The Man of Steel values life above all else, but what do you do with a population that doesn’t want to be saved? Is it more important to respect the wishes of a race that wants to die with their planet? Or does the preservation of life trump all?
Title: Superman #41 (The Last Days pt. 2)
Writer: James Robinson
Art: Ed Benes
Colors: Dinei Ribeiro
Letters: Rob Leigh
Publisher: DC Comics
What You Need to Know:
On the anniversary of the destruction of his home planet the Last Son of Krypton received a chilling message, a nearby planet was about to suffer the same fate, but Superman (and Jon!) had enough time to intervene. The only issue is that the fish people of Galymayne (think intelligent seahorses) are fervently religious and are of the mind that if their planet is about to explode, it must be the will of their God. Superman refused to allow them to die, and is now being sheltered by a rogue scientist, named Klain, from murderous legions of fish people with his son Superboy in tow!
What You’ll Find Out:
We open on Klain rushing the Kryptonians to his hidden lab in an attempt to hide them from hordes of enemy soldiers that are trying to destroy them for heresy. As they run he tells the pair that his wife was executed by the state due to his beliefs, which don’t align with the religious ruling class. They don’t have much time though, the planet could explode any moment!
Klain asks Superman for one final favor before he goes, he has thousands of eggs, there is a planet in a nearby solar system with the proper condition before they go home would they drop the eggs off and give them one last chance at survival? Superman gives the obvious answer. Before Klain gets a chance to say thank you they are beset by dozens of enemy soldiers, they begin to shoot towards the eggs, and Klain dives in front of them, riddled with whatever seahorses use as ballistic weapons, I dunno.
As they continue to attack Superman orders Jon to grab the eggs and run off the planet, Jon protests, but does as he’s told, Superman takes down the whole army, he doesn’t have time for this, the planet is about to blow!
Will our heroes make it off the planet in time? Find out for yourself grab a copy of Superman # 41 today!
What Just Happened?
This issue had some high points, the visuals are great and parts of the story are decent, but I literally never appreciate being subjected to a writers soapbox rant no matter what the message is. Political/ religious allegory is almost always hamfisted and annoying, for a good example of it done well, check out last issue of Suicide Squad, Rob Williams managed to poke a bit of fun without hijacking 2 issues to spread his personal beliefs.
I did really like Superman’s hope speech to the religious leaders of the planet, it was a very solid Superman moment. I really like it when he tries to solve things with words rather than violence, that’s part of what makes him great.
An interesting thing to state outright, as comics tend to tiptoe around these subjects, Superman is an agnostic. Although not super surprising, as he has met actual gods before, it’s rare that a comic character takes a definite stance on religion.
I haven’t loved this arc, or the last couple honestly. Kind of feels like the title is treading water waiting for Brian Bendis to take over. My favorite time to collect a comic, when even the creators don’t seem to care. (I have the last pre-n52 Batman arc, Gilda comes back and tries to take down the Falcone mob in the Long Halloween followup nobody asked for. Pointless)
I would rate it lower but like I said it had a couple decent moments and the art was good, still buying the title for now, but if it keeps going the way it’s going I might stop buying it until Bendis takes over.
If anyone ever wants to contact me, look me up in my group for the love of comic books , I also have several comic pages dedicated to my various true loves, Batman, Spider-man, Marvel, Oldie Goldies and Hats! (Long story on that last one haha) or on Twitter @johnbatusijack
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