[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Pencils: Jack Herbert and Jose Luis
Inks: Jack Herbert and Ray McCarthy
Henshaw has managed to prove to his cadre of villainous allies that he’s going to deliver on his promises and puts forth a plan to go to the Fortress of Solitude to find what they need to destroy the Man of Steel. Not so coincidentally, Superman, along with Jon and Lois, is at the Fortress being examined by Kelex to determine if there is a fix for his blindness.
This leads to a quick but violent confrontation. Jon and Lois manage to escape, but Superman is overpowered rather quickly. However, he is rescued by his own squad – Supergirl, Lex, Steel, Superwoman and Kenan Kong!
There are two big positives in this issue. Firstly, seeing Superman use some ingenuity to counter attack Henshaw and the Superman Revenge Squad. It’s enjoyable and effective as Superman narrates how he’s using his other senses to get a fix on the different villains and how each one is sensed through different methods. This aspect takes the story arc a little deeper with Superman’s characterization which is always a good thing.
However, the final page with the assembling of this “Superman Family” is the high point of the issue. It not only sets up next issue’s showdown, but it also illustrates that Superman is not alone, and that he can and will rely on his extended Super-family when necessary. It also bears mentioning that Herbert, Luis and McCarthy’s art is strong and classic and creates an instant appeal for the Man of Steel.
There’s not so much negatives to the issue, just things that are fairly familiar that don’t stand out, they are just there. There’s nothing that remarkable about a Superman Revenge Squad story, but it’s not really a negative. It just doesn’t stand out. The only thing that is worrisome is the possible overuse of the “Lois and Jon are in danger” trope. This is always a possibility, but should be used judiciously. It’s OK if they aren’t always around when Superman is in trouble. They function better when they provide insight into Superman’s character and how he manages to balance his roles as super-hero, father and journalist.
This is a solid issue with a promising lead in to what should be a mighty showdown between the Superman Revenge Squad and Superman’s own Super-squad. While not overly remarkable, it is enjoyable as it presents a classic looking Man of Steel and we get a little bit below the surface of Superman’s character.