Review: Superman #39

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

Writers: Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason

Artists: Barry Kitson, Scott Hanna

 

Summary

What would it be like to fly with the Man of Steel? Some very special children find out as Superman fulfills some unique wishes.

 

Positives

I started collecting DC comics in the early eighties, during the last few years of the pre-Crisis era. Thus, I quite enjoyed how this book reminded me of the comics from that time. The villains at the start of the story, the Demolition Team, originated from that period, and although they don’t pose much of a challenge to Superman nowadays, they were seen as a more credible threat back then.

The art is also quite evocative of that era. It is crisp, clear, and colourful, as most comics were. The only thing that obviously shows the book is of modern origin is that the Justice Leaguers sport their modern costumes. And Cyborg is the only member of the League that would be out-of-place in the League in the eighties, as he was at home in the pages of New Teen Titans in those days.

Also, it is good to see Superman and the rest of the League doing something good for people apart from their usual activities of protecting them from villains or natural disasters. It’s not unheard of for superheroes to do charitable work, but it could be argued that we don’t see them doing it often enough.

 

Negatives

On the other hand, other than the brief prologue fight, the entire issue centers around Superman and the League’s activities with these afflicted children, and it tends to become too much of a good thing. Where it would make an enjoyable subplot or backup story, it’s doesn’t seem engaging enough to hold up an entire issue. The story starts off charming, but overstays its welcome and starts to become a little too sappy. This was a story written as a fill-in due to next issue’s story being delayed and quite frankly, it shows.

However, Superman is a character that can support a somewhat corny story, as is the Flash who is also present, so this can be forgiven. Even a sappy Superman story can be enjoyable. But in the future, it might be better to add more action and dial down the cheese a bit.

 

Verdict

Yes, it’s a fill-in issue, but still enjoyable, especially as an homage to the eighties comics I remember from my youth. Superman remains one of DC’s best titles.

 

 

http://dccomicsnews.com/wp-content/themes/maxblog/assets/img/flash-icon.jpg

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.