Another week, another installment of Adventures of Superman with Issue #6. Read more after the jump!
Adventures of Superman began with three stellar stories, only to be followed up with two mediocre ones. Looking to right the ship is Bryan J.L. Glass and Michael Avon Oeming, the creative team behind the Image series The Mice Templar. These two place the Man of Tomorrow in a moral conundrum–to return a child back to Krypton before its imminent destruction or risk the future of the space-time continuum.
The ethical dilemma presented at the onset of this issue illustrates the high regard Superman holds for all life. It doesn’t matter if it is one life or a million, Superman will fight for everyone. The ending of this story also presents a heartwarming twist that reinforces Superman’s benevolence and intellect – the latter of which is often overlooked.
While others may disagree, I enjoyed Oeming’s art a lot in this issue. It strikes a balance between the grittiness of Frank Miller and the pop-art styling of David Aja. For those familiar with Oeming’s style, it’s not as refined as in his other works such as Powers, but the change can be attributed to matching Glass’s fast-paced storytelling.
While the ending was enjoyable, I couldn’t help but feel that it was a cop-out. The premise of this story was ripe with potential, so to see it unfold as it did was a bit of a let-down. Because of the timeframe of this story, combined with the page and space limits of the digital-first format, it came across as rushed. Glass’ writing had a schizophrenic tone, which also detracted from the strength of the story.
While the premise was intriguing, there was too much space spent on splash pages. In this digital format a story that mixes both big ideas and big action, while admirable for its ambition, is ultimately doomed to fail because of the medium’s limitations. This issue is not a failure, but it does not realize its potential. Glass and Oeming should have spent more time fleshing out the story rather than squeezing in spectacle.
While far from perfect, Adventures of Superman #6 is not a bad comic, especially for 99 cents. Despite an uneven narrative, it is able to stick the landing, even if it is not the one I would have preferred. The ambition that Glass and Oeming have shown in a single, digital-first story is admirable. I would be curious to see what they could pull off with a higher page count.