Superman ‘78: The Metal Curtain #2
THE IRON FIST OF METALLO! Superman brings Lois to the Fortress of Solitude for a private interview. Meanwhile, the Russians launch their first assault with their mighty Metallo in hopes of drawing the Man of Steel out into the open. Witness as the power of the people breaks Superman!
Superman ’78: The Metal Curtain #2 continues the exciting return to the iconic world of Superman as imagined in the 1978 film. Both the film and comic industries have come a long way since the release of the first Superman film, though it still holds a special and important place in both. With The Metal Curtain, Superman is pitted against the classic villain Metallo, though the series cleverly explores just how he might have been adapted to film. Robert Venditti’s writing has successfully captured the nostalgic charm and timeless spirit of this classic Superman portrayal. The majority of this issue follows the first encounter between Superman and Metallo. The depth of Metallo’s character is exactly what you’d expect out of a movie from this time. So far it is pretty one-dimensional but that is the role he must play as a villain and also an obvious analog to the Soviet Union and the Cold War. In terms of design, the concept of a power suit is nothing new, especially in Superman comics, but in the context of being in a “film” from that era, it’s great and believable.
The first half or so of the issue features characters with plenty of screen time from the films, mainly Superman and Lois, but Superman’s biological parents are shown at the Fortress of Solitude. Gavin Guidry’s art does a great job selling the idea that this is taking place in the ‘78 film universe and toploading the issue with visuals that have plenty of reference to work off of helps immensely. Characters and the actors that portrayed them are recognizable without feeling traced. Guidry’s style isn’t super realistic in terms of replicating the films and so it does an excellent job of grounding more realistic things into a comic style. However, sometimes faces feel a little off because readers know exactly what the actors’ faces look like, but that is pretty unavoidable in these types of books. Jordie Bellaire’s colors are fantastic as always and she seems to capture the warm glow of the films which compliment Guidry’s art.
There is even a fun little moment just before Superman meets Metallo where he tries to show Lois that he is really Clark Kent. There is a similar scene in the first film where Clark takes off his glasses and straightens his posture when Lois turns her back, only to put them back on and return to a slouch. The tagline for the first time boasted that it would make you believe a man could fly, but it really should have said it could sell the idea that Clark Kent and Superman are two different people. The scene is such a shining example of Christopher Reeve’s incredible performance. In Superman ‘78: The Metal Curtain #2, the change is less subtle, which makes sense due to a film being able to capture the tiny nuances of the acting. The panels play out very similar to the film, though it is Superman changing into his Clark Kent clothes and then flying off to save the day before Lois can see.
Superman ‘78: The Metal Curtain #2 is a quick read due to a lot of action in the second half but it works as a great introduction between Superman and Metallo. So far the series has set up a solid conflict that works well in the context of the source material. Venditti and Guidry find a nice balance between paying homage to the cinematic universe and introducing fresh twists to bring it into the current landscape of comics.
Superman ‘78: The Metal Curtain #2: Metallo Meets the Man of Steel
- Writing - 7/107/10
- Storyline - 7/107/10
- Art - 7/107/10
- Color - 8/108/10
- Cover Art - 7/107/10
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