Monday, March 27, 2023

Review: Superman #2

Superman #2, the second issue of the Joshua Williamson run on the character, came out this week and continued to dazzle.

Williamson is at the beginning of his world building. So we have an active confrontation with the modified Parasite. But we get a look at the people behind the modifications, just a glimpse, continuing the mystery. We get more of the Lex trying to 'improve' Superman from behind bars, another evolving relationship and plot. And we get the introduction of Marilyn Moonlight, who seems to have mystical powers, time travel capabilities, and a killer look. The book reads quick but is packed with info and scene. But there is still a lot for us to learn here. Williamson is simmering all these plots. The book ends with a great cliffhanger. So storywise, I think this is solid.

Jamal Campbell's art is an incredible array of smooth, crisp art. His art plays out very cinematically. There really is a dynamic nature to the work. A feeling of action. But it is clean and beautiful. This is definitely one of those books that I pause over each page to drink it in a little longer.

So it is so far, so good for this new book which seems to have broken out of the gate and is off and running. 

On to the book.

Last issue ended with Superman discovering that the Parasite is multiplying. 

In this issue, Superman barely escapes being drained by a gang of parasites only to discover that Metropolis is overrun by these new creatures.

Now Parasite splitting when he gains energy rather than growing stronger is a terrifying new power.

But it is Campbell's art that just sells it. This is one of those pages where you feel the energy. Superman scans the city to see the throngs of Parasites running down the streets, frenzied, climbing the buildings, and draining power from wherever they can. I mean, I could feel them climbing those stairs and running around the roof.

The villains upgrading these villains are shown in their lair. But the two most active are Graft and Dr. Pharm. Pharm is carving up Bizarro with a Blue-K scalpel. And it is clear they are behind the Parasite 'upgrade'. 

But this cabal of 6 super-scientists trying to dip their evil toes in Metropolis. The ones at the table don't want to antagonize Luthor. This is an odd line given that Lex, last issue, said these villains were his villains ... not Superman's. 

I don't recognize any of these folks so this is a good mystery. 

Meanwhile, the Parasites are looking for power anywhere they can find it. And SuperCorp, formerly LexCorp, is a big fat energy well. 

In case you forgot, Mercy has some techno powers thanks to Lazarus Planet.

I also liked this page as Campbell shows us the manifestation of the arm cannon. And the changing angles and perspectives of the panels really whirl us around the action. Love it. 

Superman arrives and freezes everything. He asks Mercy about the bad guys being Lex's enemies but she clams up. 

Always listening to Lex, Superman hears Luthor ask to be broken out of jail to help. After all, another modification to Parasite would make that villain even more dangerous. 

Superman wants no part of that. Lex stays behind bars. Maybe Superman finding the first Parasite might help get to the bottom. Glad Superman didn't cave to Lex. 

Meanwhile, Campbell's Mercy is just dazzling. 

I still don't know if I like this new Lex/Superman dynamic. But that seems to be the spine of the book. 

Thankfully, there are the other members of the super-family to help keep Metropolis safe while Superman does his investigation. They've formed an ice wall around the city keeping the Parasites in.

So much to love here. 

One, it seems clear that Supergirl is the field commander for the troops. She is the one Superman contacts. Love that.

Also, I like that Supergirl calls him 'cuz', a term of endearment and familiarity and family love. Makes you wonder why some creators think she'd go off alone, away from family, on her birthday.

Lastly, the art is, again, glittering. Everyone looks awesome, Kara especially.

But the family couldn't find Lois!

So Superman rushes to his apartment to look for her and runs into 'Marilyn Moonlight', active because Metropolis' nights are haunted.

She seems spectral in nature. She oozes moonlight and her horse seems ghostly. Her moonlight energizes Clark. And when she disappears, he sees the Old West.

Another mystery that I am grabbed by. 

I love her look. I love how her costume oozes from one panel to the next eerily. Excellent.

 But things get even scarier.

The Parasite is multiplying down to a germ level and infecting people.

People like Lois.

People like Superman!!!

Now that is a very excellent and pretty terrifying cliffhanger. Don't ask me how Superman can beat this.

I'll admit this was a quick read. But when you review the content and plot progressions and new elements, I think it is a meaty enough read. And I'll admit that I didn't mind, at least here, for more room for the art to breathe and sink into my eyeballs.

Between this book and Action Comics, I feel like the Superman books are on solid creative ground again. And I am thankful!

Overall grade: A


Martin Gray said...

I enjoyed this a lot too, there’s a fun, fresh atmosphere. But $4.99!

Anj said...


$5 an issue ... means my pull list will get smaller by 20%

The Wandering mind said...

Great review. Graft and Pharm Are new characters they seem to be the one with the vendetta against Lex. The people at the table are The Shelley twins From task force Z, TO Morrow and Dr.Ivo from various Justice League stories They are the ones that don't wanna antagonize Lex. They seem to be just assisting Graft and Pharm.

Anj said...

Thanks for info! Ivo and TO Morrow I know. Must have not read closely enough.

Shelley twins will be new to me.

Thanks again!