The Man of Tomorrow, his Super-son, and trusty Super-dog have been transported to an island with some very interesting inhabitants…
Is it good?
Superman #8 (DC Comics)
In the Fortress of Solitude, Jon is working on a school project for his science class. For some strange reason, Jon’s project goes haywire, combines with some of the crystals in the Fortress and then randomly teleports Jon, Superman and Krypto the Super Dog to a faraway island with some… big prehistoric creatures. With even bigger appetites.
Superman #8 is the first installment of the two-parter “Return to Dinosaur Island” (in honor of the late, great Darwyn Cooke and his Dinosaur Island stuff in the New Frontier series). Basically, Superman, Jon, and Krypto end up on an island with dinosaurs and shenanigans ensue. The story is fun and there are plenty of solid character moments as a result (the callback to what happened with Krypto in the last arc was very amusing), but if you’re looking for more than the aforementioned, you might be disappointed.
Why is Jon wearing lipstick in one of these panels?
Writers Tomasi and Gleason continue to do an admirable job. The characterization is very much on point for everyone in the story, particularly with how Superman reacts to the many discoveries the trio make and Jon’s anger and desperation to save Krypto at one point. The dialogue is also enjoyable, outside of one line Superman says when surveying the remains of the tanks and plans regarding the Japanese (it’s just so strangely put that I don’t quite understand what he’s talking about). The pace of the book is quick and by the time we get to the ending, I was surprised at how much ground was covered in the story. Also, as a dedication to Darwyn Cooke, I think it’s pretty clever and people who know exactly what this issue is referring to will enjoy all the Easter eggs and tidbits. Overall, outside of a small nitpick, the writing is very strong in the comic.
The artwork for this two parter is being handled by Doug Mahnke and it’s good for the most part. Where it’s good is in the amount of detail; Dinosaur Island looks beautiful and fully realized, from how incredible looking the dinosaurs are to the exotic geography and flora. This is all backed by Wil Quintana’s fantastic colors that capture the mood and tone of the scenes perfectly. Where the artwork struggles is in the characters — particularly their facial expressions. Mahnke often draws a lot of horrifyingly creepy expressions due primarily to the amount of lines he draws in a person’s face; inker Jaime Mendoza only exacerbates this by overdoing it with the inking around people’s eyes and lips. The reactions that the characters have in Superman #8 often take you out of the experience and make you wonder what the person was supposed to really be expressing at that moment.
Is It Good?
Superman #8 is a fun ride and solid start to this two-issue arc. While not big on story, the craziness of Superman and family facing off against dinosaurs and trying to figure out a way back home is undeniably enjoyable. Bring on the next one!
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