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Adventures of Superman #1

by Johnny Freiberg on June 02, 2013

This book is a collection of the digital first series of the same name, collecting the first three stories. I really like this, in concept, as it gives any number of creators a chance at working with the man of steel without continuity. It gives the readers a chance to see different interpretations; something we couldn’t see in the regular books.

Story 1: Violent Minds, written by Jeff Parker, drawn by Chris Samnee.

A drug addict has been given something that gives him some sort of telekinetic powers, and makes him go crazy. Superman has to stop him.
I enjoyed this immensely. The plot was rather simple, but gave Superman a formidable foe, and had an interesting twist at the end. I won’t say what the twist was, but it makes the whole story even better. The theme of the story seems to be mind over muscle, which I like, especially in a Superman story. A lot of writers don’t seem to get wrapped up in big punchy action pieces, and while this has elements of that, there’s some substance behind it. Superman’s defining trait in the story is overwhelming compassion. He tries to help the drug addict, rather than attack him, and at the end of the story, we see him cleaning up the wreckage. Superman should be a role model, so that works very well. My one quibble is that meth is specifically referred to. I feel like that’s out of place in a Superman story. I would have preferred “drugs” was all that was said. Reference to meth makes this less accessible to children; something a Superman tale ought to be. The art is fantastic, with colors that pop, and pencils that look simple on the surface, but have a lot to them. It somewhat resembles a golden age book.


Story 2: Fortress, written and drawn by Jeff Lemire

Two children are playing Superman, and one can’t decide which villain he wants to be. When they finish, they go for food, saying that Superman always wins, and as it turns out, Superman was watching them play.

This was a lot of fun. It’s children playing superhero, just like we all used to do. It brought me back to some great memories of me and my friends, where Spider-man (me), Superman, and the Flash teamed up to fight crimes. And we could never stay on one story, just like in this. The kids switch between villains multiple times; this just feels so strongly of childhood. Superman being there at the end kinda creeps me out, though. Doesn’t the man of steel have better things to do than watch a child pretend to be him? I found it heartwarming, until I thought about it. The art in the book isn’t bad, but it doesn’t feel like it belongs with superman. It’s to scratchy and abstract; while it would look great in a vertigo comic, it feels out of place here. His Superman honestly makes me feel uncomfortable. Possibly the best part of the story is that it makes a point I wish the next story would have understood: “Bizarro sucks”.


Story 3: Bizarro’s Worst Day, written by Justin Jordan, drawn by Riley Rossmo.

Bizarro is destroying things saying he wants to hurt. Superman fights him until he realizes that in Bizarro speak, “hurt” means “help”. He sends Bizarro off to do NASA things.

This was pretty bad. Bizarro isn’t that interesting in the first place; frankly, the only time I’ve had any interest was in Superman: The Animated Series, where he was made a tragic figure. The story was made up, almost entirely of a boring fight, that shouldn’t have happened. It’s clear in the story that Superman has met Bizarro before, so why does it take him so long to understand what Bizarro means? Superman comes off as kinda stupid. I feel like the end was supposed to be touching, with Bizarro getting to help, and no longer being a burden to Earth, but the emotion fell flat, because it was hard to care about anything in this story. Also, it’s not made clear what he’s doing. It looked slightly like he was photographing another planet, but all we’re told is that he’s doing something for NASA. I have the same problem with the art, that I had in the last story, but I can’t even commend it for technical proficiency. Even if it were in a story more suited to a scratchy style, it would be average at best.


Overall: This had two great stories, and one below average story. My overall score should be an average of the scores of each individual story, but I think more is deserved. I love the concept behind the book, and the two good stories overshadow the poor one.

Our Score:


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