Friday, June 14, 2024

Review: My Adventures With Superman #1

It's a week of My Adventures With Superman talk as today I review the first issue of the comic tie-in, a story nestled between the first two seasons of the show. 

I have to say that the show has grown on me as a very interesting mix of silliness and wholesomeness with an undercurrent of some serious themes. And this season is sort of ratcheting up the latter piece with Clark's isolation and Lex's narcissism as major themes. 

The comic, written by show runner Josie Campbell with art by Pablo Collar, has the same vibe. From the manga-like art to a little whimsy, this book strikes an overall nice tone. But the story here of an apparent villain who might not be exactly that works well. 

In particular, I really like how Clark is classic Clark. There is a small town, 'aw shucks', 'I'm a little awkward but also a great friend and I want to just help people' feel to him and Superman. It helps that this is a Superman early in his career, sort of feeling out everything.

The book is ranked 13+ but this issue would be fine in the hands of a 10 year old Anj. So maybe this is an entry into comics for any young fans in your life.

We start with Clark giving a 'life in Smallville' speech to his big city co-workers at the Daily Planet.

So his talk about how snow is magical, making old people feel young and turning the world into a wonderland is delightful. Always love shots of young Clark.

But in a nice story-telling trick, we see how snow has impacted current day Metropolis. The snow fades into the static of computer screens off-line because snow has apparently shut down power in some lab. And the hand print inside the 'egg' implies someone was being held here. Someone who can break free now that the power is down. 

So snow that was all innocence and fun now has a darker implication. 
Art and words working together to stitch together a scene. I love comics.

The co-workers are cringing at Clark's small-town wisdom. But they are being good friends for Lois by keeping Clark busy while she and Jimmy plan Clark's first big city Christmas.

How insane is it that they have a conspiracy board over holiday plans. But it shows how much they care.

Whatever that thing was in the egg prison is now loose. And it is showing some sort of heat based powers (maybe concussive?). The Daily Planet begins to shake and we see the cause.

It is very old school for Superman to save a topping building. Feels very Bronze Age to me, in a good way!

The being heads into the sewers to try and escape.

Definitely like Lois being Lois, running into danger to get the story.

And very nice use of art here to push the idea that this thing was captured for a reason and evil. A red eye with an angry eyebrow line is definitely giving sinister vibes.

Things get ugly and we get a pretty decent fight scene between Superman and the 'bad guy'. 

It seems like this thing has classic Amazo characteristics, absorbing powers and skills when near Superman.  (I'll call it Amazo.)

I really like seeing Superman putting safety above the fight, breaking off to save the citizens. 

But then, the twist.

Maybe it needed time to absorb language? 

Amazo asks Superman to save them. 

I still don't know what to think of the 'blue energy' aspect of this Superman's powers, including a force field we saw in a recent episode. Sort of Dragon Ball Z, sort of Sue Richards?

The old 'I'm not the bad guy' twist was well played here.

What I didn't like was that the American military is the easy 'real bad guy' here. The feel here is that they have been holding Amazo as a prisoner. And they are taking Amazo back!

I'd take independent evil arms company 1000x. 

Still, overall this was a solid first issue, setting up the tone and story. If you just picked up this issue and hadn't seen the show, you'd understand this universe and these takes on the characters. 

So I think it is worth a buy. I also think this trade (or the floppies) will be great gifts for young readers.

Overall grade: B

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