Page 45 Review by Jonathan
Put that man down, you maniac! Step away from the edge!
Just as soon as he makes a full confession. To someone who still believes the law works the same for rich and poor alike.
I think the majority of people, if asked which of the New 52 writer / character they were pairings they were most excited about reading, would have plumped for Morrison / Superman, myself included of course. I was intrigued to see what Grant would do within the inevitable constraints that were going to get placed upon him, presuming that DC would require something a little more conventional than his previous take on ole Big Blue, the masterpiece that is ALL-STAR SUPERMAN. This is something rather different though, which to my mind certainly succeeds in distinguishing itself in some ways, and probably also in the sense that it could be considered a typical Superman comic, and not just a Morrison comic. Did it satisfy me though? Well, mostly. I cant imagine Ill necessarily read it again, whereas Im pretty certain I will return to ALL-STAR SUPERMAN from time to time, but one would be being rather churlish not to easily consider this amongst the better books to come out of DCs non-reboot.
What I certainly liked was the different take on the character. Much like Geoff Johns excellent SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE VOL 1 (vol 2 out very shortly caped-caper lovers!) we see Clark as a raw young man newly arrived in Metropolis and determined to make his mark, even if it involves leaving a few on the bad guys. Whilst hes not exactly straying into psychopathic vigilante territory, its a welcome, more realistic approach to the character and this slightly brash confidence Superman exudes certainly helps give the character a more contemporary feel and less of the mild-mannered dinosaur weve come to expect. Therefore it all seems fresh, immediately providing an interesting hook for long-time readers but without alienating them.
The plotlines, involving inevitably Luthor concocting nefarious plans, are typically slick and sophisticated, though occasionally theres a sense of various storylines of yesteryear, something which seems particularly hard for writers to avoid with Supes Ive found for whatever reason. Enjoyable though, and I can well imagine new readers will find it an excellent jumping on point for a character which Morrison has managed to make relevant and contemporary at a single stroke. Quality art from Rags Morales and Andy Kubert too. Neither are huge personal favourites, but they certainly make this younger, fresher Superman feel vibrant and full of youthful vigour, and rarely has the demure Clark looked so weedy, nerdy, and generally un-super-ish!
I must also mention the various back-up strips also collected here: aside from the Steel one which was neither here nor there, the others feature a youthful Mr. and Mrs. Kent, both already passed away in the main story, and various goings-on whilst Clark was a teenager in Smallville. I really enjoyed these and hopefully DC will keep the feature running for a bit longer this time.