Written by: Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Art by: Scott Godlewski
Colors by: Gabe Eltaeb
Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason return to Superman and start a new arc that sends Clark and family on a road trip. After the evolution of the father and son dynamics of the last issue, Tomasi and Gleason have created an arc that brings the family closer together.
Rarely do big tent pole comics take an issue to depict normal life, but Tomasi and Gleason capture it wonderfully. Superman, as a character, has historically had more powerful and dangerous character created to manufacture a conflict. In this issue, and potentially even this entire arc, Tomasi and Gleason take the opposite approach. Superman does not run into conflict or even resolve local problems as they head out on a family trip. Instead, they simply take in the sights and history of the places they visit. It is an excellent change of pace from the aliens and abductions from the last arc.
Readers who have taken forced family vacations will find much to connect with in this issue. Jon’s honest questions to Lois about American society and military service come off as natural as any parent/child relationship. The significance of military service and sacrifice is respectful and is a nice tie back to Lois’ military father. The issue honors that service without feeling preachy. Unfortunately, there is one scene with a disabled veteran that comes off as forced. Clark and family invite a veteran to a meal at a diner, but there is little context given. It reads as though they grabbed a random stranger and invited him to eat with the family. While the intention is thoughtful, it feels contrived. With Lois and Clark’s journalism background, creating a plausible connection to the veteran could have been an easy throwaway line.
Godlewski’s art is a return to form for the series and captures the human relationships well. Clark spends the majority of the issue out of action and the artwork grounds the issue. Godlewski’s small touches of body position and language convey the emotional dynamics of the family. The bonding and frustrations that the shared space on a family road trip can create for any family are represented well here.
Superman #27 feels like a one-shot that brings the family closer together and honors the military service of American women and men. The patriotic mentality may not hold up for an entire arc, but with the conflict happening in Action Comics this issue is a welcome change of pace. Any reader turned off by Tomasi and Gleason’s last arc, will find a welcomed return to the family that this series has focused on.