Superman Special #1 Review



Three wholesome stories all about Superman.

If you’re still jonesing for more Superman you’re in luck because DC Comics is putting out a second special devoted to the character this May. This collection contains three stories capturing the adventure, heart, and trust that makes Superman great.

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

“THE PROMISE”! Superman’s world is about to change in a big way, but before it does, the Man of Steel has some unfinished business to attend to…on Dinosaur Island! Superman and a forgotten soldier of the past take one last trip together into the abyss of tomorrow, as Captain Storm now stands face-to-face with the world of today! This extra-sized special also features stories by writers Mark Russell and Ian Flynn with art by Kaare Andrews and Bryan Hitch!

Why does this matter?

Some of the best Superman stories are about Superman’s kindness. Truly, his greatest power isn’t strength or flight, but the faith in people to do the right thing. This collection exemplifies that in a few different ways.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

Lil backstory required.

The first story is written by Patrick Gleason and Peter J. Tomasi with art by Scott Godlewski. This tale is built on the back of Superman #8 and #9 when Jon and Superman helped out a long lost World War II veteran on Dinosaur Island. He’s still stuck there and they decide to get him off that island for good. It’s a tale about doing the right thing even when it’s hard and not forgetting about your promises. The tale ends with a promise we’ll see more from this veteran and a nice lesson for Jon. Godlewski draws a great story–the longest of the bunch–with some far out dinosaur and monster action.

The second story is drawn by Bryan Hitch with incredible detail and panache and written with great heart by Mark Russell. It’s a quick story that shows how Superman learned all life is worth saving even if you don’t think so at first. It has a blockbuster feel due to the art and a nice message about one of Superman’s greatest powers.

The last story written by Ian Flynn with art by Kaare Andrews has the most indie look of the bunch and is all about Atomic Skull’s new role as a good guy. Flynn probes Skull’s insecurity about his position, and unsure feelings about teaming up with Superman, very well. Meanwhile, readers are privy to Superman’s opinion of Atomic Skull which is, of course, hopeful and all-good. There’s plenty of fantastic sound effects used to make the action fun and furious as well. Andrews’ use of color hyper intensifies Atomic Skull’s purple flames and his chiseled Superman is like a totem of justice.

Is that legal though?

It can’t be perfect can it?

The first story focused on Dinosaur Island has a slow pace and requires you read the previous issues in Superman to fully enjoy the story. We get some backstory on Captain Storm, but the story has little time for that dropping into the action and then serving up a heavy epilogue of sorts to prime readers for where Storm goes from here. Over half the issue is devoted to it which is a nice way to wrap up a story Tomasi and Gleason didn’t get to finish, but this special may have been better served with another story or two instead.

Is it good?

A good collection of three stories although the first one is slower and runs on a bit long. The creative teams do a good job showing the heart of Superman and the faith he has in others. It’s easy to forget that’s his greatest super power.

Superman Special #1
Is it good?
Two of the three are excellent and the third ain't so bad either.
Each story hits at the values and moral core of Superman
Great art throughout by each artist
Two of the three stories seem to promise we'll be seeing more of the supporting characters
The first story is the slowest of the bunch and also requires you read a previous story to fully enjoy
8
Good