Having to wait a while for each new issue of this series has been so so difficult, but I feel that it’s just made the impact of this series much bigger. This issue brings us the finale, and I have to say this has been one of the most enjoyable Superman series that I’ve read to date.
Before we go into that, let’s take a look at the cover. Once again Gurihiru has brought us a heroic cover, which to me is an instant classic. It’s safe to say that Superman sure does look good in Anime. Gurihiru really has nailed Superman’s iconic pose, and boy does he look powerful. Although this is the final installment of Superman Smashes The Klan, I really hope this isn’t the last we see of him working on Superman.
Well, it’s safe to say that this finale issue did not disappoint. I have to say this series has been so consistent and it has quickly become one of my favourite Superman stories/series EVER.
I really love how Gene Luen Yang has added his own personal twist to the Superman mythos whilst keeping in line with the classic stories that we know and love. A good example of this is Clark meeting “The Mighty Samson”. I really loved this whole section, this is where he gets the idea of living two lives and putting on a costume. The way that Yang has written it and Gurihiru has drawn it, you just really see it all slot together in his mind. I may be wrong, but I have never seen Clark get this idea from anyone other than his parents, certainly not in this way and it really is a breath of fresh air.
Yang effortlessly ties in Superman and Clark’s mythology, origin, backstory and weakness all into one book. For the audience this is a perfect introduction to such an iconic character, it’s broken down perfectly and is easy to take in, which is a great way to get them involved and invested in him. As a Superman fan it’s sometimes tiring having to read and re-read his origin over and over again, but Gene Luen Yang has nailed it, and although it is very much the same, it just felt different and that was exciting to read.
This entire series has been all about figuring out who you really are and embracing that. Yang has managed to throw so many important lessons and topics in this series without overpowering it. The way that it is done really is perfect for the target audience, they are the ones that are going to be growing and finding themselves for real and it’s important that they know and understand these moments of history.
This series really shows how fickle people can be. It shows how much we believe what we are told whether it’s right or wrong, it shows that people can be gullible and how easily things can be taken too far. This is perfectly represented by The Grand Scorpion of The Fiery Klan. I won’t go into how, but it just shows a lot, and unfortunately a lot of people are exactly like this. It’s so easy for someone to turn on their true beliefs and what is right because of fear and twisted truths. In a world full of terror and hate, just do what’s right.
The relationships in this story are perfect and it really helps this series showcase it’s powerful issues, I love how much a young girl (Roberta) can inspire, support and encourage such a strong character. It’s really beautiful. The characters that Yang has introduced are incredible, they’re really inspiring and you find yourself really caring for them.
Towards the end of the issue it is so nice to see all of the races introduced in this series sitting together and seeing no differences between each other. Like I’ve said before this series has covered some really hard-hitting yet important issues, racism and hate. This series has shown that regardless of what people believe or how they act towards others, there is still room to change and reflect.
Gurihiru’s artwork really brings this series to life, with incredible colours and a playful anime art style it really adds a lightheartedness to it all. There are fantastic action sequences, and cleverly designed panels which really help audiences understand the intensity of the situations that the Lee’s find themselves in. Although the artwork is very cartoonistic, you can really see and feel every emotion that the character has and that really is a skill and that really adds to the affect that this book has on its readers. I think my favourite page of the issue is the final one, it seems that the pair have taken inspiration from the Arrowverse TV shows and I adore that, you’ll know what I mean when you see it.
This whole story is just an all round feel good series, which not only teaches the readers and a potentially new audience about Superman. It also teaches them about the real dark history of The KKK, which I think is important for younger audiences to understand. Like I said before it really does have a lot of important themes and messages in it, teaching them about what’s right and what’s wrong, whether it’s to do with racism or just life in general.
I really would love to see both Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru work on Superman again, the pair just really know the characters and know exactly what to do with them and that can be rare. These kinds of mini-series are really integral to introduce new audiences to iconic DC characters, and I really hope to see something like this again. Like I said before this series has fast become one of my favourite Superman stories to date, and if you haven’t read this series I really advise that you do, you will NOT be disappointed.