If you are reading this review, you obviously love comics and if you love comic, it’s more than likely you have spent more than your fair share of time inside of a toy shop. Trust me, there is no better feeling than finally discovering that action figure you’ve been searching for to finally complete your collection. Well its a toy shop that is at the heart of this very issue, well several in fact all owned by none other than Lex Luthor. However, it’s the previous owner of these establishments that is giving the Man of Steel and more specifically Lex Luthor a headache. None other than Winslow Schott aka The Toyman.
In regards to the cover created by Dan Mora, the reader is treated to a very sinister looking cover as we find Superman helpless and in the clutches of Toyman. This cover is pure visual metaphor as Superman is being served up as an action figure. I love how the cover depicts Superman trapped rather than defeated. This very much marries up with the issues main theme. Toyman looks extremely creepy almost as if he were pulled straight out of a horror movie. Think ‘Brahms’ from the horror movie ‘The Boy’.
Straight off the bat, this issue is full of silver age whimsy. Seeing giant toy robots attacking Metropolis while Superman intervenes certainly reaffirmed that feeling. That’s not to say this issue doesn’t have its dark moments because it really does. Metropolis and her fair citizens certainly absorb a fair amount of punishment in this one.
Even though the issue is full of action which I adore, it’s the human chess between the characters that I truly find fascinating. The exchange between Clark Kent and Lex Luthor is very much like a dance or joust. Both men look to gain the slightest advantage without conceding an inch. Lex Luthor is his passive-aggressive self as usual while Clark chooses to rise above Luthor’s barbs.
The theme of human chess really does engulf the whole issue as our characters motivations are so much more than what they appear to be on the surface. Superman really is caught in the midst of a feud rather than the actual target. This truly is refreshing for me as it highlights the fact that there is so much more going on in Metropolis and not everything has to revolve around Superman.
Writer Robert Venditti does a wonderful job of informing the reader of Winslow Schott’s origin of sorts in this issue, certainly his motivations. This is very useful indeed considering just how old the character is, after all he did debut back in 1943. Not only this but he may not be as familiar to some as he hasn’t been used as a main antagonist for some time now.
As I alluded to earlier the action is bright, bold and fun. Every page is visually stunning as Superman certainly gets to stretch his legs and display a plethora of abilities and skills. Artist Paul Pelletier really is second to none when depicting Superman in flight. The velocity and force Superman is flying at is almost tangible.
Robert Venditti has crafted yet another wonderful story that features an antagonist with very grounded motivations. This of course is wrapped in the fantastical but that’s what makes it a perfect Superman story. Like with previous issues in this series, Superman’s supporting cast all get time to shine. This issue certainly depicts ‘my Lois’. Robert Venditti’s Lois encapsulates everything I want and expect from the Pulitzer Prize winning Journalist. Lois, Jimmy and Perry really give this series heart. I really can’t wait to see where this series goes.
Haven’t read this issue yet? You can own and read it digitally via the ReadDC website.