DC has started a new trend in mainstream comics with their digital first, weekly mini-comics that then get collected into bigger print issues. One of these weekly series is Adventures of Superman, an anthology series that tells a different short story every week by a different creative team. The first three issues of this have been collected for print and are now ready for review. So see how it fairs after the jump!
The stories in this anthology are all solid, with one stand out story featuring Bizarro.
It would be easier to just buy the single Bizarro story digitally than the entire anthology issue.
As with all anthologies, this one contains various stories of varying quality. The first story, about a telepath that is ravaging Metropolis, is pretty inventive. The core concept is one we’ve seen elsewhere, but its used in some clever ways. There is, unfortunately, a lot of awkward exposition. While I understand why they needed to include it, it really weighs the story down as a whole. The second story, about two children pretending to be Superman and his various rogues, is very charming. There is no real tension, but its a very light hearted celebration of a child’s imagination. The third, and last, story in this anthology tells of Bizarro as he tries (and fails) to help people by doing bad things that he honestly thinks are good. This is easily the best of the bunch and is worth buying on its own digitally for a dollar. The core concept is simple, there is not heavy exposition to tell the story (instead it opts to rely on the intelligence of the reader to understand it’s resolution), and it has a genuinely heart warming ending.
AN EVEN MORE MIXED BAG
The quality of the art for the three stories will really come down to personal taste. I found them all to be very enjoyable in vastly different ways. Samnee’s art invoked a very old school Superman vibe; reminiscent of the old Fleischer cartoons. Lemire’s style is very unique, and might alienate more than a few people. His Brainiac is hauntingly creepy, but so is his Superman. Lastly, Rossmo has art duties on the Bizarro story, and again delivers the best of the bunch. It has a sort of pop art sensibility to it that is really unlike anything I’ve seen in comics, and is something I really enjoyed.
BOTTOM LINE: FOR A SUPERMAN FAN
If you are a mega Superman fan then you should definitely pick up this collection of, at the very least, solid stories. But for the casual fan or comic reader I really have to suggest picking up the individual digital issues because they are both cheaper and let you cherry pick the best stories, which are definitely worth reading.