May 01 2013

Review: Adventures of Superman #1

Adventures of Superman #1 (DC Comics) - Artist: Chris Samnee

A digital debut that outdoes anything in the New 52? You will believe again in this straight-up fun piece of comic adventure.

Adventures of Superman #1

Adventures of Superman #1 (DC Comics) - Chris Samnee

Writer: Jeff Parker

Artist: Chris Samnee

Publisher: DC Comics

Rating:  ★★★★½

More info

The Newish 52 has been something of a double edged sword for DC. The initial wave of success provided jumping-on points for almost all the characters, but soon established fans began to yearn for stories featuring their familiar versions of the heroes. Superman perhaps fared the worst in the sometimes messy editorial decisions, with at least two versions of big red ‘S’ floating about the New DCU, neither of whom were exactly iconic. So the promise of the talented Jeff Parker (X-Men: First Class) and Chris Samnee (Daredevil) tackling a continuity-free Superman was something to get excited about. Even more exciting is that they both deliver on that promise.

Encapsulated in its own bubble, Parker’s story is a straightforward heavy versus Superman tale, with a little bit of a familiar villain thrown in for good measure. What seems to be a strung out junkie is causing havoc in downtown Metropolis, and Superman steps in to intervene. He soon discovers that there is more to the troublemaker than meets the eye.

Perhaps what is immediately striking about this short story is just how refreshing it is, particularly in light of the large alien invasion story-lines that have run through Action Comics and Superman these past two years. This no-nonsense release is Superman at his heroic best, rushing in to save the day with little concern for any other interpersonal hangups. Also a nice change is to see the complete story wrap up in one sitting, a nice recall to the wonderful back-ups stories that were an especially strong suit for DC throughout the 1970s and 80s in particular.

The best reason to pick this up is for the art. Samnee brings a grounded feel to his run on Daredevil with Mark Waid, and the street-level fight between Supes and “bad guy” Leon certainly contains similar elements. It’s also filled with iconic shots, as the Man of Steel comes rushing towards the reader, we almost feel as though he’s about to burst through our screens. Plus: Superman punching himself in the face. ‘Nuff said. If this is a sign of what DC’s digital comics have to offer, then sign us up immediately for more of the same.

You can download Adventures of Superman from ComiXology.

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  1. Best Comics of 2013…so far » Behind The Panels

    […] series has provided us with some of the best Man of Steel stories in years. It kicked off with a tale by Jeff Parker and Chris Samnee, and it had us at “Jeff Parker and Chris Samnee”. Other people involved have included […]

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