[Comic Review] Superman #13

Superman #13I’m not going to lie…I despise Superman. As I sat at my desk, staring at the cover of DC ComicsSuperman #13…I was caught in a dilemma. That dilemma was to read the book…or watch Duck Tales on the television displaying something good and wholesome in the far corner of the room.

It took a lot of effort for me to pry this book from the bag. As a kid, Superman wasn’t one of my favorites either. I’d take Spider-Man or even Batman over him any day. And now, Batman is even creeping on Superman’s obnoxiousness.

But, with the press this particular issue was getting before it’s release, I couldn’t resist.

Also, from a geek standpoint, I was slightly curious what a new team was going to bring to the table for the hero of all heroes.

From the cover, I was hesitant. The artwork is a mix of everything I love…and everything I hate all wrapped up in one carefully planned package leading into a new story arc (spanning Superman, Supergirl and Superboy). Now, I’m not one for huge crossovers. DC’s new Joker crossover, Death in the Family, piqued my interest, but after seeing the list of books that arc was pulling into its story, I can’t bring myself to follow it. H’El on Earth, however, doesn’t look like it will be so bad (encompassing Superman #13-15, Superboy #14-15 and Supergirl #13-15). Only a small amount of books over a short period of time, and from the looks of things, it should wrap up by the end of December.

But, let me slow down as I’m getting ahead of myself. One book at a time, right?

So, Superman #13. The artwork. It’s got an edge to it that I love. Yet…and I’m not sure if it’s the coloring or what, drives me bonkers. I want to like it, I really do…but I just hate the technique being used here. It’s not bad, and I’m sure plenty of people find it to be splendid. And like I said, I’m borderline on it. What bugs me the most is the overuse of whitewashing in it, and others like it, have started using to highlight characters. It’s too much. Shadowing is fine. Even some highlights are needed. But it seems, as is the case here, others deem it necessary to add them in abundance.

The story starts out in a way I wish Superman was presented more often. Vulnerable. This time around, not necessary getting his butt handed to him, but rather suffering from inner turmoil, questioning himself and what he does. I know he’s a superhero from a distant planet, but that doesn’t mean he has to be presented as one all the time. There’s nothing more hard to swallow than a hero who doesn’t have many threats to their wellbeing. It makes it hard for a creative team to come up with believable villains, and sometimes what they do come up with is just too cheesy.

This issue went all out. And, with a new team taking the reigns, they did some fantastic twists and turns. I already knew some of what I was getting into from the news. But, still reading Clark Kent leaving the Daily Planet in what everyone is calling his “Jerry McGuire” moment…well…it was still surprising. A little heavy on the cheese with the monologue, but still a new turn for the character that lived the same life and worked the same beat for how many years now?

Then comes the whammy. A cliffhanger that is a mouthful. Both in the fact that a long-gone creature from Krypton attacks Metropolis and an unknown locale in Ireland, and in how the plot for the story arc is introduced. Being chastised by Supergirl, it becomes obvious that there is more than just them here on Earth from Krypton. Then, fade to black.

But, I think I’m hooked. To Superman? No. I still loath him with a passion. I am, however, interested in seeing how all of this pans out and what exactly this team does to reinvent the character. Hopefully, something. Worse case, it falls flat on its face. Either way, I’d like to be there when it happens.

Rating: 7/10 Gingered Digits.

Reasoning: It’s Superman, decent art, interesting plot hooks, great vision (so far) for a new direction, new character developments.

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