With this week’s release of Action Comics #42, I figured I’d cover what’s been going on with the Man of Steel in his TRUTH storyline before your regularly scheduled Batman/Superman review. I am a Batman fan all the way, but I must admit that I’m currently more interested and invested in what’s going on with Superman at this current moment. Maybe that will change as their stories progress, but for now I’m enjoying Superman’s newly forged path. The release dates for the included books had sort of thrown me off. I figured that Superman and/or Action Comics would have been the first ones out to get the story rolling. Nonetheless, each title gives a unique look into Clark/Superman’s life as he makes his way through this unexpected journey. I won’t review each comic per se, but I’ll give a quick recap and a few thoughts on each issue. This is for those who have kept up with the story, or those who are just curious as to what’s going on with the Big Blue Boyscout.

The following issues are included: Superman/Wonder Woman #18, Superman #41, and Action Comics #42 (Action Comics #41 was covered in the Batman/Superman #21 review). Also, since I am recapping these issues, there is a ***spoiler warning***

Superman/Wonder Woman #18

When this title came out, I wasn’t interested in it in the slightest (well maybe a little). On paper, it makes sense that these two would be romantically involved. Two strong beings that fight for justice and look like perfect physical specimens would naturally fit together, right? Well like I said, I’m a Batman fan through and through, and I like it when Wonder Woman has a thing for Batman (I’ve been spoiled by the Justice League animated series). Regardless, Peter J. Tomasi has created a great title with fantastic dialogue and characterization. Issue #18 begins with a quick narrative from Wonder Woman. So much has happened between the two of them, and during this hard time for Superman, Wonder Woman has made herself “his sentinel”. It’s a small scene, but a testament to their relationship. A strong man like Superman needs a strong woman to be his backbone during times of weakness. It’s a necessity as teammates, but also for the dynamic of their love. After a receiving a frantic call from Lana Lang, Superman and Wonder Woman fly off to investigate what’s going on Smallville. The super lovers arrive at Lana’s house, finding no signs of Lang or her husband John Henry Irons (Steel). Clark takes Diana through Smallville, trying to find leads to Lana’s disapperance. During his hometown tour, he discovers that a few of Smallville’s citizens are MIA, and that any and every Kent property has been wiped off the map. Even Clark’s parents’ graves have been ransacked! Someone is keeping their eye on Superman and plotting to bring him down. Just as Superman yells in an outrage at the disrespect shown to his late parents, some familiar faces come to crash the party.

Spoiler

[caption id="attachment_21295" align="aligncenter" width="1076"]Didn't quite expect these guys (and gal). Who's pulling the strings around here? Didn’t quite expect these guys (and gal). Who’s pulling the strings around here?[/caption]

Superman #41

2015-07-01 22.57.21

This story takes place before the Truth arc.  Thanks to an anonymous tip, Clark and Jimmy come across a weapons deal occurring right there in Metropolis. The culprit is using advanced 3D printers to create unique weapons. Jimmy and Clark are spotted by patrolling guards forcing Superman to intervene. Suddenly, a large mobile 3D printer/octopedal spider tank arrives at the facility destroying everything in it’s path. Superman obliterates the tank and the facility with his solar flare, which I really think is a cool addition to Superman’s repertoire (nice tidbit here: the Justice League has helped Superman reduce his flares, helping him recover his powers quicker). With help from Lois, they break the story that Metropolis’ newly elected state senator was the one selling weapons illegally. After celebrating a job well done, the anonymous tip contacts Clark again to inform him of a woman who will arrive at the Daily Planet. Frustrated, Clark demands to know who is contacting him. The anonymous person refuses to give up their identity, but they do send Clark a link to their webpage that shows that they know Kent’s true identity. They order Clark to do as they say or his secret will be shared. His first task is to hand a woman who is coming to the Daily Planet over to the authorities. The lady, named Ada Amoragujeta arrives, desparately asking for the help. Clark, hoping to protect his identity hands Ada over to the FBI, much to the dismay of Lois Lane. However, Jimmy and Clark decide to rescue her. Clark uses an incognito disguise given to him by Jimmy, and saves Ada from her captors who were definitely not the FBI. As Jimmy waits for Clark to return, Lois hops in the car as well. Clark and Ada jump into the car and Jimmy speeds off just as shots are fired into the car. Clark has been struck by one of the bullets!

 Action Comics #42

Action Comics was terrific last issue and this one picks up right where #41 left off. Superman left his “welcome home” block party to defend his city from a massive shadow monster (more information on the make up of this creature is promised for Superman #42). Fighting behemoth monsters is nothing new for Superman, but he feels a new rush during this fight because he’s not as invulnerable as he once was. It really is a demonstration of the will and courage of the Kryptonian. Meanwhile, back in Clark’s neighborhood, a police task force marches towards the peaceful crowd that reside there. It’s a very tense standoff. Fire Brigadier, Lee Lambert urges the people to remain calm while Sergeant Binghamton orders his group forward. Right before the two sides clash, Superman drops an anchor in between the groups. It was a very poignant scene, especially considering how it kind of reflects the current state of the US and around the world. Many protests and/or rallies have happened worldwide, and how powerful of a message is it having the Man of Steel at the front lines on your behalf. Still, the powers that be really want Clark to fail and send in a specialized S.W.A.T. team to attack Superman and the crowd. Superman takes a beating before finally lashing out in the last panel, much to the delight of Sergeant Binghamton.

The Man of Steel is a man of the people. A powerful image that mirrors our own current times
The Man of Steel is a man of the people. A powerful image that mirrors our own current times

Recommended if:

  • You love great Superman tales
  • You’re keeping up with the TRUTH storyline
  • You were following some of these titles anyway

Overall: 

This event in Superman’s life is offering some very good moments in storytelling. Someone is behind the scenes really trying to make life living hell for Superman. Also, things should get interesting once Comissioner Gordon and Lex Luthor get more involved. With Supes not at his full power, I feel more inclined to call him Clark, yet he still shows you why he is without a doubt, Superman. It’s fantastic seeing the resilience of Superman, but in my opinion, the story really shines when we see him experience the very human emotions. There’s now an even more relatable factor to Superman when reading these issues. The feeling of being hungry (I’m hungry right now), the feeling of pain, and losing a close friend. The unspoken tension between former flames, the strength and passion between new lovers. Daunting fear and true courage. We’re watching Clark experience all of this, some of it for the first time in this magnitude. I, for one, am enjoying the ride.

SCORE: 8.5 / 10*

Based on the overall story so far.