Superman is overwhelmed as Parasite’s new powers are unleashed! Can Superman stop all of Metropolis from being consumed by the power-hungry Parasite or will he need Lex Luthor’s help to save the day? Introducing a new antihero—Marilyn Moonlight, the Spirit of Metropolis—who only operates at night! Is she friend or foe to the Man of Steel?! And how does she connect to Metropolis’s secret past?
“How many lives depend on you getting over your super ego and admitting that you need me?”
Superman #2 picks up with Superman running into a newly evolved Parasite, who now can split himself and infect others.The fight continues throughout Metropolis with Superman running into new allies and some possible foes in his pursuit of the original Parasite, in hopes that he can solve whatever is causing this to go on. The running theme throughout Superman #2 is that Lex doesn’t believe that Superman can win this fight without him, and at the end this theory proves to be correct.
With only two issues, Joshua Williamson has written Lex in a familiar, but compelling manner, that proves to be a great new status quo for the character. Lex is clearly playing a long game here, attempting to use his company and influence as leverage to coerce Superman into a partnership, yet this also comes off as completely believable. Throughout the issue and the one before, Lex has been pestering Superman, claiming that he could be doing better by focusing more on solving the problem instead of trying to save each and every person. Lex is clearly a more practical person, seeing the loss of life as inevitable, believing that people will continue to die until the threat is resolved, so why not resolve it quicker? Superman, on the other hand, chooses to prioritize saving lives, even if that means prolonging the solution. This issue proves Lex’s theories to be correct, as the conclusion shows Superman being taken over by Parasite. This is something that could have been prevented entirely by Superman listening to Lex and attacking the problem head on, but Superman insisted on saving each and every life. Williamson’s take on Lex helps give the character more credence and nuance than the blatantly evil interpretations on the character from previous writers. Beyond anything else, this run will be remembered for Williamson’s Lex Luthor.
This issue introduces fans to some new villains, Dr. Pharm and Graft, as well as a new heroine(?), Marilyn Moonlight. These characters don’t receive a ton of page real estate, yet they are full of intrigue. Williamson peppers in just enough nuance and complexity to hook readers in, but also keeps these new characters at an arm’s length, letting Jamal Campbell’s art do the talking. Marilyn Moonlight receives most of the spotlight, even getting a mention on the cover, while also getting a solid introduction towards the end of the issue. Her character seems to have ghostly powers that rely on moonlight, which is a good foil for Superman, since one of the more uncommon weaknesses for Superman is magic. Her powers are also shown to be able to power up the Man of Steel, but that begs the question, can they also depower him?
Campbell’s art continues to be gorgeous, with his vibrant and towering take on Superman feeling alive on each and every page. Campbell does something interesting with the character here, by making Superman’s costume feel like a character in its own right. Fans are used to seeing the big blue suit, with the large ‘S’ symbol, and red briefs and boots. But one thing that is often drawn in but not wildly dramatic is Superman’s cape. Unlike Batman, Superman’s cape doesn’t normally come alive, allowing artists to use it as a dramatic point for the character. Yet, Campbell makes a point to accentuate the cape in a new dramatic pose in each panel. The cape almost feels like it’s own character in the way that Campbell uses it to accentuate the stature of Superman, while using it to fill otherwise empty space in panels. This makes Campbell’s depiction of Superman and his costume feel wholly unique, in a delightful and poignant manner.
Ariana Maher’s lettering builds off of Campbell’s amazing art, adding suspense and next-level drama to each panel. The section of the issue featuring the Mad Scientist meeting was a specific spot where the lettering helped enhance the story and art. Maher uses larger speech bubbles and fonts to emphasize dramatic situations, while using a scribbly speech bubble for Graft to convey the sadistic way of their speaking. This helps the dialogue burst off the page, transcending the comic book panel layout and animating the sequences in the minds of readers. Another nice touch was highlighting the new villains names in Green and Purple, making sure fans knew to keep an eye on these characters. Maher’s lettering boosts this issue onto a next level.
Superman #2 proves that Lex may have a point to everything he’s been yelling in Superman’s ear. Jamal Campbell’s art steals the show yet again, with Ariana Maher’s lettering bringing the pages to life.
Superman #2: He’s a Lex-icon Artist
- Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10