Saturday, September 6, 2014

Superman #34 - A Review

A quick comment upon the cover of this issue.  I was less than enamored of the Selfie Variants that each DC Comics title had this month.  I disapprove of variant covers as a general rule and felt that this gimmick did not work for a lot of characters.  That being said, this one is damn good and a perfect send-up of the concept and the characters involved.  Because Jimmy Olsen would totally do this in the middle of a battle.

Curiously, Jimmy Olsen and the rest of the Daily Planet crew are absent from this issue.  The focus is once again upon Ulysses - strange visitor from another dimension, who has turned to Superman for guidance as he finds himself in what turns out to be the world of his birth.  The first part of this issue continues on from last month's closing revelation - that Clark Kent was able to track down Ulysses' scientist parents and uncovered the truth of how they sent him away in circumstances that mirror what Clark's own birth parents did to save his life.

Geoff Johns is in fine form here and the better part of the issue is spent explaining Ulysses's background and exploring the growing friendship between himself and Clark.  It is a slow story but it is still an enjoyable one and the reader feels Clark's subtle joy at having helped someone get the family reunion that he can never have.  There's also a bit of humor in how Clark is still a more human person than Ulysses, who thinks nothing of coming into Clark's apartment at night to watch him sleep because he had a sudden bout of curiosity regarding why he didn't need to sleep when Clark does and whether or not Superman dreams as normal humans do.  But worry not, action fans - the two heroes do team up against a new villain by the issue's end!

Unsurprisingly, the artwork by John Romita Jr.and Klaus Janson is as good as one would expect.  The action, once it starts, is well displayed but JRJ is just as capable of rendering the softer, quieter moments that this script requires..  The coloring by Laura Martin is also praise-worthy, with a variety of palettes being used throughout to subtly indicate the story's multifarious settings.

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