Review: Superman #9

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

Writers: Peter J. Tomasi  & Patrick Gleason
Penciller
: Doug Mahnke
Inker: Jaime Mendoza & Trevor Scott

Summary
Picking up from last issue, Superman and Superboy are reading the account of the end of the Losers: Capt. Storm, Johnny Cloud, Gunner, Sarge, and their dog Pooch – a group of Second World War soldiers that found themselves trapped on Dinosaur Island.

However, it turns out that not all of the Losers have met an untimely end, as Capt. Storm enters the cave and confronts Superman and son. Storm futilely opens fire on them, but Superman takes away his gun and puts an end to the brief conflict.

Storm tells them of his adventures on the island. He had been separated from the rest of the group, and by the time he made it back to the cave, he found that he was the only surviving Loser.

Superman offers to bring Capt. Storm up to date on all that’s happened in the world since Storm came to the island, but Storm is uninterested beyond wanting to know that the Allies won the war, which Clark confirms.

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Superman asks Storm to help them find the device that brought him and Jon to Dinosaur Island, offering to take Storm back to the United States with them. However, Storm insists on first burying Pooch’s remains with the rest of the Losers.

Storm has an idea where to find something that looks similar to the device, and returns to the cave to arm himself before leading them to it. While he is gone, Jon reveals that he is frightened that they might be trapped on the island for good, and Superman has to comfort his son.

Superman carves Storm a wooden leg to replace the prosthetic he had lost on the island. Superman offers to carry Storm as they fly, but Storm reveals that he has tamed one of the island’s Pterodactyls, which he rides as he guides Superman and Superboy to their destination.

When they arrive, they find a giant white ape with crystal that resembles the device covering his eye. The ape has a large entourage of prehistoric creatures that he commands to attack. While Superman, Storm, and Krypto fight, Clark tasks Jon with searching for the device amongst all the items that the ape has scavenged.

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Clark removes the crystal from the ape’s eye as Jon recovers the device, which powers up as the crystal is brought closer to it. As the device starts transporting Clark, Jon, and Krypto, Superman grabs Storm by his wooden leg to pull him along, but Storm shoots the leg free, and remains behind to keep any of the creatures from being transported along with them.

Superman and Jon find themselves back in the Fortress of Solitude. Jon notices the crystal and Storm’s leg are gone and asks his father about them. Clark says he doesn’t know, but promises that they will find a way back and get answers.

Finally, someplace else, a mysterious figure examines the crystal and wooden leg.

Positives
Again, it’s great to see the nods to the past such as the Losers and Dinosaur Island. DC continues to express their rediscovered respect for the history of the DC Universe, which was a big part of what was missing from the New 52 comics, but is becoming a large part of what is endearing about the Rebirth comics.

We finally find out Jon’s exact age, and he acts like a ten-year-old would in his situation. He shows awe and excitement over such things as dinosaurs and Capt. Storm’s exploits on the island. And there is the touching scene where he expresses his fear that they might never see home or his mother again.

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And it’s great to see Superman in the paternal role, comforting his son, reassuring him that they will find a way home. This is also evident when he asks Storm to “keep the blood and guts chatter to a minimum.”

Also, there’s the mysterious figure shown at the end. Is this Mr. Oz? Some other player in the Rebirth saga? Or some enemy unrelated to the underlying Rebirth mysteries? I can hardly wait to find out more.

Negatives
Again, I can find little to criticize about the book. Maybe Superman should have found a way to save Storm from the island, but I have a feeling that sooner or later Superman will find a way to keep his promise to find a way back.

Verdict
Tomasi and Gleason are doing a stellar job on this title, and I hope they keep on doing it for a long time to come. They have managed to sell me on the idea of Superman as a family man, and I hope that when all the dust settles from the Rebirth saga, that this Superman remains the official Superman of the DCU.

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.