Review: Superman #27

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

Writers: Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason

Artist: Scott Godlewski

 

Summary

“ROAD TRIP” part one! It’s been an emotional and physical rollercoaster for Superman, Lois, and Jon: the Eradicator, Dinosaur Island, Frankenstein and the Bride, Multiversity, Reborn and Black Dawn—a barrage of terror and horror! What does the family need right now? Yep, you got it…a vacation!

 

Positives

The best part of this series is the depiction of the Kent’s family life and the interaction between Clark, Lois, and Jon. This issue takes a break from the regular superheroics as the family takes to the road for a badly needed vacation.

The vacation is much like most of us remember from our childhood. The kids enjoying the fun and break from chores and responsibilities, while the parents try to inject an educational component  The only thing missing is a sibling for Jon to bicker with in the back seat.

I also like the humorous depiction of how badly Superman and family need their vacation. This issue clears up once and for all whether the Man of Steel requires sleep and furthermore shows what happens if he were to nod off mid-flight.

 

Negatives

This issue also serves as DC’s Independence Day story for 2017, and tends to be a touch heavy-handed, as such stories often are. The history lesson is probably less grating to American ears, but as a non-American, I couldn’t help wishing they had kept the history lesson in the classroom.

Likewise, the incident where Clark lecture’s the restaurant staff over their treatment of a crippled veteran felt a little overly preachy too. Sure, speaking up like that is exactly what Clark would do, but it seemed somewhat unlikely that a veteran would get treated that shabbily nowadays. And the owner rushing out to offer the veteran a job after Clark’s diatribe just upped the hokiness factor a couple of notches.

On the other hand, the preachiness did serve to remind me of some of the Superman comics of my childhood in the seventies. But the writing here is still much more nuanced than the stories of that era.

 

Verdict

Superman is one of the best examples of the success DC is enjoying with their Rebirth renaissance (if that’s not a redundant phrase). New 52 Superman just seemed to be a character with a passing resemblance to the Superman I loved reading about as a kid, but now it feels like that Superman has returned to the pages of DC.

 

 

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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.
  • Pat Payne

    Honestly, as an American, I though the most preachy parts of the comic pretty tedious too. Was I fascinated by the story of Deborah Sampson? You betcha. History’s my catnip. But the way it was presented was almost as if they had hit “pause” on the story and then brought in a guest history professor to harangue us on why she was important.It sounded forced and an excuse to shove some viewpoint down our throats.

    The same with the veteran at the end. Now I believe that anvil DOES need to be dropped (we do have a bad habit of treating our vets horribly — see for instance the ongoing VA scandal) and the point that Clark made (i.e. “why do we put up all these ego-stroking tributes to celebrities everywhere, but not the people who put their lives on the line to allow those celebrities to flourish?”) is extremely resonant, but again, it seemed like it as the writers trying to force a spoon of medicine down our gullets rather than any sort of actual storytelling. As you rightly pointed out, it was forced and seemed to go out of its way to be preachy.

    Whether I agree or disagree with the message (and with his one, I was all over the place on agreement v. disagreement) I do not like to be preached to outside of church, especially when I’m just looking for entertainment. While I liked the issue in general (the scene of Supes flying while asleep and the later scene of him and Superboy BOOGIEBOARDING DOWN NIAGRA FALLS are priceless), the preachiness actually makes me judge the issue a little more harshly than you did. I’d have given it 3.5 instead.

    • Derek

      I tend to be a somewhat generous with rating this title because I love how they are portraying the characters.

      I don’t really mind American specific content – after all, it is an American made comic with American characters. Patriotism is not a bad trait for Superman to have. I just get a bit annoyed if they start to beat you over the head with it.