Review: Superman ’78 #6 (Final Issue)
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Robert Venditti
Art: Wilfredo Torres
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Dave Lanphear of a Larger World
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
Metropolis is being collected by Brainiac! Will the bottled cities Brainiac has already collected be destroyed? Will Luthor escape? This looks like a job…for Superman!
Sometimes, there is a story arc or limited series that just doesn’t flow when read issue to issue and it’s much better when reread all in one sitting. Sometimes, there are stories that you reread because they are just that good- Superman ’78 is that kind of story. It’s both the “Superman III” we deserved and a beautiful homage and love letter to Superman: The Movie and the creative forces in it and behind it. Superman has been around for a long time and he’s had numerous iterations in various media, but Christopher Reeve’s interpretation is simply a joy and Robert Venditti, Wilfredo Torres and Jordie Bellaire translate that perfectly in the finale of this tale in Superman ’78 #6.
It’s hard to keep heaping superlatives upon superlatives, but everything about this series and issue has been perfect. You can hear Reeve delivering Venditti’s dialogue in your head, Torres gets the look of all the characters beautifully. He is able to communicate the subtleties of the actors. It all goes together in a truly wonderful experience that combines nostalgia, excitement and love of the characters. Torres even gets Luthor in traditional purple and green outfit to look no only like classic Luthor, but also…Gene Hackman! There’s no doubt that this series was crafted with a great deal of effort and love and it comes through in the finished product.
Perhaps the single aspect that is able to bring the comic world and the film world together is Venditti’s understanding of the character. It comes through in the dialogue and in Superman’s actions, it’s that inspiring sense of hope and the will to never give up. I’d be remiss if I didn’t eat my word a bit and say my feeling that last issue felt like it rushed to the ending seems to be unfounded. I’m sure that proposed rereading will bear it out as well.
The only negative is that this is the last issue of the mini-series. This is a series we NEED to continue. DC Comics, are you listening?
Superman ’78 #6 is everything you want it to be and need it to be. Many have wished that Christopher Reeve had made more and better Superman films, and this is the perfect way to do that. Originally, Lois and Clark were going to get married in Superman V …. So I guess I’m suggesting a timeline of Superman: The Movie, Superman II, Superman ’78, Superman III (we’ve already seen Richard Pryor’s Gus Gorman in issue #5), Superman IV: The Quest for Peace and then Superman V…. V for Venditti?