Geoff Johns, John Romita Jr, and Klaus Janson’s “Superman” issue 36 is positively cinematic. Continuing “The Men of Tomorrow” story-arc that began this summer, each issue has been an intriguing study. DC Comics proudly touted the power house team of Johns and Romita Jr. for quite some time before their debut on issue 32. There was a lot riding on that issue as it was being treated as a mini-relaunch of sorts as the Man of Steel hadn’t yet taken flight within the constraints of The New 52. With this new story arc and team, it appears as if Superman has taken more than just a gigantic leap. He now flies!
If you haven’t been reading “Superman” since Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr. have taken over, here is a quick recap. Mirroring Kal-El’s story, Ulysses was sent from Earth to Dimension 4 by his scientist parents. They believed Earth to be doomed as matter from another dimension was leaking into theirs. Decades later, Ulysses arrives back on Earth and is shocked to find his home planet just the way it always has been. To greater surprise, he finds his parents alive. Of course his arrival does not go unnoticed by Superman and they soon take to each other after some initial uneasiness. Superman attempts to mentor Ulysses and they bond over their similar upbringing. After a falling out an issue ago they team-up to do battle with (the newly created and introduced villain) Kleric. Ulyssess broadcasts to the world that he’s “seen enough to know the reality of a better tomorrow on this planet is impossible” and offers Dimension 4 as a home to the residents of Earth. The only catch? The “arks” being stationed on Earth can only contain the first six million to arrive at one of the landing spots. With only 24 hours before the exodus commences, Superman tries to reason with Ulyssess. He attempts to appeal to his compassion and belief in “hope for a better tomorrow” yet ultimately ends up fighting him to stop this “Exodus from Earth” (as Perry White calls it).
Having a talented writer such as Geoff Johns adds the dramatic and intense weight a good Superman story needs. Having always favored the silver age tales of The Last Son of Krypton, he has returned Clark Kent to his position at the Daily Planet, along with restoring familiar characters such as Perry White, Steve Lombard, Jimmy Olsen, and Lois Lane to the forefront of the action. Most noticeable about John’s run on “Superman” is that he’s managed to honor all aspects of the character while adding a much-needed fresh take that never feels unnecessary or forced. Clark Kent always feels like Superman, and he’s left facing a similar dilemma he had in Snyder & Lee’s “Unchained” series. Superman stands for truth, justice, and the American way (no matter how many will try to shy away from that). He’s the biggest comic book character in existence and the catalyst for Batman, Wonder Woman and others achieving the platform they have. Geoff Johns has written a super-sized story arc befitting a majestic superhero. There is not one panel or page that doesn’t bluntly appear to be a super-hero comic book!
The appeal of the book and overall look is largely credited to John Romita Jr and Klaus Janson. Romita Jr. screams Marvel for so many devoted comic book fans , having him bring his Marvel sensibilities to DC is welcome as they desperately need another artist of Capullo size appeal. Each scene is clear and concise, thanks to Klaus Janson’s sense of straight-forward storytelling. Janson, along with his partner, understand layouts and how to tell a story. They expertly pace the imagery of the book and pair it with John’s writing that results in a series of panels that feel like screenshots from an upcoming Superman movie. John Romita Jr. brings his flair for muscular action and power and completely lets loose on “Superman.” But Romita Jr. is only as good as the inker he’s paired with, and Janson’s approach and vision is unparalleled.
“Superman” issue #36 is an excellent argument for the Man of Steel being a natural fit for Johns, Romita Jr., and Janson. Much like the pairing of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo on DC’s flagship title, “Batman”, “Superman” appears to finally be in his right place with a book that easily could go toe-to-toe with The Dark Knight! Issue #36 IS a must-read for fans of the Man of Steel and for anyone looking for a fun, super hero comic book. “Superman” is the premiere super-hero comic, once again, with thanks to the work being done by its excellent creative team.
Superman #36 gets four out of five stars!
Superman (2011-) #36
Writer: Johns, Geoff
Artist: Romita, John
Cover Artist: Romita, John
On Sale November 26, 2014
Publisher DC Comics
Diamond Id: SEP140226