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Superman #23

by Batmanaruto on May 17, 2017

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Artist: Doug Mahnke
Colourist: Wil Quintana and Hi-Fi
Publisher: DC Comics

I personally enjoy stories that are like small town mysteries and this current Superman arc has really felt like that. I’ve been loving this arc, not only because I love small town mysteries but the work by the current creative team is just really good as well. This issue really focuses on the age-old question of whether or not superheroes should kill or not. It is something we have seen countless times, but I feel Tomasi and Gleeson put a spin on it. As great as this issue is my only real complaint is that the use of the two colourists is jarring. Both colourists separately are fine on their own but when they do some parts each it doesn't look as good.
The main crux of the issue is really Superman and Lois finding out that a lot of the members of the town actually have powers. Superman proceeds to help the townsfolk from a random attack by these massive animals. Superman really wants to avoid killing them, but he is outnumbered by both the number of monsters and the number of townsfolk, causing some of the animals to die. Funnily enough the team is aptly called the Super Elite, which is a direct reference to the obvious villain.
The villain by the end is revealed to be Manchester Black. For those that have read What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice and the American Way, this character would be familiar to you and even the name the Super Elite should be really familiar, as it is familiar to the name in the book called the Elite. With this story, it really shows the spin of how Tomasi and Gleason want to do this type of story differently is the fact that the villain is making the case for killing to the young hero. Usually in these types of stories it is an older hero telling a younger hero why they shouldn’t kill and less of it being introduced from the perspective of the villain. This is especially significant since Jon is at a young and impressionable age and we have definitely seen that he seems to lean towards killing, unlike his father. Even especially how the story ends it does seem like Jon may turn.
In this current series, we have really been setting up the theme that Jon could be stronger than Superman, and Tomasi and Gleason, seem to also want to set up the character to maybe stray from the path of his father/mentor. This is a really interesting idea, as you would really expect the son of Superman to be like a smaller/ younger version of Superman. We have actually been seeing this theme all through Rebirth as it appears that younger heroes seem to be turning away from their mentors and this is especially seen in the example of Kid Flash. This actually makes me think that there is a possibility of setting up a group of young heroes that have revolted against their mentors, however they may lean towards the idea of killing. This could be similar to Marvel’s Champions book, but slightly different and could feature Damian, Jon, Emiko and Kid Flash, however this is just speculation.
In conclusion, readers receive what they have come to expect from this creative team, stories that have a good plot but also have heart and this is still one of my favorite DC Rebirth books as Tomasi and Gleeson, don’t only focus just on Superman but his family. This really elevates the book in my honest opinion.

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