Another week, another installment of the digital-first Adventures of Superman! Read our review after the jump!
Adventures of Superman #7 introduces a new element to DC’s digital-first darling: multiple chapter story arcs. Tasked with scripting the three-part story is Eisner nominated writer Matt Kindt, whose work on Men of War was unable to capture a sizable audience. Providing pencils is Steven Segovia, who brings along with him an impressive resume that has seen work at DC, Marvel, and the pulp heroes of Dynamite. Supporting Segovia’s pencils is Jay David Ramos’ colors.
Kindt’s story begins with two alternating plot lines, which one can assume will converge at some point. On one hand, we have Lois Lane engaging in an early-morning interview with Lex Luthor, this one of the scheming businessman interpretation. The other plotline is Superman performing his typical heroics, only this time on an interstellar scale. The common thread between these two stories is that they are presented in first-person narration form; the protagonists guiding the readers through the story.
Kindt’s intertwined plotlines and multiple-chapter story made for a welcomed change of pace to this series. As enjoyable as these done-in-one shorts have been, it had become evident in recent weeks that the writers were struggling to tell strong stories in the compressed, digital format. This is not a surprise given the penchant for long-form storytelling in the industry today. While the Superman and Lois stories are simple and familiar, it’s clear that Kindt has a strong grasp of the classic interpretations of these characters, especially Lois. I found her plotline compelling, as it was the voice of a Lois we haven’t seen much of, if at all, in the New 52. Intuitive and sassy, yet ever the professional, Lois’ interview with Lex Luthor makes me want Kindt to write a Lois Lane solo book.
Segovia’s art is strong in the Superman plot. He is very good at illustrating all the aspects of Big Blue’s power set–particularly speed. There is a difference between a character moving fast and an artist trying to show a character moving fast. Segovia’s work here belongs with the former.
I would be remiss to not mention the great coloring by Jay David Ramos. As much as I enjoyed the two plotlines that Kindt established, it would not have been as effective without Ramos’ coloring. The Superman scenes are filled with color as superhero titles typically are, providing a sense that everything is okay. The Lois scenes, on the other hand, are noticeably lacking in color. While the artwork remains beautiful, the pallor of these moments can be unsettling when contrasted with the other plotline, foreshadowing that the real trouble for Superman will not be up in the stars, but back on Earth.
I had two problems with this story, and both of them revolve around Lex Luthor. First, he just looks weird in a few panels. Normally, I’m okay if a character looks a little off from panel to panel–the artists are human, so characters won’t look exactly the same, but typically close enough. However, there are a couple of instances where looks like he was standing next to the Nazis that opened up the Ark of the Covenant in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
My other Luthor complaint is the scheme that he reveals to Lois at the end of the issue. While the means have changed slightly, the goal is territory that has already been explored. I’m hoping that Kindt is able to take this idea and provide a fresh spin on it, but as its presented within the confines of this issue, I was underwhelmed.
Adventures of Superman #7 is a bold change of direction for the series. I’m eager to see Kindt’s story unfold, and the art team seems more than capable to bring his vision to life. This is a perfect way to kick off Man of Steel week.