The next chapter in Tom King and Adam Kubert’s Superman Giant series is back this week at Walmart. In this second part, Superman takes a big chance, and the drive of our hero is put on lock.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
A little girl in Gotham was kidnapped by alien invaders, and before Superman can take up the intergalactic trail to find her, a tragedy closer to home reminds him what life is worth.
Why does this matter?
The first chapter of this series was excellent, packing a lot of content and story into 13 pages. This second chapter aims to progress the story by focusing on Superman attempting to save one life: the life of an innocent child. King is exploring the near obsession Superman takes in saving lives and goes deep in this second chapter.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This second chapter is all internal struggle for Superman, who gets the aid from an alien scientist to help track down the missing girl. It’s some kind of supercomputer that was so smart it actually failed to function due to too much data. Presumably. From there the story takes place entirely in Superman’s mind and per the scientist’s opinion, there is no way Superman can make it out alive. King sets up ample stakes here, revealing just how far Superman will go to save a single life.
As the story delves into the mind there are some interesting elements at work. One, in particular, involves the true to life happening of children jumping off roofs to be like Superman. It’s a real thing that happened and it’s fun to see how King tosses this into Superman’s court and to see how he reacts. There are truths revealed in this story that help define Superman’s psyche and how much of a hero he is at his core. Interesting stuff.
The art is without a doubt at the top of its game. Great, splashy, full-page spreads showcase Superman doing what he does best, like cracking Doomsday’s jaw or experiencing the Fortress of Solitude in all its emotionally heartbreaking glory. Kubert reveals different aspects of Superman, whether it’s his strong heroic self, his self-doubt, or his calm demeanor. You get varying aspects of the character, all visually great here.
It can’t be perfect can it?
I’m at a loss as far as what this machine is actually doing. King drops us into a high stakes mental situation for Superman, but there isn’t much explained about why. That makes the act somewhat frustrating since we can’t discern what may come from this experience, good or bad. Maybe this machine is too philosophical or metaphysical to truly understand, but some semblance of explanation would have helped quite a bit.
Is it good?
A good second chapter that tests Superman’s mental resolve and ability to do anything, even without his muscles involved. It does open in a confusing way though, leaving you wondering why we’re going this route.