Thursday, July 30, 2015

Superman #42 - A Review

Lois Lane has finally put two and two together and uncovered Clark Kent's secret identity. But even in the face of Lois' trust being shattered, the two have bigger problems. For a hacktivist called HORDR_ROOT has also uncovered the truth of who Superman is and has plans to recruit The Man of Steel for his organization... or else!

I feel conflicted about Gene Yang's script for this issue. On the one hand, the idea of HORDR_ROOT is a novel one and the idea of an enemy who utilizes the power of information against Superman is a novel one. Sadly, the threat he presents is resolved far too quickly.

A larger problem is the character of Lois Lane, who - in the New 52 universe at least - lacks the closeness to Clark that is required to sell the feelings of betrayal she expresses here. The whole thing rings false but I fear that's more the fault of editorial demand than Yang's script, because otherwise the character interactions are wonderful.

The artwork inspires similar feelings of conflict. The pencils and inks by John Romita Jr. and Klaus Johnson are up to their usual high standard, but there's nothing in the issue that stands out as particularly fine work. The greatest problem is the color art, provided by three different colorists with distinctly different styles and palettes.  Just look at the tone of the characters' skins and you'll see the obvious disparity, with the characters appearing pale in one panel and ruddy-cheeked in the next!

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