I only picked up 3 comics this week, and only 1 Marvel. I don’t remember the last time I picked up more DC comics than Marvel. Also, the shipment was late to all the local comic shops this week – it arrived at my nearest shop an hour after they opened, because the shipping company that Diamond uses sucks. This is at least the 5th time so far this year they’ve messed something up. Anyway, because I only picked up 3 comics, I’m skipping the usual first impressions post.
In the last issue, Eradicator arrived at the Fortress of Solitude and took on Superman’s form. At first he actually wanted to help, seeing how he’s built to protect Krypton, and Superman is one of the last few Kryptonians around. When he learned about Jon Kent (Superman and Lois’s son) and his half-human, half-Kryptonian genetic makeup, he decided to “Purify” Jon, eradicating his human half. That’s where this comic picks up. Since the comic credits both Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason as the storytellers, I’ll just credit both of them here.
The first three issues were very dramatic, focusing on the Kent family, Clark’s parenting style and Jon learning to deal with his emerging powers and inconsistent invulnerability. This issue is a straight action issue, mostly featuring Superman and Eradicator fighting over Jon’s fate. That’s not to say there aren’t a couple dramatic moments mixed in, nor is Lois useless. There’s one moment where a Kryptonian rock weakens both Superman and Jon, and Lois is the one who figures out what rock it is. There’s also a moment where a combined punch by Superman and his son cracks open the Eradicator, breaking free a number of souls he’s containing. Somehow it sends everyone from the Fortress of Solitude to Metropolis, and that isn’t explained enough. Two background characters have a decent discussion on Superman and a hero, and whether he’s fleeing the Eradicator, or he’s working on a plan. It all combines for a well-balanced issue with just a couple minor problems. It’s weird because it feels like there’s a lot to talk about, but if I say too much, it’ll spoil this comic.
The art is great. Once the fight commences, the Eradicator looks downright intimidating, with his wrists that seem to be on fire, his darker tone of skin with lines of energy all over the place, and his terminator-like orange sunglasses. The energy from all the released souls flying around has a very neat look, sometimes appearing to be a whirlwind of fire, and sometimes a whole bunch of obscured faces and skulls show themselves. The imagery as the souls stand around and start to regain themselves is fascinating, and there’s a lot of detail on them. The colouring by John Kalisz is also great. Everything is bright, colourful and appealing, and the colour shift in the souls as they regain themselves works very well.
There’s actually a lot going on in this one issue besides the fight scene that it could have easily taken up 2 issues and not feel overly long, but at the same time, it doesn’t feel rushed. There’s just a couple moments that could have been explained better, by maybe cutting down a little bit on some of the side characters. I know that Superman 4 only has 2 contenders, but this is my favourite comic of the week. Superman fans should definitely check this run out – it strikes a great balance between dramatic storytelling and superhero action.