Written By: James Robinson
Art By: Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza, Scott Hanna, Wil Quintana, Rob Leigh
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: February 7, 2018
Release Date: February 7, 2018
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
It's time to begin a new arc of Superman with James Robinson at the helm and........ Well, that's about it really. It's a new arc, new writer and artist and you don't really need to know anything other than that going in. So let's stop messing around and get to some Superman. Let's check it out.
Our issue begins with Superman and Superboy inside of the Fortress of Solitude, where Superman plans on having some bonding time with his son, where they'll honor the anniversary of the destruction of Krypton while watching it on holographic HD. I'm kind of mixed about how I feel about Superboy's dialog here, with him calling Krypton his home world and citing Rao, when arguing with his father, but I can get past it because this is a boy who wants his father's approval in all things Kryptonian so while it does feel odd, I can make it work in my head.......... and really, that's all that really matters........ for me at least.
Anyway, while the duo are about to watch the destruction of Krypton, the crystal font alerts our hero of another Planet that is about to face the same fate and because of the fact that it's on the anniversary of Krypton's demise and because it seems that Superman has just been waiting for the chance to save an entire planet.......... since he programmed the font to scan for similar conditions, Superman prepares to act and after a bit of whining and convincing, Superboy is allowed to tag along for the save.
In the end though, once father and son reach the planet, they discover that like the planet Mol in Green Lanterns recently, the inhabitants don't want to be saved and believe that if their god demands their lives, it will have them....... and this is where the book takes an odd turn because Superman refuses to allow them to have their beliefs and the aliens are forced to fight Superman off so that they can die the way they want. It doesn't make it any easier on our hero when he lists his weaknesses to them and they can actually create magic to weaken him using their prayer, but thankfully Superman and Superboy are saved by a scientist, who while believes that his religious race are fools, our heroes and him still have to do their duty and save them.
That's it for this issue of Superman and goddamn is this tiptoeing over the line of calling religion moronic and while I might agree with that notion, it still makes me feel awkward while reading it. That aside though, this is a decent start to this arc, even with Superboy coming off a little odd in the beginning and then our hero overstepping his bounds when he disrespects an entire species' religion and their rights to it. Yeah........ It's an odd issue that I hope starts backing away from this angle a bit, but I'm still interested to see what James Robinson brings to this Superman table. The art in this issue is awesome and I hope Doug Mahnke remains for the duration........ It's just the story comes off odd and I can only hope that the way Superman is acting in this pays off big time later on because he's been a bit of a jerk lately in his comics and I want this zealot planet to maybe make him a little more humble.
Bits and Pieces:
This feels like it's going to be a controversial issue for some people and while I don't want any parts of that or any talk associated with that.......... this is an alright start to an arc, but some of the character moments feel weird and possibly even forced to get us to where our hero needs to be for this arc to exist. The art was great and I look forward to hopefully seeing more Doug Mahnke on this title, but overall, this issue felt a bit weird.