CHAPTER ONE: VOICES IN YOUR HEAD
IT’S THE DAWN OF DC! Superman has returned to Metropolis and his greatest enemy Lex Luthor is finally behind bars. The future of the Superman family has never been brighter! As Clark Kent settles back into his life, iconic and new enemies erupt from the shadows to strike down the Man of Steel! But waiting in the wings to back up Big Blue is…Supercorp?! What secret project has Lex given to Superman?! “A hero is only as good as their villains” will be put to the test in this brand-new oversize #1 featuring comics’ greatest superhero by DC Comics architect Joshua Williamson and award-winning superstar artist Jamal Campbell!
This issue kicks off the next era of Superman by returning Clark to a status quo that will feel familiar to any longtime Superman fan. Superman #1 starts off with a classic Superman fight where he’s protecting a wedding party from Livewire. Superman keeps hearing a voice inside his head telling him what he should be doing, which is revealed to be Lex Luthor, who is currently in prison. We then transition over to Clark working at the Daily Planet with the new/temporary Editor in Chief, Lois Lane, and his old pal Jimmy Olsen. Clark has a quick heart to heart with Lois before going off to investigate some weird activity at Lex Corp. When he arrives, he discovers that Lex Corp has been transformed into Supercorp, and that Lex has essentially transferred over the company to Superman. Superman immediately tries to fly over to the prison holding Lex in order to get some answers, but stops to fend off an attack from The Parasite. Things aren’t exactly what they seem and Superman discovers that Parasite is being manipulated by some new, yet unseen power. The issue ends with Lex proclaiming that Superman now has to fight not only his regular rogues gallery, but also Lex’s.
This issue is completely stuffed from start to finish, making it definitely worth every penny. Joshua Williamson and Jamal Campbell seem to cover almost as much story as most books would in three to four issues. This really helps cement the new status quo, and also quickly establishes the kind of narrative that Williamson and Campbell will be telling.
One huge highlight here is how Lex factors into all of this. Lex and Superman have always had an adversarial relationship, but this is a new dynamic that takes everything in a direction that simultaneously feels familiar. We’ve seen Lex play the villain, the would-be hero, and we’ve even seen him play the god, but here we get classic return to form, with Lex being the conniving, master manipulator. This is the kind of dynamic that helps bring a jovial sense of fun back to the Superman universe.
Speaking of jovial fun, Superman #1 is chock-full of the kind of classic Superman characterization that made readers fall in love with the character way back in his inception. A few years ago, when Superman was riding a motorcycle in t-shirt, DC fans were praying to the heavens that we could just see Superman go back to the Daily Planet and have a light hearted conversation with Lois while Jimmy walks in at the least opportunistic time, and here we get that. I have to admit, I will always long for the days of Tomasi and Gleason’s Superman, where we saw him and Lois raising their son, but since Bendis threw that all out the window, this is the next best thing.
Jamal Campbell’s art here adds to the jovial fun, but I have a feeling that it may become a little divisive to some. Campbell delights in his facial features, but some character designs, like Jimmy Olsen, feel a bit off. That being said, when Campbell gets to let loose, the art is absolutely stunning. The first splash page, after a brief introductory flashback, shows Superman protecting a soon to be wed couple while his cape flows in the breeze to his left. Campbell sprinkles bits of Superman’s origins into the cape, spanning from his rocket leaving Krypton, all the way to when he moved to Metropolis. This beautiful page not only cements Campbells ability, but it also immediately shows us everything we need to know about this iteration of the character.
Superman #1 is a delight from start to finish. Williamson and Campbell completely stuff this issue with content, making it worth every cent. The art is mostly gorgeous and the new, but familiar, status quo sets up an engaging story to come.
Superman #1: A Great Starting Point For A Bold New Era!
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 8/108/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10