SUPERMAN ’78 #3 Review

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SYNOPSIS: In order to save Metropolis, Superman must surrender to Brainiac or watch his city burn to the ground! After being taken aboard Brainiac’s ship, Superman finds a shocking piece of his past that changes his entire future! Meanwhile, Lois Lane gets a cryptic message from a mysterious source claiming to have a way to save the Man of Steel!

Brainiac has the upper hand as this issue begins and it makes for a significant change to the status quo in the world of Superman ‘78!

Despite the citizens of Metropolis having his back, Superman willingly surrenders to the Collector of Worlds. You will believe your heart can be ripped from your chest as the Man of Steel uses his super-hearing to listen to Lois’ heartbeat one final time before he faces the unknown. I’ve never really bought into the romance aspect of this iteration of Lois & Clark, but Venditti creates several moments to show how much the two care for each other, whether you feel it’s earned or not. He scores bonus points for using a Kryptonian Thought-Beast to reveal Kal-El’s inner thoughts of Lois, giving readers a quick glimpse of their iconic flight in the Richard Donner classic.

I love the fact that an advanced alien life form shows up on Earth and Lex Luthor’s initial thought is to don a tuxedo for his first contact! Superman no longer being a thorn in his side is something for him to celebrate…but only if Lex is the one behind it, methinks. He’s already got some skullduggery afoot and it can only be to showcase his mental superiority! Lex is the arrogant comedy relief this issue and it serves as a perfect offset for the dilemma Kal-El faces.

Superman is one of those characters that I always think of when it comes to never giving up and always finding a way. So, it may seem odd that he acquiesces to Brainiac so easily. Given the situation he finds himself in once Brainiac has shrunk him down to size, I think it’s completely understandable that he spends time in this new status quo. As much as he loves humanity, there’s always been something about Reeve’s Superman to me that stands just a bit apart from the world. Here he can explore being “normal” and learn things he never could have imagined he would have a chance to. It’s very bittersweet for everyone involved and serves to make this Superman feel a little more human.

Wilfredo Torres must be having a ball drawing this! Not only does he get to reinterpret those classic characters we’ve seen on the Silver Screen, but bring his own spin to the likes of various Brainiacs, Bruce Wayne, and Thanagarians! Jordie Bellaire’s colors elevate the art, drawing your eye to what’s most important. Torres really gets across Kal-El’s inner turmoil, Lois’ anguish, and Lex’s haughty exuberance. The last panel is pure Hackman!

Now that the story is at the halfway point, Venditti latches on and doesn’t let go of the reader, placing well-loved characters into challenging situations that I wish we could’ve seen on the big screen! The freedom of comics gives the creative team an unlimited budget and the space afforded by the pacing of a comic page lets Superman and Co. have some heartfelt moments. This is a solid book, sure to please Super-Fans of all ages! Javier E. Trujillo

GRADE: A

 

 

 

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Javier E. Trujillo was a Batman fan long before the 1989 blockbuster opened on his 12th birthday. After following BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM -- the "Dad-Gum Original" -- since its inception, he started to write for BoF in 2019, covering Batman's 80th anniversary. He's a lover of all eras and aspects of The Dark Knight, but artist Jim Aparo will always be how he pictures him. When on the internet, odds are it's because he's talking about Batman or James Bond (or MAYBE Wally West). He resides in the "Live Music Capital of the World" (and also the genesis of Adam West's Bat-Boat), Austin, TX. You can follow him on Twitter @JaviTru or on Instagram @TheBondIsNotEnough.