REVIEW: Superman ’78: The Metal Curtain #6

Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! Superman’s powers are legendary, known by one and all around the world. But Superman’s greatest power of all is his belief in humanity and ability to instill hope. These ideals are translated beautifully within Superman ’78: The Metal Curtain #6

The main cover for this series is created by series collaborators Gavin Guidry and Jordie Bellaire. This is a gorgeous pin up piece that sees Superman flying towards the audiance with that Christopher Reeve’s look of dependability across his face. I love how detailed yet muted Metropolis looks in contrast to Superman who is popping off the page thanks to crisp, bold lines and bright quintessential colours.

REVIEW: Superman '78: The Metal Curtain #6

The variant by Ozgur Yildrim is a wonderful homage piece dedicated to the Donner universe featuring likenesses of all the actors who brought these iconic characters to life. I love Ozgur Yildrim’s animated style. This could be used as concept art for a brand new animated series. Picking out the various characters in the background is so much fun. Seeing Nuclear Man front and centre warms my heart. 

REVIEW: Superman '78: The Metal Curtain #6

The variant by Marco Santucci is just gorgeous! He perfectly captured the romance of this scene and also the likeness of the characters. The details are great and I particularly love the swirls of the clouds in the sky, which really add to the atmosphere of this particular moment.

REVIEW: Superman '78: The Metal Curtain #6

Superman ’78: The Metal Curtain #6 plays out like the final act of a movie which is perfect considering its lineage. It’s Superman taking on Metallo in Russia’ capital with the eyes of a nation looking on. Straight away you can just tell we are back in Richard Donner’s universe. That feeling of heart and whimsey radiates from every page. Colours, pencils, dialogue. Everyone on this book is pulling in the same direction. Everyone wanting to achieve that same feeling we get when Christopher Reeves appears on the screen. The synergy not only in this issue but the series as a whole really is on another level. 

Like with Superman IV: The Quest for peace, this issue leans into current affairs. The backdrop for this series touches upon Cold war anxieties of the time. This definitely makes Superman’s message of hope, peace and unity harder to press home. Of course, thanks to Robert Venditti’s wonderful understanding of the character, Superman is able to make a statement so compelling through sheer heroism alone that the power of his ideals penetrates the hearts and minds of the most vehement of enemies.

This issues biggest strength is Robert Venditti’s script, allowing for Gavin Guidry and Jordie Bellaire’s art to really speak for itself. Every page features bold, crisp line work and colours that leap off the page. Facial expressions and body language in this issue really do play their part in telling the story as two individual belief systems clash with one gradually coming around to the other. 

The action in this issue is breathtaking. All of it befitting of the big screen, the actors likenesses who portray these iconic characters remain consistent throughout this series and into the final issue. The newly created characters for this series all uphold the aesthetics of that era and totally fit in. Even Metallo’s armour, something not witnessed before in the Donner universe looks totally at home.

(10/10) This is a wonderful series set in a pivotal pocket of the Superman universe. Fans across the globe hold this interpretation of Superman lore in such high reverence that the pressure on creators to get it right must be crushing. It would be so easy to play it safe and create a nice companion piece to the established lore. Instead the creative team have created a riveting addition to the Donner universe that expands upon established characters and explores familiar characters in this vastly untapped universe.   

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