Jeremy's Pick of the Week for 6-25: Superman #32
So, I guess it takes a Marvel artist to bring me back to a DC title. With the debut of John Romita, JR on Superman, I have not only bought my first DC book in over a year, but I THOROUGHLY enjoyed it. JR JR was drawing Spider-man when I first got into comics in the early 80's and he quickly took over my favorite book, the Uncanny X-men within months of me starting my monthly collection. His distinctive art-style was very different that other comics at the time and lent itself to the unique story-lines from Claremont. I loved these books as they came out and have continued to follow JR JR on his 30 year career in comics. It is not often that the son of a famous artist surpasses his father, but in the case of JR JR, I believe he has done it.
When the news hit that JR JR was going to draw Superman I was cautiously optimistic. Here is one of my favorite artists working on my favorite characters! But, there were some reservations - I am NOT a Geoff Johns fan, at all. I am NOT a fan of the New 52 - - - AND I HATE the new Superman costume. Lots to push through, but with the encouragement of Stuart (here at A Comic Book Education), I bought issue #32 of Superman.
Let me just say that this is a gorgeous book. JR JR is at the top of his game and Laura Martin's colors are just jaw-dropping. Check out this panel from the middle of the book. When you add in the Klaus Janson inks on top of JR JR's pencils - it is simply amazing. JR JR is a wonderful story-teller and is able to communicate the simple story with ease. Characters look different and have distinct personalities. Each panel is rendered perfectly and leads to the next. I guess I am crediting JR JR for this and not Geoff, since I normally do not care for his story-lines. However, that being said, I really enjoyed the story.
The book begins with a great parallel origin story for a new character named Ulysses. I got excited, because we so rarely get a decent new hero/villain in the Superman mythos that stands the test of time. With a similar origin as Superman, I think that this character resonates with fans quickly. Similar to the way Venom relates with Spider-man OR Sabertooth with Wolverine, a major character with a matching power set and origin can become a fixture in the life of the main hero. I was drawn in quickly and like this character's origin.
The story progresses and I was treated to seeing Perry White, Jimmy Olsen and Clark in their classic roles at the Daily Planet. How great is that?! I had thought that Clark did not work for Perry at all in the New 52. I am glad to see the traditional story elements coming back into the series.
The book ends with a massive battle (with no dialog - my favorite kind) and the introduction of Ulysses. The sequence is a classic Superman brawl with aliens and broken buildings. It climaxes with a massive two-page spread on pages 21 & 22.
I ended this book wanting more! I can get past the new costume if we get stories and art like this. It is great to be buying a DC title again and wonderful that is the Big Blue Boy Scout that brought me back.