This has been one surprising week for DC Comics! First, the Flash was a little slow. Now, Superman #10 takes Superman almost up to where it belongs: As a genuinely good action title worthy of the iconic S shield that graces it’s hero’s armor. In this issue, Superman’s identity has been exposed. And it’s not Clark! Superman must find a way to protect a man who has been wrongly accused of being him. As well as stopping the man’s daughter from wrecking the city! By the way, for some reason he can touch her, but she can definitely touch him. With her fist!
Good writing from Dan Jurgens:
When Dan first took over the writing for Superman, we reviewed him as making the same mistakes that his predecessor made. He was too wordy, and redundant; unnecessarily adding text to panels that didn’t need it. He is showing more restraint in this issue. It’s much better when you let Superman action speak for itself. When you don’t, Superman loses his best card: larger than life battle scenes.
Proof that secret identities are a good idea:
If there is one big idea to this little arc, it’s that secret identities should stay secret. The guy who gets framed as being secretly Superman, gets his life wrecked! Not only that, but his family almost dies, all in the span of a couple hours of his “identity” being discovered. Although this does, in effect, prove the need to protect your loved ones, I don’t think it really argues for why Superman has his identity as Clark. Clark’s family has already passed away. He isn’t dating anyone. And his only friends are outcomes of his secret life at the Daily Planet. So who is he protecting with his secret identity? This argument doesn’t really work. What does work though is the idea underneath this whole series that Clark is Superman’s only, yet small, link to humanity. Without his life at the Daily Planet, he would be completely alone.
The Art Department:
Like previous issues, the art feels old-school. It has a distinct 90’s feel. That’s not a bad thing! On the contrary, it works for the type of story we have. The feel of the whole thing is set in that era. No amount of drawn-in smartphones and iPads will change that. The only downside to using that style is that it sets it outside the realm of the other Superman book, Action Comics. Even though Dan directly referenced an issue of Action Comics in the issue, it didn’t help the book feel like it’s in a same universe.
Bottom Line: This book is getting better. Between the two, Action Comics is still the better book. But if you want more Superman in your life, this is your other option.
Starting Point: If you’d like to start reading Superman starting with this issue, here is you r starting point:
Superman’s identity has been discovered by the world! The weird thing is that the source that leaked the story got the wrong man. And the mistake could cost the man his family and his life! Superman meets the man’s daughter, a super powered girl who is angry at her father for abandoning her as a child. She is armed with invulnerable and a bizarre defense mechanism in her body, and she plans to use it to destroy Superman, his alter ego and entire life! Her name is Anguish. Read the rest in issue #10!