Since I heard Superman #25 was an extra sized anniversary issue I was very excited for it’s release. Well, you can imagine how excited I was when I found out there was a brand new villain being introduced! Well, now my wait is over and I was not dissappointed.
Before we delve into the issue itself, lets take a look at the covers. Once again my dream team are back, you may have heard me say this before but I am referring to the mighty team that is Ivan Reis, Joe Prado and Alex Sinclair. This to me is a very chaotic cover, there is so much going on, with so much pain and anger which you can see is etched into Superman’s face especially. It may have something to do with the unconscious looking Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen also featured. It’s a great cover which is full of detail and colour, and I wouldn’t expect any less from this trio.
The variant cover is by Bryan Hitch with colours again by Alex Sinclair. This is really great action shot coming from the perspective of two robbers. I love this piece, it feels incredibly cartoonistic yet has so much realism within it, that is really enhanced by Sinclair’s colours too. At a first glance, Superman really resembles Dean Cain here, for me this is so nostalgic because Dean was the first Superman I was introduced to.
Straight off the bat Superman #25 starts with the introduction of our brand new villain, Synmar. What’s interesting about this villain in particular is that he has kept an eye on Superman and was aware of him since the destruction of Krypton. It’s so interesting to see how others have portrayed Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van sending their infant son to Earth. Synmar instantly assumed that it was so that they could recreate a New Krypton with incredibly powerful Kryptonians due to the atmosphere of Earth, especially it’s yellow sun. But of course, we know that wasn’t the case! This instantly explains the problem that Synmar has with Superman, although it is completely incorrect and very misunderstood.
Not only do we get the introduction of a new villain, but we also see the return of Superwoman. I won’t say anymore as to which Superwoman this is, but it is a real treat for Superman fans and I really hope we get to see a LOT more of her going forwards.
In many ways this issue is like a brief Superman origin story, which feels like a real love letter to the history of this iconic Superhero. Not only do we relive the destruction of Krypton from another perspective, but we are also taken back to Smallville, back when Clark Kent went to high school there. We see a lot of Lana Lang which I adore, we see the pair working together at The Daily Star (blast from the past, that’s what The Daily Planet was first named), and we see some of the iconic suits of Superman and his foes. This really does feel like an anniversary issue, there are so many nods to some excellent adventures from Superman’s history, and as a longtime Superman fan I really appreciated that.
As for the artwork, wow. Ivan Reis draws a fantastic Superman and always has. This issue is no exception. Not only that but he also draws a fantastic Superwoman. There are so many moments that really made me smile and I imagine it was a great exercise to recreate iconic moments in Superman’s past. Reis has a way with facial expressions, we really do feel everything that these characters feel simply by looking at them. This artwork is really enhanced by Julio Ferreira and Danny Miki’s inks, which really make these moments clearer and bolder. Colourist Alex Sinclair adds fantastic, bold and vibrant colours to the issue yet again. I particular love the contrast between the two world. It’s crazy what a bit of colour can add to the ambiance and atmosphere of a location.
Overall this issue is a great mix of new and old. Brian Bendis has brought us an excellent introduction of a brand new villain, whose backstory is explained perfectly for one issue. We know what this villain is all about, we know what he thinks of Superman and we know what his problem with him is. We just don’t know what he is capable as, although he is referred to as “their Superman” several times. We also feel a huge wave of nostalgia as we see fragments of Superman’s past come back, through both memories and characters.
I really enjoyed this anniversary issue, it very much felt like one, but still provided excellent narrative towards the series and it’s continuity. I am very excited to see where this story goes especially with the introduction of Synmar and the reintroduction of a particular old friend.