Thursday, October 6, 2011

Superman #1 Reviewed

For me, it really doesn't take a lot to make a decent Superman story.  Just give me Kal-El flying around and throwing a few super punches, battling a ludicrous super-villain or a giant monster, and I'm good.  On that count, the new Superman #1 delivers.  The first few pages move quickly to establish the Man of Steel's new post-Flashpoint status quo before getting into the meat of the issue, which is Superman's battle with a giant creature made of living fire.
If DC really wants to appeal to non-fanboys with the New 52, it would behoove them to have an entry level title that the casual reader can pick up every now and then and get a satisfying single issue reading experience.  If this debut issue is any indication, Superman might just be that title.  This would be appropriate, since everyone knows who Superman is.  He's not only DC's most famous character, but one of the most recognizable fictional characters in all of literature.  Therefore, you don't really need to spend a lot of time introducing the characters to new readers.  If you were in a comics shop about to pick up your first ever comic book, wouldn't you be more likely to go for a character you already know from movies and TV? 
This issue, more than any other of the New 52 titles I've read, is very accessible and new reader friendly. There are subplots and hints of things to come, including a possible crossover with Stormwatch, but it ultimately delivers a complete single issue story with everything the reader needs to know to enjoy and understand the story contained within the story itself. 
Visually, the book is an interesting hybrid.  Writer George Perez does breakdowns, and the storytelling, with multiple small panels on almost every page, is pure Perez.  It's dense, but never confusing.  The pencil and ink art by Jesus Merino looks like an accomplished Jim Lee impersonation.  Actually, I like Merino's art better than Lee's.
All in all, this is a good start to the Man of Steel's new adventures.

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