Monday, April 24, 2023

Review: Superman #3

Superman #3 by Joshua Williamson and Jamal Campbell came out last week and was another wonderfully rendered, fast-paced issue setting up this title for the future. 

The foundation of this book seems to be the evolving relationship between Lex and Superman and to be honest I still don't know if I quite understand it. Lex goes from thinking Superman is holding humanity back to now believing Superman has to save everyone? I wish I grasped it more. But I suppose that this is what an evolving relationship is supposed to do ... evolve as we read. 

I think writer Joshua Williamson is trying to get us to a steady state of this new reality between Lex/Superman. We have this plot with evil scientists trying to get revenge on Lex by mutating and upgrading Superman's villains. The Parasite was running rampant last issue. But the Parasite is more like an enzyme in this story, speeding up  the plot. The Parasite plot ends almost too quickly but it does help bring the Luthor storyline forward. There is no decompression here. There is foot on the storyline gas pedal. But by ending the action part of the story quickly, it allows Williamson some space to put in the character moments. And it is those moments that enrich these stories.

Jamal Campbell's art is just luscious. I can't imagine he'll be able to keep up a monthly book with the detail he brings here. But maybe he can do every other arc? This really is a gorgeous book to look at, one of those issues I flipped through immediately after I read it to just soak it in. I keep hoping we'll get more of the super-family in this book. I want to see how Campbell handles them.

Fun book. A quick read for $4.99 but entertaining and beautiful.

On to the book. 

Last issue ended with Superman infected by microscopic Parasites and is mutating into a Parasite himself. 

Luckily he has a great idea. He'll get Lex to help him use Livewire as a beacon or bug zapper, an energy source the Parasites can't resist.

Wonderfully art here even if the predominant reds and oranges kind of blur everything together. 

Love Livewire's line about dressing like Supergirl on the right occasion, a true laugh out loud moment.

Superman brings the two to Supercorp to set the trap. Livewire is too juicy a meal for any of the Parasites to ignore, even leaving Superman's body, curing him.

Superman gets into one of the super-suits the Corp has created, a containment suit to protect him.

Glad to see the suit seen in the background in a prior issue already put into play. Looks very toyetic. 

When Parasite Prime arrives, Superman offers him a different meal than Livewire.

If all these duplicate Parasites are filled with energy, why not eat/absorb all of them?

I don't know if I quite understand it. Did he shed these things? Or mitosis them into existence?

But it works. Suddenly, all the Parasites invading the city have been ingested/consumed/assimilated by the main Parasite.

And then the quick ending to the threat. 

Lex has an unnamed device to drain off the radiation which changed the Parasite into whatever he has become. He is plain old Parasite again.

Lex just happened to know that is why he was different? Just happened to have a device to drain it? Just like that, a city overwhelmed by the Parasite army is a 

The defeat of the Parasite isn't the point of this. The point is Superman needed Lex, went to Lex, and partnered with Lex to save the day. Because this relationship is the point of the story.

The day is saved.

Clark says he missed all the action because he was locked in a bathroom. Too funny.

The Lois/Clark moments in the book are really solid. I like here where she says she could just eat him right up, a funny turn given when she was Parasite-infected, she actually tried to eat him. Cute turn.

Superman had thrown Lex back in jail after the Parasite nonsense. 

In a frank talk, Lois tries to figure out if Lex asking to partner with Superman is a trick or not. She goes down the rabbit hole of 'he knows that I know that he knows that I know that he knows' sort of insanity trying to help Clark decide what to do. 

It is funny to read and Campbell's body language is perfect, her hand on her head like she has a headache. Incredible.

And I love that Clark says it isn't a game to him. 

The Kent apartment looks like the hub of the family. Jon, Conner, Kara, and the 'twins' are all there. They get to see this loving relationship in front of them. 

It truly feels like this is a super-family again. And I am here for that. Thrilled. 

Loved this panel, Kara with the 'aw shucks' head in hand!

Remember, the main story here is Superman's evolving relationship with Lex.

Superman has decided to run with it. Lex could have escaped or attacked but didn't. Perhaps Lex truly wants to team up. And Superman is all about second chances.

In a very interesting turn, he gives Lex a signal watch! I am having a hard time reading Lex's expression here. Bemusement? Satisfaction?

That thing better not go zee-zee-zee-zee. It better go ell-ell-ell-ell.

We get another nice cliffhanger. Those evil scientists actually think the Superman/Lex partnership will make getting to Lex more easily.

And look at what they've done!

Decapitated Bizarro!
And altering Silver Banshee?

I hope we get some background about why they hate Lex. And how they are able to do what they are doing. But color me intrigued. I can't wait to see Campbell's take on Banshee.

Another solid issue laying down more of that foundation while pushing things forward. Love the Lois moments! 

Overall grade: B+

1 comment:

Martin Gray said...

It was a fun issue, I had a few problems with the first few pages in terms of how we got from the jail to Supercorp, but maybe that’s me… poor Bizarro, still, I’m sure he can be fused back together.

I like seeing the Super Family too, but I’m still waiting for background on why they’re all hanging out, and why the new costumes. Hopefully PKJ has an annual story up his sleeve.