Superman #1 continues a new era of Superman and I have to say I have been eagerly awaiting its release. Well, that wait is over, as Superman and his classic rogues are back with a bang with a fresh new take!
As usual with first issues, this comic comes with a tonne of variant covers, 16 to be exact! So with that in mind rather than going through them all as we usually do, I’ve picked out three of my favourites to talk about.
First up is the foil wrap-around cover by Jamal Campbell, the is an extended version of the standard cover and I adore it. Campbells art style is perfect for these characters and the more you look at this stunning image that plays perfectly on the lighter and darker sides of the characters, the more you see. It took me a good few glances to even realise Bizarro was on this cover! I love the designs of each and every character on this cover, whether old or new. It’s a great introduction and teaser for the series to come.
Next is the variant cover by Jorge Jimenez, I am a huge fan of his and always has been and I never tire of seeing his take on Superman. This is a fun, playful and romantic take on both him and Lois and seeing that shirt rip just fills me full of nostalgia. The detail is great, Jimenez has a rare skill to create a cartoonistic yet realistic take on whatever character he approaches.
Finally is the variant by Riccardo Federici which is just eye-catching. Seeing the unusually dark silhouette of Superman against the vibrant emblem of the House Of El is such a simple concept, but it really pays off. That combined with the incredible realism that Federici brings makes for a detailed and imposing take on Superman, the detail on the muscles and glimmer of the belt and chest emblem really brings this image to life.
Other covers include incredible artwork by; Tom Derenick, Andy Kubert, Ariel Colon, Simone Di Meo, Francesco Mattina, Aalexander Loxzano, Gabriel Rodriguez, Ibrahim Moustafa, Sebastian Fuimara, Nick Dragotta and last but not least, Ed Benes & Wayne Faucher.
Superman #1 opens out with a flashback which tells the reader the rough origin of Superman and the kind of character he is, this reinforces the idea that this issue is an excellent jumping on point for any reader, whether they are new to the character or a life long fan.
We then cut to now, as Superman takes on a classic and in my opinion undervalued villain, Livewire. I have to say it is great to see her back and she is as sassy and full of attitude as ever. This sequence also leads us further into the current relationship between Superman and Lex Luthor, which seems to be a rather unusual one which I am looking forward to finding out more about. Lex, despite all he has done and continues to do in the pages of Action Comics, giving advice in the hopes of some sort of team up… This sequence also gives us a great insight into the kind of person Luthor is, how different he is to Superman and an insight into how he would handle a situation like this, with brute force.
Writer, Joshua Williamson has handled this first issue and the introduction to these characters perfectly, my personal favourite is that of Lois Lane, Editor In Chief. Superman #1 is a perfect blend of old and new, we see the classic Superman tropes and characters, with a blend of new ones and a completely fresh take that puts them in situations that we haven’t seen them in before.
There are some great homages to the classic Superman tropes and scenes, my personal favourite is the back and forth between Superman and Livewire with the iconic line ‘Who’s got you?’. Other aspects of this issue pay perfect homage to the many iterations of Superman and in particular Superman: The Animated Series in a sort of Jurassic Park style introduction (you’ll know what I’m referring to when you read the issue). Even the Supermobile makes a brief cameo. It’s clear that this creative team are fans of the character, his history and his supporting characters and that has me very excited.
The artwork is stunning, Jamal Campbell draws a damn near perfect Superman and his take on the character designs and costumes are impeccable. There is a note of classic comic art to this, but with a perfect mix of realism. The artwork is fun, very expressive and the colours are gorgeous, this issue is full of sunlight beams and stunning metropolis skylines.
Superman #1 is a perfect set up of the tone and stakes of this series. I cannot wait to see more of Williamson’s take on Superman and his supporting characters. If this issue is anything to go by, we are in for a treat!