George Perez is penning Superman in his self-titled book, and this was his chance to solidify his place in the modern DC world. He chose an interesting method of storytelling for most of this book via an article by Clark Kent on the incident we are witnessing. Normally, this could be pretty cool and refreshing way of telling a Superman story — he is a reporter, after all — but Perez squanders the chance with a lackluster and wordy description of the art on the page. Superman was fighting a giant firebeast, and it was plain boring. I literally trudged through this book. I could see what was on the page, and then I would have to read a description of what I was seeing for every panel. It got old fast.
The parts of the book not devoted to Superman fighting a giant firebeast are reserved for a news media procedural side story for which I could not have cared less. The Daily Planet has just been bought by a big time news company run by — wait for it — Morgan Edge. The battle between Superman and the firebeast turns into the Planet’s first chance to impress their new boss so we are treated to a news broadcast and Lois Lane ordering various reporters around. There is also a fair share of hand wringing over the integrity of the Daily Planet and balancing it with impressing Mr. Edge.
There is also a two-page cut away to some alien creature blowing a horn. No, I’m serious. Lois says something about someone having to blow the horn, and we slam cut, Family Guy-style, to this creature, who has no bearing on our story, blowing a big ass horn in the Himalayas. There is a nice little editorial note explaining that, if we want to know what the hell that was all about, then we should go read Stormwatch #1. I know books cross over — it is a shared universe, after all — but when the crossover reads like someone took two pages from Stormwatch and pasted them into Superman, that’s not a crossover. That’s a blatant grab to get you to buy the other book.
I did like that Superman still seems very alien to the people of Metropolis. The book starts with the demolition of the old Daily Planet building, and there is a magnificent frame of Superman floating above the wreckage, staring. It is strangely eerie, with the folks on the ground seeming to look up in awe and wonder. During this sequence, Jimmy Olsen tries to grab a picture, but, before he can hit the shutter, Superman is gone. His reaction is more along the lines of a wildlife photographer missing a shot of a rare beast rather than that of someone who has been photographing Superman his whole career.
Jesus Merino’s art is acceptable for a run of the mill Superman book. Nothing really jumped out at me as being spectacular. If anything, some of his art looked rushed, especially the scenes focusing on The Daily Planet.
I won’t be adding Superman to my pull. I will probably give it another look when Perez and Merino are off the book, but, for now, I have Action Comics to give me my Superman fix. If you are a Superman nut and must have anything with his face on it, buy this book. Otherwise, I would recommend just sticking to Action Comics.