The last time we sat down with DC Comics ongoing Superman series was this past July with issue 42. You could find our review here. It’s not to say that we haven’t been enjoying what writer Gene Luen Yang has been doing with the Man of Steel, or that we haven’t enjoyed John Romita Jr’s approach to the now 77-year-old character. It’s easy to become backlogged with comics, conventions, and weekly shows so on a quiet Saturday night, Halloween no less, staff writer and resident Superman fan Steven decided to give this current issue a read. Superman issue 45 released this past week and is available now at local comic book shops.
The character of Superman is in an interesting place right now. Earlier this year readers and fans watched Clark Kent have his identity as Superman revealed to the world, along with him losing his job at the Daily Planet, and a falling out with Lois Lane, someone we’ve already seen him have a rocky relationship with throughout the New 52. The current story line running through the pages of Superman, Superman Wonder Woman, and Batman Superman reflect many of the same ideas present within the essential Daredevil story arc “Born Again.” Superman issue 45, “Street Justice”, opens with Clark recounting all of the moments that led to where he is now, without a job, his Fortress, his cape, “well most of it, anyway”, along with his power. “Well, most of it, anyway.” Gene Luen Yang has created an interesting story for Superman; something that has changed the Superman of late that we’ve seen in Geoff Johns short-lived run with the character.
Despite DC’s creative efforts to seemingly build up Superman, they’ve decided to take him back to square one, again, even after the Doomed story arc of last year. It appears as if people, or the writers, feel that the best Superman is a more depowered and humanized one. It’s fun watching Yang rebuild the character of Superman, but much like the past Superman story arcs, the story arcs suffer from going on just too long. HORDR_ROOT and the criminal syndicate HORDR seem more as if they were designed as a means to an end and not so much as a fully realized villain. They are no Mr. Bloom of Snyder and Capullo’s Batman, that’s for sure. We are reading under the belief that Vandal Savage is coming so hopefully all of this will pay off to that.
Superman issue 45 is a fun issue to look at and it also features the debut of artist Howard Porter on the series. Porter has delivered a great looking issue with some of the most consistent looking characters and pages, something we haven’t necessarily seen in Superman for a while. He’s only solicited for a few issues and we don’t know who will be taking over. Howard Porter, along with colorist HI-FI, have created a more assured and confident looking series, but what Superman really needs is a dynamic artist like Greg Capullo. I don’t mean Capullo himself, although that would be great, but the title needs an artist who will leave it with a definitive stamp. This is something we have yet to see within the pages of Superman and due to the constant revolving door of talent, the title always feels as if it’s in a state of flux.
Superman issue 45 is a fun issue to pick up if you like Superman. Unfortunately, it’s not particularly stunning either. I would like to point out that there are three particularly fun touches to the book:
- World’s Finest Cafe & Siegel and Shuster street
- Clark’s newly introduced penchant for tacos – “How many tacos will $19.65 get me?”
- Queen Shahrazad and Mythbrawl
- Superman, still in a t-shirt, but now wearing a makeshift cape and red boots.
Superman issue 45, “Street Justice”, gets three stars. It’s available in stores now. To find a local comic shop, click here.