REVIEW: Superman #29

Superman #29 expertly sets up a new era of Superman, with him and his son working in tandem with each other. There is some really hard ground covered in this issue which will make for an excellent story and dynamic, I cannot wait to see where this creative team go from here.

Superman #29 ushers in a new era for the Man of Steel under the Infinite Frontier banner, which is currently sweeping its way across the DC Universe.

But before we get into the issue itself, let’s take a look at the covers. Interior artist Phil Hester has joined forces with Eric Gapstur and Hi-Fi to create a striking Science Fiction inspired cover. Superman finds himself vulnerable and at the mercy of an alien threat that is more than capable of inflicting harming upon the Man of Steel. I love this cover as it accurately represents that which transpires in the issue itself. The alien fleet descending upon Clark and Jonathan look totally imposing and way too much for the House of El to handle. This is certainly a hard feat to accomplish, yet has been perfectly executed by this outstanding creative team.

Superman #29 Review | The Aspiring Kryptonian
Photo Credit: DC Entertainment

John Timms and Gabe Eltaeb have created a gorgeous wrap-around cover that showcases Superman’s incredible supporting cast of characters, which include the returning Conner Kent, the newly established Red Mist and imposing warlord Mongul. This is a fabulous cover that is worthy of a brand new number one issue or jumping on point such as this.   

First Look: Superman's New Creative Team Makes Their Debut | DC
Photo Credit: DC Entertainment

Writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson and artist Phil Hester take the reigns of Superman and Action Comics to tell a tale of a father and son reconnecting after so much time spent apart. Themes such as ‘coming of age’ and ‘Son surpassing the Father’ are both deeply examined in this extraordinary issue.   

Jonathan and Clark Kent have been through it all over the last few years. From Clark outing himself to the world as Superman, to Jonathan joining the Legion of Superheroes in 31st Century, this has certainly been a momentous period of time for the House of El. Superman #29 takes an in depth look at the relationship between the pair as they assimilate to the others newly designated status quo.

This fascinating exploration into the psyche of our beloved heroes is placed masterfully against a backdrop of alien threat and peril, as a spatial rift floods our reality with aggressive alien lifeforms. This opening sequence is thoroughly exhilarating as writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson allows for Phil Hester’s artwork to really do the talking. This works especially well when Jonathan looks upon his father in the midst of combat with a real sense of awe and wonderment.

Jonathan and Clark have truly been on a journey of discovery throughout the pages of this astonishing run separately as well as collectively. Superman #29 feels every bit like the culmination of that journey. Writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson does a wonderful job of acknowledging all that Clark and Jonathan have lost as the pair finally air their feelings with one another.

Superman #29 explores a fascinating facet of Jonathan’s time in the 31st century that I never really considered. Jonathan now has intimate knowledge of all that will transpire, for better or worse throughout time. That kind of pressure and responsibility must weigh heavily upon Jonathan’s young shoulders. We witnessed this weight take its toll during Future State: Superman of Metropolis, and seeing these themes marry up to stories set in the present day really is a fine pay off for us readers.

Artist Phil Hester’s artwork is brilliant in this issue! I adore the boldness of it, even down to the facial expressions. It adds a cartoonistic effect to it, that I feel really accentuates this issue considering the slightly heavy themes. Hester’s artwork combined with Eric Gapstur’s inking and the incredibly vibrant colours by Hi-Fi really add to the striking artwork, and it really works for me. The three work perfectly together and that can especially be said for the action sequences at the start of the issue, they’re brilliant.

Superman #29 expertly sets up a new era of Superman, with him and his son working in tandem with each other. There is some really hard ground covered in this issue which will make for an excellent story and dynamic, I cannot wait to see where this creative team go from here.

Unusually, this isn’t the only story present in the issue. We also have Part #1 of ‘Tales Of Metropolis: Bibbo’ by writer Sean Lewis, which see’s Bibbo Bibbowski at the heart of the story as he takes his date out for the night. Bibbo the bartender turned writer gets a little more than he bargained for as Jimmy Olsen reveals that his dream date is too good to be true.

I adored this story, and boy is it a breath of fresh air! It seems like such a long while since we had a story featuring Bibbo Bibbowski, and to see him team up with Jimmy Olsen was excellent. This is a slightly different portrayal of Bibbo that we are used to, but it perfectly brings the charming character into the now and it’s safe to say writer Sean Lewis has kept his core fundamentals at heart.

The artwork is such a contrast to the previous story in this issue, which really helps to separate the two. The art in this story is by Sami Basri with colours by Ulises Arreola and it is incredibly realistic and very digital. The level of detail in each and every panel is phenomenal and perfectly blends the classic and iconic looks of the characters involved with a rather modern twist.

Haven’t picked up Superman #29 yet? You can get the standard cover by Phil Hester here (UK), or here (US). Or if you prefer the variant cover, you can get that here.

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