Superman ’78: The Metal Curtain #3 picks up right where we left off in the previous issue, after Superman is temporarily taken down by Metallo. One thing I love about this series is that not every moment or every issue is for the action, this one in particular really goes a long way to explore the threat that Metallo and the Russians are.
The main cover is by interior artist and colourist Gavin Guidry and Jordie Bellaire and shows a defeated Superman under the foot of Metallo it seems. The use of lighting is really clever here, whilst the image is mostly under shadow there is a beacon of light within it and that is exactly what Superman is to the world.
The first variant is by Tom Reilly and I have to say it is an absolute JOY to see. I love the innocence of it all and though seeing covers where Superman is taking on the bad guy is always fun, it’s these wholesome moments that I love the most. Also, kudos to Reilly for recreating a very small homage to the iconic Superman #1 cover.
The second variant is by Danny Earls and Nick Filardi and is a very clever one. We see the rush and the events unfold from the reflection of a puddle with Clark’s thing scattered around the floor. This would be the result of a sudden alleyway change for Clark and the details are great.
The issues written by Robert Venditti and lettered by Dave Lanphear. The opening sequence sees Superman awake in a government facility and here we see him mix with them who took him in after the showdown to try and heal him. Here were get a great moment where Superman meets Lois’ father for the very first time. Usually the pair have a very frosty relationship, especially during the first moments of meeting each other, but this was a slightly different take on it. Here, we see a very level headed General Lane who takes his daughters trust as gospel.
Once he recalls the events of that night, Superman remembers that Lois is still in the fortress and hurries back to her. Though it is clear that the hasn’t fully recovered from this yet, not in the physical sense, but mentally. He is scared and keeps replaying moments and flashbacks of Metallo and what happened, he has never faced this kind of threat before and it shows. To see Superman react like this really shows the scale of what’s happened and what’s to come. Lois claims to have a SUPER source for her story, and with Clark not quite sure as to whether he told her or not, it’s clear she is working in cahoots with somebody else. This will be very interesting to see play out, especially with Clark also thinking he told all.
The interior artwork is by Gavin Guidry, with colours by Jordie Bellaire. The pair work perfectly together and the artwork is great throughout. This rather classically cartoonistic yet realistic style really works with this particular story arc. They perfectly bring back to life not just that era, but also the designs and feel of the original films.
Superman ’78: The Metal Curtain #3 acts as ‘the calm before the storm’ it seems, but that doesn’t mean it is a filler issue in any way. There are some important moments here and we really get to see how brutal and enraged Metallo is. Not only that but we see a very familiar face appear in the final pages.