The previous issue of Up In The Sky was my favourite to date, I didn’t think that could be outshone, but Tom King has done it again.
First up, the cover. Wow. As soon as I saw this I stared at it for a good five minutes, just scared to see what the issue was going to be all about! This certainly is a powerful image, and suprisingly does (in some ways) link to the contents of the issue which is always a bonus. Cover and interior artist Andy Kubert certainly has delivered with this incredible artwork. The shading lines have a very retro vibe to it, which I adore. Brad Anderson has showcased the darkness of Darkseid (pun intended) is brought out perfectly against the bold and bright colours of Superman’s battle torn suit. I love it.
This issue is incredibly thought provoking. Superman desperately seeks the advice and help of one you’d least expect, the mighty Darkseid. Superman sacrifices and bends one of his own rules in order to get answers to lead to Alice’s safe return home. As Darkseid tests him further, he reaches boiling point and refuses to adhere to his demands. It’s just so unexpected of Superman to seek the help of one of his enemies, especially Darkseid. I was a little shocked as to why, but also what he was doing in order to get this information.
Tom King’s writing is phenomenal as expected. What I love about this issue is the fact that we tap into Superman’s fantasy, his ideal world. I mean we know what that is, but it’s not often we get to see what it’s like for him having such a huge responsibility, it shows how much he really has on his plate and that he rarely gets time to himself and for his family. His fantasy is simple and basic, but so important to him and actually to us. What I love about it, is that it seems like the polar opposite of what a lot of peoples fantasies actually are, and most definitely what people take for granted. People have these things, yet still dream to have more – perhaps having powers like Superman.
It’s safe to say that King knows Superman. He gets Superman. Superman is giving up his life to save others, and this one save shows how much he can and does go through to do so. All for this one little girl. I love that it means the world to him even though he doesn’t know her personally. That is Superman. He even went against his own rule and an incredibly important one – to not kill an innocent person just to save her. It shows the level of commitment he has for this rescue alone and he cannot give up. The scene of him killing that innocent life was beautifully written and not quite as you expect. I adore the way that Tom King wrote this section, the way that he used the current story to narrate it was just beautiful.
I have two criticisms only for this series, first the fact that we are on issue 5 and haven’t really got very far with regards to finding Alice at least it doesn’t seem that way. Secondly and finally, I find it a little difficult to link the issues together as they each see to end and start in completely different places. Perhaps it’s because there are so many mini-issues within one, I can’t quite put my finger on it, and it takes me a few pages to understand what went on previously.
The artwork by Andy Kubert is just so bold, and the incredible colours by Brad Anderson just really bring it to life and adds some very effective vibrancy. I love it. Those bright colours against some heavy shading really gives me 90s art vibes, and that is most definitely not a bad thing. From the full page action spreads to the smaller panels, there is just so much detail within the artwork of the comic and it really brings this incredible story and adventure to life.
There are a few particular pages that I adored – Superman flying over the daily planet and that playful twist of The Trinity getting lunch in their spare time. I love that. Like I said the colours just really bring that artwork to lie and accompany each other so damn well.
Overall, this series is turning out to be rather harrowing and emotional considering the whole series has documented Alice’s rescue. Just when I think a moment can’t get any more beautiful it does. Tom King really has an incredible skill when it comes to that, each story of his that I’ve read really makes you think. Although, it does seem like a rather long story and we haven’t really got many answers as to where she is just yet.