Review: Superman #5

August 19th, 2016 | by Kyle King
Review: Superman #5
Comics
35
Review of: Superman #5
Price:
Outstanding

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On August 19, 2016
Last modified:August 19, 2016

Summary:

In artwork, characterization, and story, this was one of the best comic books to feature the Man of Steel since Rebirth began.

Superman #5 reached the comic book racks on Wednesday, reuniting former Superman/Wonder Woman collaborators Peter J. Tomasi and Doug Mahnke for the fifth chapter of Son of Superman. The latest adventure starring the pre-Flashpoint Clark Kent and Lois Lane carried the couple and their son, Jonathan, out of this world. ComiConverse’s Man of Steel reviewer, T. Kyle King, takes a look at the new issue.

Together with co-author Patrick Gleason, Tomasi scripted the story, while Mahnke contributed the pencils that were augmented by Jaime Mendoza’s inks, Wil Quintana’s colors, and Rob Leigh’s letters. The result was one of the strongest issues yet in the Big Blue Boy Scout’s Rebirth run.

MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB

(TOTAL SPOILERS FOLLOW!)

Superman #5 Synopsis:

Carrying his wife and son inside a submersible, Superman arrives on the dark side of the moon, where he enters a secret base Batman has built for experiments and equipment too dangerous to store in Gotham City. When the Man of Tomorrow declines Superboy’s offer of assistance, Lois urges her husband to be more of a mentor to their son.

The Eradicator arrives and attacks, absorbing Superman into himself. Jon angrily lashes out at the Kryptonian construct, and, when the amoral automaton strikes back, Lois dons the Dark Knight’s armored Hellbat suit and comes to the boy’s defense. While his wife and child fight the Eradicator from without, Superman enlists the aid of the Kryptonian souls within: Kal-El absorbs the spirits of his people and emerges from the singleminded simulacrum empowered to face the Eradicator.

Superman #5

Credit: DC Comics

Superman #5 Analysis:

Straight out of the gate, Superman #5 starts off strong with an attention-grabbing cover by penciller Gleason, inker Mick Gray, and colorist John Kalisz. If the sight of an agonized Man of Steel being attacked by a raging Eradicator over whom an armored Caped Crusader loomed, all arranged in a totem pole of bright primary colors and shiny deep blacks arrayed against the spangled backdrop of space, wasn’t enough to pull you in, I don’t know what would have been.

The stellar artwork continued on the issue’s interior, where Mahnke’s talent for portraying physicality visually built suspense, brought the action to life, and conveyed a broad range of feelings through the main characters’ facial features. The gloomy and grumpy story requirements of Truth tainted Tomasi’s and Mahnke’s previous team-up, wasting the penciller’s abilities on endless images of a snarling Man of Steel with his teeth gritted, but Son of Superman — Part Five permitted the artist to use the whole canvas, with wonderful results.

Mendoza and Quintana were equally free to operate within a wide expanse of options, and they also maximized their opportunities. The purpling darkness and the deepening shadows of the far side of the moon gave the opening pages of Superman #5 a look as tenebrous as a Cormac McCarthy novel feels, yet the characters’ emergence into the bright white light of the shiny extraterrestrial Batcave bathed the book with a glare as glowing as a washed-out MTV music video from the early ‘80s — and that was before the Eradicator showed up, loaded with Kryptonian ghosts. This is as visually impressive an issue as Rebirth has yet produced.

Story continues below

Tomasi’s and Gleason’s story had to display at least as much versatility as the graphics in order to work. When the starting point of the adventure is that Superman has put Lois Lane and Superboy in a submarine so he can fly them to Batman’s secret military-grade Batcave on the dark side of the moon, there is good cause to believe that Son of Superman — Part Five is diving head-first into the excesses of the Silver Age. From there, the plot involves a Kryptonian robot swallowing Superman, Lois Lane fighting bad guys while wearing Batman’s armor, and Superman asking a whole host of ghosts to possess him, so going over the top would appear pretty much inevitable.

Superman #5

Credit: DC Comics

Superman #5 wisely plays it straight, however, treating the situation seriously without lapsing into silliness or vaulting into melodrama. The issue’s opening dateline is delivered deadpan, blandly setting the scene: “Two hundred thirty-eight thousand nine hundred miles from Earth.” Jon’s excited reaction to seeing the detritus of the Apollo program — even if it is debatable how many of the American flags planted on the moon are still standing and some artistic license was involved in depicting one of them with the stars and stripes still visible — is genuine and heartfelt, setting a sincere tone to the interactions among the family members.

True to the best elements of the Silver Age, the extravagance of the outer space setting of Superman #5 was leavened by well-paced plotting, boundless creativity, a richness of range, and a sense of humor, and nowhere more so than with the issue’s leading lady. Lois Lane reacted to Bruce Wayne’s electronic Chiroptera by remarking, “I hate bats on the moon — just as much as I do on the farm.” She intercedes with her husband to encourage him to be more encouraging to their son where warranted (“The more we overprotect him, the bigger our disservice”), yet she also steps forward in defense of her offspring when Jonathan is threatened, warning the villain never to “mess with the baby bear when the mama bear’s nearby!” That’s a tough line to sell when you’re wearing an armored Bat-suit, but Lois pulls it off with aplomb.

Add to that a genuinely creepy Eradicator whose robotic rigidity is made scarier still by Leigh’s coldly computerized lettering, and Superman #5 gives vibrant life and real heart to a story whose outlandishness comes across as credible and cool instead of absurd. I have questions and concerns — I wonder how the timing of Son of Superman lines up with the events in Action Comics; I’m curious whether Krypto is among the spirits absorbed by Kal-El; I wish Lois hadn’t said that Jon needed Clark “to be his Obi-Wan” since Obi-Wan is the wise old man who ushers the young apprentice into manhood by dying at the start of the third act — but these minor details do not detract from the bigger picture.

Tomasi, Gleason, Mahnke, and their colleagues have crafted an outsized epic as fantastic as the superhero comic book format allows, but their straightforward approach to the grandiose material imbues Son of Superman — Part Five with an improbable verisimilitude and an emotional resonance that keep the story on an even keel. Perhaps no DC Comics superhero has benefited more from Rebirth than the Action Ace, and perhaps no single issue has exemplified that salutary trend better than Superman #5.

What was your reaction to the latest chapter in the adventures of the Man of Steel?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments and join in the ComiConversation!

 

T. Kyle King is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @TKyleKing.

Story continues below

Source: DC Comics

In artwork, characterization, and story, this was one of the best comic books to feature the Man of Steel since Rebirth began.

(Visited 271 times, 1 visits today)

35 Comments

  1. website here says:

    I just want to say I am beginner to weblog and certainly savored you’re web site. Almost certainly I’m planning to bookmark your blog post . You definitely come with terrific stories. Bless you for sharing your web site.

  2. If you’re still on the fence: grab your favorite earphones, head down to a Best Buy and ask to plug them into a Zune then an iPod and see which one sounds better to you, and which interface makes you smile more. Then you’ll know which is right for you.

  3. *I’m impressed, I must say. Really rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. Your idea is outstanding; the issue is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I stumbled across this in my search for something relating to this.

  4. Automotive says:

    As a Newbie, I am always searching online for articles that can benefit me. Thank you

  5. Automotive says:

    Usually I don’t read post on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to take a look at and do it! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, very nice article.

  6. Great goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely great. I actually like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you’re stating and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it wise. I can not wait to read much more from you. This is really a terrific web site.

  7. Pets says:

    Great remarkable things here. I¡¦m very happy to look your article. Thanks so much and i’m looking ahead to contact you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

  8. I was recommended this web site by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my difficulty. You’re amazing! Thanks!

  9. What a information of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious experience on the topic of unexpected emotions.

  10. Business says:

    I believe this internet site has got some real wonderful information for everyone :D. “Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.” by Samuel Ullman.

  11. Magnificent website. A lot of helpful information here. I’m sending it to several buddies ans additionally sharing in delicious. And naturally, thank you for your sweat!

  12. It is proper occasion to create some plans for the extended term. I’ve read this blog post and if I could, I wish to encourage you couple of worthwhile advice.

  13. I do believe all of the concepts you’ve presented on your post. They’re really convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are too short for beginners. May just you please prolong them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.

  14. Science says:

    Very interesting information!Perfect just what I was looking for!

  15. divorcemind says:

    Divorcemind.com is a online divorce resource for divorce attorney, attornies and lawyers. You will find the best divorce information online. Divorce Mind will make your divorce or separation a quick, convenient and private.

  16. Gardenings says:

    Enjoyed studying this, very good stuff, regards . “A man does not die of love or his liver or even of old age he dies of being a man.” by Percival Arland Ussher.

  17. IMSC SEO is a Singapore SEO Company. They provide comprehensive Singapore SEO services to help SG businesses to gain traffic from search engine. Their SEO agency has many years of experiences working with overseas companies on more competitive grounds. They are the best seo company in Singapore you can find. Their SEO expert and consultant understand exactly what search engine optimization your company need to gain search engine traffic.

  18. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I’ve truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  19. divorcemind says:

    Divorcemind.com is a online divorce resource for divorce attorney, attornies and lawyers. You will find the best divorce information online. Divorce Mind will make your divorce or separation a quick, convenient and private.

  20. Donate Car says:

    But wanna remark that you have a very decent internet site , I enjoy the design and style it really stands out.

  21. MichaelJemery.com is a site with many hypnosis downloads. Whether you are looking for free hypnosis downloads, self hypnosis download for mp3, video and any audio files, Michael Jemery has the downloads for you. You can download hypnosis from apps, audio, mp3 and even youtube !

  22. attorney says:

    Divorcemind.com is a online divorce resource for divorce attorney, attornies and lawyers. You will find the best divorce information online. Divorce Mind will make your divorce or separation a quick, convenient and private.

  23. The Zune concentrates on being a Portable Media Player. Not a web browser. Not a game machine. Maybe in the future it’ll do even better in those areas, but for now it’s a fantastic way to organize and listen to your music and videos, and is without peer in that regard. The iPod’s strengths are its web browsing and apps. If those sound more compelling, perhaps it is your best choice.

  24. Do you have a spam issue on this blog; I also am a blogger, and I was wondering your situation; we have created some nice practices and we are looking to trade solutions with other folks, why not shoot me an e-mail if interested.

  25. If you’re still on the fence: grab your favorite earphones, head down to a Best Buy and ask to plug them into a Zune then an iPod and see which one sounds better to you, and which interface makes you smile more. Then you’ll know which is right for you.

  26. If you’re still on the fence: grab your favorite earphones, head down to a Best Buy and ask to plug them into a Zune then an iPod and see which one sounds better to you, and which interface makes you smile more. Then you’ll know which is right for you.

  27. imscseo.com says:

    IMSC SEO is a Singapore SEO Company. They provide comprehensive Singapore SEO services to help SG businesses to gain traffic from search engine. Their SEO agency has many years of experiences working with overseas companies on more competitive grounds. They are the best seo company in Singapore you can find. Their SEO expert and consultant understand exactly what search engine optimization your company need to gain search engine traffic.

  28. I got good info from your blog

  29. Read this says:

    You’ll find it near not possible to come across well-aware viewers on this issue, still you come across as like you fully grasp the things you’re raving about! With Thanks

  30. blog link says:

    I merely hope to notify you that I am new to blogging and extremely loved your site. Very possible I am prone to store your blog post . You really have outstanding article blog posts. Admire it for expressing with us your own web information

  31. Seriously helpful knowledge that you have said, a big heads up for submitting.

  32. Hi my friend! I want to say that this post is awesome, great written and come with approximately all significant infos. I¡¦d like to peer more posts like this .

  33. I’m pretty pleased to uncover this great site. I want to to thank you for ones time for this wonderful read!! I definitely appreciated every little bit of it and i also have you saved to fav to check out new information on your blog.

  34. This is ideal day to put together some schemes for the long-run. I’ve browsed this post and if I may, I wish to suggest to you you couple important tip.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This