REVIEW: Superman #11
The New 52 Superman has been around for almost a year now, and this issue promises to reveal the secret of the suit. Also, Predator!
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artists: Dan Jurgens, Jesus Merino, Vicente Cifuentes, Rob Hunter
Colorists: Hi-Fi and the Hories
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Editors: Matt Idelson and Eddie Berganza
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
Previously in Superman: After an issue long origin story for Anguish, Superman decides it is time to go on a date…
THE SECRET OF THE SUIT REVEALED… NOT
This issue finds Clark Kent trying to spend some time with Lois, but finds out too late that he’s been set up with on a double date with Lois, her boyfriend, and her sister, Lucy Lane. Dan Jurgens fills several pages with small talk, and quite possibly a few callbacks to previous issues in the series, before a nuclear incident in Russia gets all the reporters at the table scrambling to cover the story. The dialogue exchange between the characters isn’t terrible, but it really seems like filler. This issue is the start of a new story arc, and should be a great jumping on point, but everything in the dinner sequence seems rather unnecessary, unless DC is planning to lay the ground work for Lucy and Clark as the romantic couple in the New 52.
While Lois and her beau try to cover the story first, Clark heads to the roof where he rips off his jacket to reveal the Superman logo which transforms into his full on Kryptonian battle armor. While it isn’t a big secret, as we saw the suit transform in Grant Morrison’s Action Comics, the implication or big reveal is that Superman is always wearing his costume, it’s simply that the costume transforms itself into anything Clark/Superman needs to wear at the time. Kind of hokey, but I can live with it just as long as Superman doesn’t rip the shield from his chest and fling it at a bad guy in a future tale.
The big action takes place in Russia, where Superman discovers the Russians are trying to find their own outer space hero to protect the country from Superman’s Mom and Apple Pie Democracy Loving ways. Though Superman tries to explain he’s the hero for the whole world, the Russians have their own plans and have inadvertently brought “something” through from another dimension. That something looks like a cross between a Predator, Killer Moth, and quite possibly the New 52’s version of the Faceless Hunters. Lots of fighting happens, and Superman quickly realizes he may have met his match.
Mr. Jurgens does an adequate job of bringing the plot points together in a story that keeps the pages turning, but for whatever reason, I felt the issue was simply lacking… something. I think it is because this issue felt like I was reading an issue of Superman from 1992, that time just before Doomsday came to smash Superman in the face – there wasn’t a whole lot going on, but the stories were moving ahead anyway.
THE FACE OF SUPERMAN
The fact that Superman has been coming out on a monthly schedule is to be commended, but it would be nice if the art from page to page was consistent. While Mr. Jurgens did the layouts for the entire issue, each of the other artists that did the finishing work made the hero’s face look different on nearly every page. I can appreciate the change up when dealing with Clark, but Superman examining the Russian lab, and Superman fighting the alien-whatsit should look a like.
BOTTOM LINE: GREAT JUMPING ON POINT
The cover promises something every reader of the New 52 should be attracted to, and thus serves as a great jumping on point for the Superman series. It’s too bad the secret isn’t fully revealed – thanks to the Vince McMahon swerve comics are notorious for. Mr. Jurgens story delivers a lot of action, and I can’t help but be reminded that Superman is at his best when dealing with aliens from another planet. The art, on the other hand still leaves something to be desired from a visual consistency standpoint, so the issue gets dinged for that. I’m sure the upcoming zero issues are meant to be the jumping on point for the series, but Superman #11 serves that role nicely, and is worth picking up for new readers. Overall a better than average issue, earning Superman #11 3 out of 5 Stars.