Superman #38

by Kalem Lalonde on February 05, 2015

Writer: Geoff Johns 
Artist: John Romita Jr.

So now I just read that Johns is leaving. That contradicts some of what I said in this review. Oh well.....

Geoff Johns is always praised for his penchant for turning b-listers into a-listers. Everyone praises his Green Lantern and Aquaman runs for having completely reinvigorated the franchises. Which is certainly true but that’s not the principle reason that Johns is high on the list of my favourite writers of all time. For me, it’s the mythological aspect of his writing that has gotten me to read his work and keep coming back to his writing. He has an amazing sense of character in the DC universe but he wouldn’t be where he is today without that insanely creative mind of his. That’s how he seems to be going about his Superman run.

This issue has gotten an interesting amount of hype because Johns introduces a new power for Superman and a new costume as well. Which really pleased the Johns fan in me because he’s expanding the Superman mythos in exciting fashion. He’s creating a world in which he can build continuity and character so he can get readers invested in his story. This inaugural arc feels like the tip of the iceberg for what Johns has planned and this issue put his creative mind to great use.

Though, this is the conclusion of his inaugural arc and for some it could be quite anti-climactic. The book is split into two different sections, one being a short climax to the arc and the other being an epilogue of sorts. This will definitely throw readers who are expanding an epic end to this arc off. I for one, didn’t despise the structure of this issue but understands those who would. It’s a slow way to end an arc that promised such an epic send-off.

As for characters, things definitely come to a head for Ulysses’ character arc (which has been the foundation of this story for me). Johns built Ulysses as a character that we can sympathize with for so many issues, until he revealed the true nature of a character who was ultimately searching for his soul. And given the events of last issue, what Ulysses ending up finding was not what we had hoped and remains quite a tragic and compelling origin story. There are many parallels between him and Superman (one being my favourite panel of the issue) and Johns have left these two in a place where he can create a classic rivalry.

For Superman, Johns does the best job of the week writing the character. During his fight with Ulysses, Clark takes the time the save pedestrians from a falling building (Zack Snyder take note) and give them an incredible speech about searching for a better tomorrow. Through this monologue, Johns captured Clark’s voice and beliefs perfectly but he doesn’t stop giving the Man of Steel fantastic moments to shine. Every action that Superman takes in this issue feels like exactly what the Man of Steel would do. Considerate, caring, optimistic and wise, Johns’ Superman is a great rendition of the most beloved superhero of all time. This comic is exactly why I love Superman as not only a hero, but a person as well.   

When it comes to art, this series is a pretty subjective. Some people love JRJR and others hate him. I personally think his art is great but to each their own. If you like his art, you’ll like his pencils in this issue (+he gets  to draw Batman). 

Superman #38 concludes Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr. first arc on a strong note. While the pacing was off at times, Johns displayed some amazing character work with Superman, Ulysses and even Jimmy Olsen. I can feel Geoff Johns slowly building an epic and lengthy story with this Superman book and I wouldn’t recommend missing out on it

Our Score:


A Look Inside