Review: Superman Smashes the Klan
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Gene Luen Yang
Letterer: Janice Chiang
Reviewer: Tony Farina
The year is 1946, and the Lee family has moved from Metropolis’ Chinatown to the center of the bustling city. While Dr. Lee is greeted warmly in his new position at the Metropolis Health Department, his two kids, Roberta and Tommy, are more excited about being closer to their famous hero, Superman! Inspired by the 1940s Superman radio serial “Clan of the Fiery Cross” which you can listen to here.
Where to begin? Superman Smashes the Klan is so spectacular. First, let’s look at that above image by Gurihiru. For those who don’t know, and I didn’t know until I looked into it, that name is actually is a Japanese illustration team. These talented ladies are called Chifuyu Sasaki and Naoko Kawano. These two women are a really amazing team. Every panel of this book is beautiful. They capture 1940s Metropolis so perfectly that it took me twice as long as it normally would to read a book of this length because it is so full of incredible images and color. Plus, Nazi punching, so…
Writer Gene Luen Yang creates a captivating story, that is based on the radio telecast of the 40s. He manages to make the reader feel the time frame. The stakes are high. Racism is rampant. Lives and souls are on the line. The tension ramps up and the readers are sucked in. I love Roberta and Tommy in this. They are excellent avatars for readers of all ages. It would really incredible to move around the world and land in a town with Superman. While Clark, Lois and Jimmy are in this book, it is really Roberta and Tommy Lee’s story as it should be.
If you are looking for me to say something about how Superman only has a few weaknesses and all the stuff I would normally say about Superman here, you are going to be sad. There is nothing bad about this book. It is just so great.
Superman Smashes the Klan is another winner for DC Kids. If you don’t get this for your young child, who is showing interest in comics, you are making a mistake. Each of these books not only give kids a safe and welcoming door into the excellent world that is comic books, but they all have some amazing lessons to be learned. There is no moral ambiguity in these books. Bad guys pay. Nazi’s get punched. The Klan gets smashed. All is right in the world.