If I told you 15 years ago that Superman would be in a fight club would you believe me? After you’d gotten over the idea of Superman going toe to toe with Brad Pitt you’d realize it didn’t make much sense unless Supes was depowered and the fight club was somehow special; correct on both counts and it’s actually quite a fun ride so far, but all good things can come to a crashing end.
Is it good?
Superman #47 (DC Comics)
Last month Jimmy Olsen flew to California to help Superman; he’s out there to stop Hordr_Root, a villain who blackmailed Superman and coerced Lois Lane into disclosing his secret identity. Depowered to the point where he’s basically Luke Cage, Superman joined a fight club of gods who require audiences to cheer them on to keep them strong. Unfortunately Jimmy was shot and may be dead as a sand version of Superman created by Hordr_Root just blasted the poor kid.
Why does this book matter?
The origin of Hordr_Root is revealed in this issue, Superman must gain the aid of his god fight club buds to whoop ass and Superman must fight an evil version of himself! If ever a comic sounded like the boss level of a videogame this is it!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Writer Gene Luen Yang simply stuffs this comic with good times and action packed scenes. There are multiple fights, fun backstories revealed and a satisfying conclusion. While I wish there was more time spent developing all the climactic moments in this issue I can’t argue there’s plenty of bang for your buck here. There’s even a bit of loss and damage dealt as Jimmy takes one for the team physically and possibly psychologically. This is everything you want in superhero comics.
Howard Porter understands how superheroes should look and his art makes you want to get up and cheer. Hordr_Root is fantastically creepy and his minions powerful and cool. The sand Superman is just different enough to make him scary and formidable looking too. The action sequences are well put together and in your face as Supes is thrown at us and throwing down at the same time.
Porter gets some help with the origin portion by Raymund Bermudez and Tom Derenick who bring a sketch sort of style that helps distinguish the scenes from the rest. They’re darker and a bit more twisted which help set the mood for Hordr_Root’s history.
It can’t be perfect can it?
While the origin of Hordr_Root is a welcome reveal it is a bit cliched as far as robots created with good intentions turned bad sort of stories go. It’s basically Frankenstein meets the digital age, although the tie to the father does create a new dynamic to be explored later.
Everything comes to an end rather quickly too which makes this story feel rushed. Not a single page is boring or misplaced, but I can’t help but think another issue could have fleshed out the events of this book and paced them better. Anyone loving the fight club of gods is going to feel disappointed it’s all coming to end so abruptly.
Is It Good?
This is everything you want in superhero comics with plenty of action, shocking reveals and a satisfying end that promises intriguing new storylines.