Superman over the years has been an interesting character. Unfortunately, the interest isn’t of the character’s development, but merely the way he has been handled. Of course, thanks to his near invulnerability and boy scout personality, he has become a bit hard to write. This has lead to so many off the wall ideas featuring the character, some including him having absolutely no powers, dying, and some other drastic changes. In the current universe, The New 52 Superman has passed. The character, once more, has died but, again, DC digging for ideas, has come up with another.
The main point in Rebirth is to refocus the DC Universe. The New 52 sort of did that, but as time went on, things evolved and grew ever so complicated. One of these many complications came in Superman’s story telling. The character has been segmented into two different, distinct characters. The New 52 Superman and the ‘old’ Superman. The ‘old’ Superman was the same Superman that fought, lost and died to Doomsday over two decades ago. This set up is played out in this Rebirth issue, as the ‘old’ Superman is looking for a way to bring back the New 52 Superman with the help of Lana Lang. Unfortunately, even moving past the convoluted story telling, there isn’t much story telling or value here.
Of course, Peter J Tomasi, writer of this issue has no problem writing excellent material in the past. The issue, just lacks any grandeur story telling. Tomasi didn’t plan for the Universe to be set up this way. For those out of the way, The Flash did some meddling with universes, and that is why the old, bearded Superman is now in the same universe as the New 52 Superman. Complicated, right? Tomasi, while featuring well written dialogue, just doesn’t give much for the characters, besides drawn out dialogue sequences. Sure, Rebirth is basically pushing the reset button, so expecting more beyond that was silly. That being said, Batman and Green Arrow’s rebirth issues featured plenty of action, and story telling elements NOT featured here.
Doug Mahnke and Jaime Mendoza share artistic duties on this issue. Overall, their pencil work here is solid. Visually speaking, it works for the most part, featuring strong character models and decent looking emotions. Unfortunately, the writing doesn’t support any true awe inspiring panels. Panel framing feels flat for the most part, but again, not much to work with here.
Superman has taken the weight of some convoluted story telling in the universe. The character has lacked true intrigue and the continued odd, questionable story set ups make jumping into each issue cumbersome. Even with strong pencil work, not enough value can be found in the issue cost, which sees bearded Superman talk for 32 pages with Lana Lang. Unfortunately, this issue is a pass.
TWO out of FIVE