Dust off your ten-gallon hat, polish your saddlebags, and circle the wagons because Superman #10, “Into The West” transports us to pioneer era Metropolis. Joshua Williamson brilliantly uses the time travel accident from last issue to both highlight Marilyn Moonlight’s origins and bring in an old Bronze Age Superman villain for a rootin’ tootin’ good time, complete with a gunfight at high noon.
Jamal Campbell serves up his take on Cowboy Superman for the standard cover. Decked out in western wear and flashing his piercing blue eyes, Clark shows us his outfit fits right in no matter the era. Entitled, “The Good, The Bad, and The Super” invokes all the necessary references you need for this Western inspired tale.
Proving he’s more powerful than a locomotive, the variant by Lee Bermejo has Superman stopping a runaway train before it reaches the cliched girl tied up on the tracks. Having a more realistic art style, you really get a sense of the emotions emitting from the three characters in the image. It’s truly a clever piece that plays well with the time period of the story as well as one of Superman’s iconic tag lines.
Having a bit of the mysterious veil lifted from Marilyn Moonlight this issue, Leirix Li’s variant showcases the ghost-like vigilante. Using shades of purple, black, & white, Li manages to create a very colorful piece that’s reminiscent of both 80’s style unicorn posters and the Sailor Moon manga/anime.
Bruno Redondo and Mirko Colak also have captivating variants on the shelves as well, so make sure to keep an eye out for them.
Artists Bruno Redondo and Caio Filipe, along with colorist Adriano Lucas, create some fantastic visuals within this issue. Their first page in the past is absolutely breath taking and the action sequences are everything you’d want from an Old West movie. The transition from past to present is also masterfully done. For a tale that has a lot of serious moments, the art keeps the tone a shade lighter. What could’ve been a gritty emotional ride is instead an entertaining tale of high adventure. There’s an entire dueling sequence that’s straight out of every Western movie but also plays with Superman’s “Faster Than a Speeding Bullet” phrase. This has been one of most fun ‘Superman’ runs we’ve seen in a long while and a lot of that falls on the excellence of the art teams.
Just when you think Joshua Williamson couldn’t deep dive more into Superman lore, he goes and makes an organic appearance of Terra-Man in Superman #10. With the help of Ariana Maher on letters, the rarely seen Bronze Age villain is expertly brought in as the perfect encounter to this Wild West romp. The story also shows us Graft and Pharm are much older than they would seem, which raises more questions about their origins and ties to Luthor.
We also get to see Superman and Moonlight team-up which sheds some light on Marilyn’s origin story. For an adventure that could have spanned an entire arc all on its own, Williamson manages to keep the whole thing contained to one issue without it feeling rushed. Through the use of Terra-Man’s time travel technology our heroes are able to return to the present day, but not everything is nicely put to an end. Superman is ambushed at SuperCorp by the Lex Luthor Revenge Squad as we cliffhang into issue #11. The story is far from over as we approach the end of the first year of this volume of ‘Superman’.