Review: Superman: Up In The Sky #5

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

Writer: Tom King

Artist:  Andy Kubert

Letters: Clayton Cowles

Colors: Brad Anderson


Reviewed by: Carl Bryan


“If it is a lie,  then I have broken my word.  And if it is the truth, I have broken my word.” Superman to Darkseid,

Darkseid offers to help Superman in his quest to rescue the Earth girl Alice-but that help comes at a cost! Then, the Man of Steel is treated to a vision of his life at home with his friends and family-but a far grimmer reality is about to intrude! Originally published in Superman Giant #12 and #13, this issue brings Superman: Up In The Sky closer to its conclusion.



I’ve never given much thought to Superman’s mission in his life in comics as it has always been about truth, honor and the American way.  While Batman has the code of never using a gun, I am not sure in canon if he has ever taken a life.

And in every timeline , you can trust that Superman has never intentionally taken a life either.  In fact, that would be more stranger than anything that could be written if Big Blue ever did take one…other then Doomsday, but that can of worms has more layers than any onion.

However, in this issue, we see Darkseid offering help, but at a price.  Playing the role of the Devil, Darkseid asks Superman in the role of an Angel to take an innocent life.  Pain…an assisted suicide to a creature in so much pain, they simply want to be relieved of pain.  Tom King borrows a bit from Stephen King in this new chapter of Up In The Sky.  Superman is in search for a little girl and he has been through so much so far and now he find himself breaking a vow.

Tom King has given Superman a Kobayashi Maru similar to Captain Kirk’s in Star Trek.  And Clark doesn’t have a way out.  Tom King and Scott Snyder must be in a lab somewhere cooking up how they can put Superman and Batman through so much Hell.  Both are at the top of their game right now.


Positives (even more)

What if you could have that perfect day?  What if all the problems were solved?  You had time to spend to be with your wife.  You arch nemesis was taken down and incarcerated.  Your friends and you could simply share a burger and fries, and celebrate that there is no crime.  What would Superman do?

Andy Kubert’s rendition of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman eating fast food above the city….priceless art!  And poster-worthy!

Who is giving him this offer?  It is philosophy 101 at its best.  Immanuel Kant’s The Greater Good.  If Superman simply gives up, and allows this entity to keep the girl, then Superman has Utopia.  What would you do?  What does he do?  Is one girl worth everyone’s well being?





The Giant Issues have the entire story if you have not read it yet!  But Tom King has captured a myriad of levels of Superman.  This issue takes Supes to the end…the absolute end.  How can it get any better?



As if more could not happen to the Man of Steel, Tom King runs him through the ringer one last time.  Alice awaits her hero.  But can he really make it to the finish line to save her?  You’d be remiss if you did not read this entire story.  It’s truly a love letter to Superman!


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