This month began the newest Superman storyline that covers all of the Super-titles, Truth. However, the thing is that all of those titles took place after the events of Superman #41. With that issue finally arriving and with a brand new writer by the name of Gene Luen Yang taking over, let’s see how it all began. Is it good?
Superman #41 (DC Comics)
Taking place before the truth is leaked out, Clark Kent gets an anonymous tip from an peculiar source about an illegal gun manufacturing operation that is supplying dangerous weapons to local gangs. However, little does he realize, Superman is about to get wrapped up in a risky game with much more at stake than he could have thought.
Superman #41 would have been an interesting and also very good start to this new storyline, if it had came out before all of the other Truth comics. After all, it takes place before Superman’s identity is exposed and is laying down the groundwork for what’s to come while also establishing its own internal mysteries and subplots. However, since it came out last, we already know what will eventually happen in the comic (combined with that Sneak Peek DC provided), meaning most tension created in the comic won’t be as effective as it could have been. It also feels annoying since several of the comics already reference points and events going on in this issue and next one. DC should have released this first.
The unknown source is this guy down the hall from me. A real jerk who plays music too loudly.
Now, that being said, the comic wasn’t bad at all. Even with a lack of tension and already knowing how this all ends, the story and characters are both good. It’s got a good setup and interesting mystery with this anonymous tipper and what his/her motivations could be. The dynamics and characterization are on point for everyone, like with Superman still helping people, even bad guys, out who are in serious distress and need it. The comic is fairly easy to jump into for newcomers or people who haven’t been reading Superman recently, outside of maybe one point. The only weak area with this entire issue is the ending itself, since we know nothing bad is going to happen (especially since this takes place in the past) and thus it’s hard to really get concerned about that cliffhanger and tagline.
Yang does a good job with the writing here as well. The pacing and storytelling are both solid, with no issues with the speed of the story or the transitioning. Everything feels very smooth and flows well without any odd jumps forward or awkwardness. Like said earlier, the characterization is also great and there are plenty of good moments throughout for the main and supporting cast. Probably the best example of that is seen with Clark, Jimmy, and Lois discussing the gun smuggling operation and figuring things out, highlighting their personalities and showing how well they play off one another. The way they talk with one another is just great and really speaks to their character and speaking of which, the dialogue is good as well. Nothing sounds inhuman, stilted, or unnatural (well as far as superhero comics go at least). Overall, I have very little complaints when it comes to the writing seen in the comic.
My gun! I spent good money on that you jerk!
John Romita Jr. continues providing art for the book and while I know that his style isn’t for everyone, his work here does look good. Outside of some heads that seem off in size, the characters are drawn well and can be expressive at times. The layouts look good and are easy to read and follow, while also letting the story and action flow very well. While we are on that, the action does have a lot of energy and motion, really showing off the power in the fighting. The only weakness the art has are these small inconsistencies you sometimes see. What I mean by that is that some objects or characters don’t stay on model at times, even within the same scene, sometimes changing shape or gaining/losing weight in area. For instance, pay attention to the scene where Lois Lane first appears and look at her earrings. Those things are practically changing size and shape every panel.
Is It Good?
Superman #41 is an intriguing start to this new storyline that will be encompassing the entire Superman line, but the release schedule makes it lose out on tension and surprise. This won’t matter in the long run, but is annoying currently in the short run. Thankfully, the writing, story, and artwork are strong enough to easily overcome that annoyance. If you have been holding off on reading the Truth storyline so far, now is the time jump aboard.