What would it take to make a perfect Superman story? Well, clearly you'd need amazing feats of strength and power. Without that, Superman is just a good attitude in a suit, business or spandex. Likewise, you'll need to use the iconic supporting cast well: sometimes hard to reconcile against the first requirement given their overall squishiness. Then, you need a villain — all heroes are, at best, defined by what they struggle against. Finally, for this to truly be a perfect Superman story, there needs to be a moment of emotional truth. You have to see Superman as something to believe in, something truly above us.
With what seems like elegant perfection, this script by Robert Venditti manages to accomplish every single one of those requirements. Starting off with a gigantic feat of strength in service to others, immediately contrasted by the effects of the antagonist here, the Parasite. Then — with precision and deftness in the visual storytelling from Paul Pelletier, Drew Hennessy and Adriano Lucas — you get a story of surprising nuance and effective spectacle.
The Parasite is a villain that's normally not rendered with a great deal of depth or subtlety. Somehow, Venditti finds a relatively unused gear for the character, giving in to everything you know while shining a light on something many would not.
Then there's the handling of Lois Lane: you learn a great deal about her as she focuses on clothing, a surprising detail that explains about her life, married to the title character. This distinction is beautiful in its way, both showing how Clark Kent relies on her and how she is more than a damsel in distress.
Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, each one in turn shines in their moment, and that is such a delightful dance to see in this day and age where fighting Batman and snapping necks. Here, Superman not only stands up to make a difference with what he can do, but calls upon everyone around him to do the same. He impresses as not a god above us, but a hero at our sides, and that is how you make a Superman story. As a light that lifts us up, not looking down on us as disappointing as we normally are. RATING: BUY.
Superman: Man of Tomorrow
Metropolis, the City of Tomorrow, is plunged into a blackout. Superman needs to find the cause of the crisis but is he prepared to face the energy-hungry Parasite?