I genuinely cannot tell you how excited I have been for the release of Superman Smashes The Klan #2. I absolutely adored the first part, and I have been eagerly awaiting the next. Well, it’s finally here, and it was the first book out of this weeks comic releases that I read and with good reason.
First of all, lets talk about the cover. Interior artist Gurihiru has created another great piece, although for me this feels like a page within the issue rather than a standalone cover. With that said I do still love it, and I love that it features some key characters that also tie into the book itself. I love the attention to detail too, with the costumes, vehicles and colour pallet used, it just feels very authentic to the era the book is set in – the 40’s.
This book follows exactly where the previous one ended, straight into the action as we see Superman, Roberta and Chuck rescue Tommy from the river. One thing I loved about this rescue is that it’s clear that Superman isn’t so used to being Superman after all, he is sometimes unsure of himself and what he is capable of and that is weirdly refreshing to see, and I love that Roberta can sense that too.
Although Lois doesn’t feature much in this series, I do love the exchanges between her and Clark. It adds much needed yet quintessential humour to the book. It also highlights how difficult it is for Clark to balance everything that’s going on around him especially with the powers he has and also the visions.
I love the guidance that both Superman and Clark Kent get from the alien visions that he are getting too. It’s clear to us that they are his real parents, as they are sporting Kryptonian clothing and of course the language, but Clark is still trying to figure out who they are. Although they are also sporting a completely different look than what we are used to. I think this may have been done to emphasise the fact that they are aliens, but I can’t be sure.
Gene Luen Yang really just completely gets and understands the characters that he is dealing with in this series. I absolutely adore his portrayal of Jimmy Olsen, he isn’t our usual Jimmy, he’s not as clumsy as we are used to, but he is bold and courageous when he needs to be and I love that. In fact each and every character has that aspect to them in some way, and he has really created an incredible family here, they are really lovable and such a strong characters. Not to mention the introduction of a classic character – Lana Lang, and what a strong introduction that was.
Whilst the book and series as a whole has so many important themes, finding and coming to terms with who you really are seems to be a significant one. This is shown through both Roberta and Clark, they are both trying to find out who they are and where they belong and I just find it really inspirational. It’s a great way to encourage the younger readers to embrace and accept themselves and be who they were born to be no matter what.
This book really highlights yet again the accidentally racist comments that people can make. It may not be intended to be racist, but at the end of the day it is. This series has done a fantastic job of doing that, and I really believe that it will help the younger audience really think and pause before saying something, and maybe even second guess some of their current thoughts. The book is also about forgiveness and holding grudges. Considering there are so many themes and messages within this series, it is handled perfectly, and isn’t too overwhelming to read.
Once again I adore the artwork for this series, it’s just completely different. It’s not often that we get to see superheroes drawn in anime style, especially Superman and it just a complete breath of fresh air. It really illustrates the issue and series as a whole and just totally brings it to life. Not to mention the colour palette
The use of onomatopoeia, and the way that languages are depicted in this series is awesome. It really does add to the experience for the reader. From the Kryptonian symbols, to sound effects and the fact that the red speech bubbles represent that the Chinese language is being spoken, it’s all incredible and very creative. Although I will say that it did take me a while to remember what those different coloured speech bubbles were used for.
As a person of colour, I am so happy to see this horrifying bit of history brought back into the limelight. Not only to remind us, but also to tech us. It’s sad that it still has to be taught, but this series is just so powerful. I am genuinely so proud of Gene Luen Yang and DC Comics bringing it back to light via this incredibly effective platform. I really love this series, and I am already eagerly awaiting the next and final part to it.