Unlike Action Comics, which clearly has a set storyline to tell, Superman really follows the story of a Metropolis without Superman. This title could be called Superman Family. While it is obvious that Mon-El and the Guardian will be the main players, I sense we will also get storylines for other notable Metropolis citizens. On the cover we see Zatara, Steel, Black Lightning, and Atlas. I also think that Jimmy Olsen will play as big a role here as I think Lois will be doing over in Action.
Don't ask me why I get such a kick out of these little origins logos, but I do. I figured I would post them.
One thing I did like artistically about this issue was that Robinson shows us Superman readying the city for his departure. We see Kal visiting the people he needs to protect the city while he is gone.
But in a nice cinematic touch, we never see Superman's face. In some ways, it gave the sense that he was already half-gone. I also think that keeping him faceless, he takes on a bigger than life feel ... a sense that he is like a protecting presence, watching over the city and talking to its people. These scenes almost have a twinge of people conversing with a deity. It is touches like these that remind me why enjoy comics so much, that perfect mix of pictures and words.
Here we see Superman asking Mon-El to take his place.
And then asking John Henry Irons to don his armor again and patrol the city as Steel. It is nice that Irons gets dubbed the 'Anti-Luthor', the scientific benefactor of Metropolis.
As one of the 'Reign of the Supermen', it was genius to include him in the supporting cast of this title. Steel has lived like this before.
Superman even gives Jimmy a little chuck in the arm before leaving. Superman tells Jimmy that he has grown up recently, become a man. It is time that Jimmy realizes what he has become and stop thinking of himself as a copy boy.
To keep the Metropolis situation stable and Jimmy safe, Kal gives Mon-El a signal watch to give to Jimmy. Jimmy is neck deep in the Project 7734 mystery. Now Mon-El is only a 'zee zee zee' away from some adventures together.
And then the last Superman sighting in the book. He visits The Guardian and Rachel at the Science Police. I do think it is interesting that he promises the SciPo that he will bring in the Kryptonian murderers. He must have been giving Alura some lip service on New Krypton when he said that was in the past.
He tells the two of them about Mon-El and asks that they accept him and help him establish a secret identity within the Science Police ranks. I suppose that is as good a place as any to hear about impending disasters.
And that is the last we see of Superman. The city is now Mon-El's to defend. I also think that switching the guard mid-issue was also a nice touch. No cliched last panel wave goodbye from Superman. He is simply gone.
And here we see Mon-El's first encounter with a supervillain. He has to take down Rampage. I love this panel because it so wonderfully shows the size differential between Rampage and Mon-El; she simply dwarfs him.
Notice those Science Police camera drones buzzing around? Look just like the Project 7734 drone that caught Kara on tape in her last issue. Hmmmm ...
Mon-El ends the battle dramatically, flying Rampage above the cityscape and spikes her into the street. He seems a bit satisfied with himself.
The next interaction is the best scene of the book.
Despite the fact it ended in victory, The Guardian calls Mon-El on his battle technique. Did Mon-El know Rampage would survive? Did he make sure no one would be crushed by her? Had he thought about all the variables before he body slammed her?
The Guardian is clearly a no nonsense guy. He is by-the-books. And he should call Mon on this. Mon-El is new to the planet, new to the role. He needs to think things through before he simply acts. It sets up the dynamic between the two men for the coming year.
I also like how Steel shows up to try to clear the air and smooth things out.
The city seems to be in good hands, but I wonder if everyone is going to be able to work together to accomplish the goals of safety they have before them.
And it does look like Lane is getting a direct feed from the SciPo drones. And we finally get an Agent Assassin sighting. I think this is the first one since the early issues of New Krypton.
If Lane hates Kryptonians, he most likely hates Daxamites as well.
At last we see Mon-El's introduction into the Science Police ranks. He is going by the Jonathan Kent name but he is supposedly from Britain. He also meets Jamie Harper, the niece of the original Guardian, who has joined the ranks.
While Action Comics has a very clear direction (avoid Ursa and capture sleeper agents), Superman does not necessarily have so tidy a story arc. This is more like a standard Superman book, just starring Mon-El. So while this issue nicely showcases the main players in the city, it is hard to know exactly where we go from here.
I will say that Robinson seems to have a fleshed out idea of all these characters. Each seems to have a unique voice. I didn't think I would ever be interested in the Guardian. Now I want to see just how he and Mon-El get along.
Art-wise, I thought this was one of Renato Guedes' stronger issues.
Overall grade: B+