Superman against the odds is a street level adventure that tackles the very real issue of gambling and its often devastating repercussions. Gambling is an age old issue that is both polarising and divisive. However passionate we may feel about it, love it or loathe it’s a perfectly legal source of leisure and recreation. However, we all know the devastating ramifications that can go hand in hand with gambling and it’s for these very reasons why I believe this is a very worthwhile tale to be told featuring the Man of Steel.
Let’s start off with the cover created by Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona and Tomeu Morey. Firstly, I was overjoyed to see that one of my favourite artists – Rafa Sandoval – had worked on this cover. I absolutely adored Rafa’s artwork on the Green Lantern series recently. He has provided all the same dynamism and vibrant energy on this cover that I’ve become accustomed to thanks to all of his other projects I’ve so enjoyed.
Superman just looks so powerful. I love the effect used on Superman’s cape and the surrounding debris to convey movement. It really does look like he is arriving just in the nick of time. The cover doesn’t actually represent the theme of gambling, but instead honors one of the main set pieces featured in the story. This really did mean everything to me. Superman himself, especially his emblem pops right off the cover thanks to the beautiful bold and vibrant colours used. This really is a beautiful piece of Superman artwork.
As I eluded to earlier, this issue revolves around gambling specifically the potential arrival of a Casino, which is in the final stages of being authorized by the Metropolis city council. Not only this but a number of robberies perpetrated by the city’s most vulnerable grabs the attention of Superman. Clark soon discovers that there is more to these robberies than meets the eye.
This issue really is perfect. Gambling is often a very grey area and its fascinating to see that sensibility married up with Superman’s often ‘black and white’ view point. I loved seeing all the various conflicting view points concerning the potential arrival of this Casino. Both sides of the coin have varied and indeed compelling arguments for and against the planned proposals.
In regards to the very real downsides of gambling, this issue isn’t afraid to highlight them and showcase them as part of the plot. These ramifications are handled with equal measures of tact and understanding. Repercussions such as debt and desperation are here for all to see. I for one am grateful to this comic for treating me as an adult and dignifying me with respect as this issue doesn’t shy away from sensitive themes.
The presentation and overall feel of the issue stays very light and flows more like a superhero comic than the dark, cerebral fair that my review may paint the issue out to be. This speaks volumes to the immense talents of writer Robert Venditti. Venditti does a wonderful job of tackling a very controversial and dark theme and makes it highly palatable. This issue flows perfectly as we are treated to an array of interiors that not only feature wonderful dialogue, but breathtaking action sequences too.
Artist Paul Pelletier who I know best from his time on Aquaman is a perfect choice to take on The Man of Steel. Pelletier’s artwork is bold and dynamic from the get go. Be it exposition in a room full of people or Superman taking flight and unleashing his full potential, every page is gorgeous. Superman is breathtaking in this issue. Superman just looks incredible especially when flying. You really can sense the speed and urgency as he glides through Metropolis. The same can be said for a number of set pieces as Superman comes to the aid of Metropolis and her fair citizens.
This issue really is a triumph in my opinion. It has everything. The art is superb and the dialogue is rich which explores a plethora of themes that really make you think. This issue even contains levity that really keeps the momentum flowing. The creative team of Robert Venditti and Paul Pelletier really understand these characters. The exchanges between Clark and Lois and Clark and Perry really did put a smile on my face. It was all just so familiar and quintessential, very authentic and most importantly full of heart.
I for one cannot wait to see where this series will take us and just what corner of Metropolis will have a light shined on it next.
Haven’t read the issue yet? You can read it digitally via the Read DC website.