let anything stand in his way.

The new origin for the Eradicator is interesting and fits with what we know of the New 52 version of Krypton. It isn’t totally divorced from the pre-Flashpoint version of the Eradicator – both are Kryptonian weapons – and the appearance is almost unchanged.

The Negatives

I hate to pick at the story, as I have been loving the story so far, but I have to wonder at Superman’s reaction to the Eradicator. Upon seeing the Eradicator, Superman’s reaction is to bellow, “Why do you look like the Eradicator?!”

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Clark has been living on the New 52 Earth for several years. He has seen that the New 52 Earth is full of versions of people he knew from his world – some almost indistinguishable. So, why wouldn’t he just assume that this is the New 52 Eradicator instead of demanding why he appears to be himself. He knew enough not to demand that the New 52 Batman explain why he looks like the Batman.

Also, the pre-Flashpoint Eradicator was a hero off and on in the pre-Flashpoint DC Universe, so why would Clark immediately assume that the Eradicator is a threat? He might be wary, knowing what he does about his Earth’s Eradicator, but why does he immediately take a hostile attitude, especially considering this Eradicator attempts to give Clark a welcoming greeting.

I realize Clark is very protective of his family, but he is appears to be losing his ability to think before he acts. Superman has always be intelligent and level-headed, and it doesn’t make much sense for him to fly into a immediate rage, even if he senses a threat to his family.

The Verdict

Despite my quibbles over Clark’s temper issues, I still loved the story. Each issue brings us a little closer to Jon taking up the mantle of Superboy, which is proving a fascinating journey. I can hardly wait until Jon lets his rage loose on the Eradicator next issue.

4outof5

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Derek McNeil

I have been an avid reader of DC Comics since the early 70s. My earliest exposure was to Batman and Superman comics, Batman (Adam West) reruns, and watching the Super-Friends every Saturday morning.