[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Keith Champagne
Artists: Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza
“FEAR ITSELF” part one! The writing team of Tomasi and Gleason are joined by co-writer Keith Champagne in a story that returns to their Green Lantern roots and asks the question “What scares Superman?”
Fear is the major theme of this issue, which is fitting considering that Superman is facing the being Parallax. Even more fitting is that the story begins with Superman trying to find what has happened to some missing children. The solicitation asks, “what scares Superman?” and the answer seems obvious. As a parent, one of his greatest fears would be something happening to his child. So, missing children would rattle him more than many other threats might.
This is reflected in how Superman’s encounter with Parallax plays out. Superman is not afraid of Parallax, but when he threatens the children he has abducted, this engenders enough fear in Superman for Parallax to take advantage of. Parallax makes use of Superman’s true weakness: his compassion for others.
I also like the reference to Captain Carrot as a “Pokémon Go” type game, which is made even better by the joking reference to the “Zoo 52 reboot.” C’mon DC, how about a Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew Rebirth title?
It’s a solid and suspenseful story, with little to complain about, but unfortunately neither Lois nor Jon are present this issue. But, it’s good for the title to occasionally focus on Superman’s solo adventures and it’s to be expected. After all the title is called Superman, not Superman Family. Plus, it’s evident in the story that Clark’s family isn’t far from his mind, especially when he’s faced with endangered children.
A suspenseful and exciting issue of a fine series. Even though Tomasi and Gleason have taken a break from the writing chores, Keith Champagne does a fine job of keeping up the high standard they have set for one of DC’s best titles.