Review: Superman #45 – Last Issue

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

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason

Artist: Patrick Gleason

 

Summary

“TRUTH, JUSTICE, FAMILY” – As Superman and Son return to Hamilton for a quick recharge, they learn what the little town truly meant to them—and what they meant to the locals of the town.

 

Positives

It seems somewhat strange that on the same week that Action Comics is celebrating its 1000th issue, the Man of Steel’s other main title, the eponymous Superman, is ending.

Although sometimes getting less notice than Action, this title is arguably the cream of the Rebirth-era titles and one of DC’s best titles ever.

Where Action leans more towards Superman’s solo adventures, Superman has focused more on Superman as a family man, with many of the stories including Lois and Jon. Clark and Lois’ marriage was something that was unnecessarily wiped from continuity in the New 52 reboot, and fans were generally pleased by its restoration to canon.

But giving Superman a son was a risk. DC has been historically wary of major changes to their flagship characters, and have often undone these changes to restore the status quo. Fans hated the idea of Superman as a father when it was done in the movie Superman Returns. They seemed somewhat apathetic when Lois and Clark took in the son of General Zod, Lor-Zod.

But Tomasi and Gleason gave us a son of Superman that was as likeable as his father and full of wonder. And their writing showed us how amazingly well suited Clark is for fatherhood, passing the wisdom of Pa Kent down to Jon.

Fittingly, Jon is named after Pa Kent, giving new meaning to the “The son becomes the father, the father becomes the son.”

The issue itself serves as a final farewell to Hamilton County, where the Kent family lived for much of the series. The family has sold their house and returns to pack up the rest of their stuff to take to their new apartment in Metropolis.

There are plenty of callbacks to earlier issues in the series: the plant given to Clark by Swamp Thing, a visit to the grave of their cat Goldie, and a family trip to the county fair. They also check in on Jon’s friend Kathy, as well as Nobody, Boyzarro, and Robzarro.

When the moving van fails to show up, The Flash fortunately shows up to help the Kents move their belongings to Metropolis. Barry’s appearance is fitting as he is an optimistic character, and Superman has been the brightest, most optimistic title in the Rebirth era.

 

Negatives

There is only one complaint that I can make about this title, which is that I believe DC is making a big mistake in cancelling it. I realize that the title is being relaunched, with Brian Michael Bendis taking over both Superman titles. While I’m sure Bendis will do a fine job as writer, could they not have started a third Superman title and let Tomasi and Gleason continue their fine work on this one?

Verdict

Sadly, we must say goodbye to Tomasi and Gleason’s Superman. In my opinion this was the finest of the Rebirth titles and one of the greatest in Superman’s entire history.

 

 

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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.