There’s a certain place in my heart for classic comics by Jack Kirby or Neal Adams. They had a style all their own that was capable of taking the cheesiest character and making them imposing. Call me crazy, but when I found out Adams was not only writing this new series but drawing it I knew I was in for a treat.
Is it good?
Superman: The Coming of the Supermen #1 Review (DC Comics)
This issue opens with Lois Lane broadcasting from WGBS News about “strange visitors” arriving on the planet via a spaceship. The visitors are 3 variations of Superman. At the same time Darkseid’s minions are attacking from a Boom Tube but Lexcorp’s private army is there to stop them.
Why does this book matter?
There’s the aforementioned factor of Neal Adams on writing/art plus three enigmatic Supermen (and not in the vein of “Death of Superman”) suddenly flying onto the scene that should have this on anyone who considers themselves a comic book fan’s radar.
Here they come!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
I went into this book completely blind and came out not really knowing if it’s in canon or what, but that didn’t stop me from loving the campy and classic feel it was going for. Truly this is about big in your face moments and fun that only comics can get away with. Neil Adams writes (with help on words by Tony Bedard) what is a classic bad guy vs. good guy sort of comic with a classic hero’s journey feel. How can you deny that when you’ve got Superman talking to a mentor helper like Obi-Wan Kenobi?
The story is quite out there, which is why it’s so much fun. Superman for instance is battling bombs in the Middle East because reasons, and a mysterious green goblin character appears to him and he acts like it’s perfectly fine. The cliffhanger of this issue is certainly going to get folks talking too particularly because it is very similar to a villain’s backstory in the Marvel Universe. Which in effect is more reason to love this comic. Simply put it’s so cheesy and campy that it’s a darling to read.
Adams’ art is as you’d expect with plenty of fun panels of characters screaming right in your face. In one page Adams frames Lex Luthor reaching over his desk pointing right at us screaming. Below him is two panels progressing Superman’s story and below those is Lex’s hand pressing down on the desk. It’s an exciting bit of art that gets your attention. Meanwhile the Supermen come in with a rather Transformer esque look in battle suits of some sort. The technology they’re wearing is reminiscent of the Kirby days in all its tubular glory. If you’re more accustomed to modern comic book art and aren’t familiar with Adams’ work you need to give this a try. It’s every bit as exciting and glorious as the new age blur effects and digital drawings we get every week if not moreso.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Does any of this make much sense? Not really, but it might at some point. Sure there’s cheesy dialogue like, “Great Krypton, that…that can’t be…” but that’s fun too. If you’re in the mood for something like this you’ll love it. If you’re in the mood for a more serious Grant Morrison/Greg Pak sort of take you probably won’t be as impressed.
Is It Good?
A relentlessly campy in your face read that’s so wacky and wild you’ll be hard pressed to not enjoy it.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!