[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Andy Kubert
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Colors: Brad Anderson
Reviewed by: Carl Bryan
“No superpowers except super-strength and whatever invulnerability you got! – Referee to Superman and Mighto.
En route to Rann, Superman must face an intergalactic pugilist in an epic boxing match, then save an alien family from certain doom—if they can help him first! These stories were originally published in SUPERMAN GIANT #5 and 6.
Tom King continues to pen a solid Superman story that pulls no punches in displaying how far the Man of Steel will go to save a little girl. In turn, this journey he is on also reveals just what he means to Earth and the Universe in the value he has. Does Superman inspire us or do we inspire him? That is the what Tom King provides in this issue of Superman: Up in the Sky!
King immediately throws us into the boxing ring with Superman in one corner adhering to rules agreed upon prior to the boxing match. Defeat Mighto and he gives clues to where the girl is located. We are talking only clues…no definitive information, but clues! There is power in that concept in the story alone as Superman is dedicated to take one of the biggest whoopings he has ever had just to get remnants of information that could lead him to this little girl.
And a beating he endures… Artist Andy Kubert clearly took his training from the early Rocky movies as he portrays this boxing match as one of the bloodiest ever! What starts as an offer to Clark to “skip the pain” by Mighto ends up being a 12 round realization for him that Superman is clearly not going down. Cue the Rocky theme song!
The fourth installment finds Superman floating in space. Are his injuries from the beating or simply has he lost lifes upport being away from a yellow sun? The reader is left to a lot of suppositions on this one, but we find a Healer who has mind-melded with Superman in order to address his healing needs. And from that we find the same calling that the Healer has in his role – does he return safely home to his family or does he sacrifice his life for the greater good that Superman brings to the universe. What a cross to bear by the Healer and what a responsibility Superman now has in this sacrifice?
King is both biblical in his approach and awe inspiring at how Superman has become to the universe! This is a great story!
I know where this is going as I have read the Giant issues, but King is really ready for his own Superman run! The only negative is that DC hasn’t announced that yet!
Again, the artwork alone is worth the price of admission! From the sheer brutal display in the boxing ring to the poignant comforting of the Healer’s family…this is a heart wrenching story! Invest in this one as you’ll reread it for years to come!