Script & Breakdowns by George Perez
Finished Art by Jose Merino
Cover Price: $2.99 each
In a nutshell:
Perez packs more story and art on every page.
Superman takes place five years after the events that are currently playing out in Action comics and I'm surprised just how well the books compliment each other. Clark Kent and his supporting cast again appear to be at a crossroads with many changes in flux. There are a series of attacks on Superman which appear to have some sort of relationship with Superman's home planet of Krypton. While it's not said outright, we get the idea that this is one of the first Krypton related threats that this Superman has faced.
Why did I pick it up?
I wasn't going to pick this issue up because I really really hate the costume (I haven't mentioned that or anything already, have I?), and even though I've always admired George Perez's work it's his art that's usually the draw and because he's only doing breakdowns and because I'm not familiar enough Jesus Merino's art and I've seen finishers not do Perez justice before so there just wasn't enough in the credit to draw me in. But when I paged through it in the comic shop I immediately recognized that this comic was the opposite of what is probably my biggest complaint with modern comics, that cinematic art shots leave too few panels per page to tell a satisfying story. George Perez's layouts prove that you don't have to sacrifice story for art.
This is a very dense comic with lots of panels per page and while Merino's finishes are different from those of Perez, their styles compliment each other. It's an attractive book and it's also a book where I enjoy the characters. I'm personally glad to see Clark and Lois not married in this new continuity because it gives us the chance to create romantic tension in the book. it's refreshing to see a different take on the Lois Clark set up than what we've gotten in the past. Lois respect Clark and Clark's not just some square dork. He's not just a disguise for Superman, with this Clark Kent we actually see a reason for him to be a reporter. This is a character, whom like Superman, takes responsibility for the world he loves.
It's already been reported that Perez is leaving after the first story arc, and while I like Keith Giffen, the idea of a Dan Jurgens drawn Superman just doesn't feel fresh and exciting. It's hard to really enjoy a book that's just starting when you already know that creative shakeups are ahead. Oh, and the costume is terrible...
Is it worth it?
With more panels of story per page than anyone could ask for, without sacrificing the quality of the art, this might be one of the best buys for the dollar out there.