Written by: Peter Tomasi
Art by: Patrick Gleason
*MILD SPOILERS FOR SUPERMAN #1 BELOW
Dead no more was supposed to be the title of another publisher’s big story later this year. However it aptly applies to the first issue of Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason’s Superman. With the New 52 Superman gone, and not scheduled for Rebirth anytime soon, could the dynamic duo that brought us one of the best Batman and Robin arc’s of all time revitalize the positive spirit of the Superman brand? While also establishing they’re on spin on the most iconic superhero the world has ever known?
Since the launch of the New 52 in 2011, something has been off about the Superman character. This has been the case for the character across multiple mediums, most notably in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel and Batman V. Superman Dawn of Justice. Instead of Truth, Justice, and the American way, the character has embodied: Angst, Destruction, and the Post Modern American way. Limiting the joy and hope that the Superman character and his supporting cast brought to the DC universe really made metropolis seem like a destination you probably would not won’t to visit. Which unlike its classic counterpart Gotham City should never be the case! This also hurt various relationships and dynamics throughout the DC universe. With out the dichotomy of light and dark the World’s finest duo of Batman and Superman seemed more like simple fan service, than anything meaningful. I am happy to say Tomasi and Gleason’s Man of Steel is one worthy of carrying the man of tomorrow moniker, injecting flying colors into DC like a laser beam from Superman’s eyes.
Perhaps the greatest success of the start to Tomasi and Gleason’s Superman run, is how subtly they handle the transition from the New 52 era of Superman to the return of classic ideals. Rather than subject the previous Superman to needless ridicule or just ignore him altogether, Tomasi has expertly crafted a passing of the inspirational ideal’s the Man of Tomorrow has represented since the dawn of the golden age. Like a speeding bullet the story seamlessly transitions to the classic take on the Superman character, fans have been waiting on for nearly six years, but with a few new twists.
After Tomasi reconciles the Man of Steel Mythos over the course of a few pages the story transitions to that of Clark and Lois’s super powered son: Jon Kent. Rather than shift the story completely in favor of the brand new character. We are given us just the right amount of time with Jon, while shifting toward what will be the core dynamic of this new series: the relationship between a super powered father and his son.
Within this number one Tomasi and Gleason show readers that they truly understand Superman and his place in the world. Filling all nineteen pages with a sense of hope and righteousness we have not seen in a Superman book or any DC title for a very longtime. That being said, Tomasi has not set this up as the global scale Superman book that we are accustomed to seeing. You probably need to turn to Dan Jurgen’s Action Comics if that is what you are looking for. Rather we are introduced to a brighter version of what Bruce and Damian Wayne are to DC. Knowing the way that Tomasi and Gleason not only understand Superman, but how to expertly craft a father son story, readers can expect Superman to remain atop their pull list for the foreseeable future.