REVIEW: Superman: Villains #1

Superman: Villains #1 is finally here and well, as soon as I finished Superman: Heroes #1 (which I couldn’t put down), I had been eagerly awaiting this issue. I was excited see the reactions of Superman’s infamous villains, and that is exactly what we got in this issue.

Before we go into that, lets talk about the cover. I love this cover by Bryan Hitch and Alex Sinclair. It perfectly captures the contents of the issue and we really do see the reaction of the villains first hand as they find out the big secret. Although it would seem that it isn’t just Superman’s villains featured here, which I found a little odd. The background colouring is perfect, it is clear that this is an issue about villains, this can also be said for the intimating poses and facial expressions featured on the cover. It really feels like the complete opposite of the Superman: Heroes #1 cover and I really love that contrast.

Photo Credit: DC Entertainment

Well, just like the previous connected issue, we see the reactions of Superman’s iconic and infamous villains as they find out the truth about who he really is. It really is a mixed bag of reactions here, some humorous, some full of redemption, and some furious. I have to say I have been more intrigued to find out what the villains thought compared to his fellow heroes, and I was not disappointed.

What I loved about this issue is the mixed reactions, each and every writer really thought about each villain featured in this story and brought us many different layers of betrayal, and redemption in some cases. It shows how varied in motive and heart the villains are, especially Toy-Man. I think that was one of my favourite reactions, it really brings home to what Superman has to go through in order to live a normal life.

For me, I really needed this issue, it is a huge kick starter to the Action Comics and Superman series and it really allows an insight into how these villains think in how they reacted. There are some iconic villains that are missing and I would have liked to have seen, but in the defense of the writers it would throw a little too much into the mix.

Not only did we see the reactions, but we also saw the next steps which will have huge implications on the upcoming Superman titles as mentioned before. There are three in particular – a mighty and resentful villain is now coming for Superman, Checkmate now has a new and unexpected recruit, and Lois Lane just dropped some HUGE news which will alter the fate of The Daily Planet. Another favorite part of mine is the resurrection of two of the most important characters in Superman’s life and story. To me this seemed like a random issue and time to re-introduce them, but I am glad to see them back.

Due to the number of writers, artists and colourists involved in this issue, I was already expecting the stories to jump from villain to villain rather erratically. But the character change along with the change in artwork really makes it easy to follow and easy to understand as it’s broken into small sections. Whilst you can tell the writers and colours responsible, it is had to figure out who the writer was. I do wish that each section had credits at the start like Superman: Heroes did, that way I can really appreciate who is writing what.

The artwork provides an incredible variety, with a huge range of styles. Every few pages bring you a new art style which keeps the issue both refreshing and exciting. It’s safe to say that I don’t have a favourite as each artist brings something different. Steve Lieber certainly brings the humour to the issue with his portayal of Lex Luthor and Steve Lombard’s reactions. I have to say I do also love the detail and style that Michael Gaydos brings to the table. I’m not hugely familiar of his work, but I can safely say that I am a fan now.

This really was a great issue, which perfectly set up the events of the upcoming Superman series. It’s safe to say that I am eager to see the consequences of what happened in this issue. This is a read that will really fill in the gaps for the reader and it nicely brings together all of the series as one huge story.

Haven’t picked up your issue of Superman: Villains #1 yet? You can pick up the cover by Bryan Hitch and Alex Sinclair here (UK), or here (US).

1 thought on “REVIEW: Superman: Villains #1

  1. Over the many years (okay let’s just say “a few decades”) of reading comics I have discovered one very true fact: VILLAINS HATE WHEN THE HERO MAKES HIM/HER LOOK STUPID! There isn’t a Spider-Man bad guy who doesn’t want him DEAD! And can you really blame them? Spidey’s whole shtick is making his rogues gallery look like fools (so he can make them over confident. But I believe he enjoys it). I remember an episode of JUSTICE LEAGUE where Green Lantern told The Flash, “Flash, NEVER heckle the super-villain”. Well, that’s exactly what Superman has done. As Joker hilariously illustrated to Lex, Superman played him. If you think Luthor hated the Kryptonian before, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

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