Beyond The Bat: Superman #32 Review

by Eric Joseph
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SUPERMAN #32 by Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr.

Welcome to the first edition of “Beyond The Bat”, a new feature here at DKN where I will occasionally review titles outside of the Batman group. In the past, we’ve covered titles like Justice League, Earth 2, and Smallville, but never something that was entirely free of Batman himself. “Beyond The Bat” will be your gateway to the rest of the DC Universe in case you’ve yet to sample characters other than the Dark Knight. If you’re already a DC aficionado, then just sit back and enjoy. This doesn’t mean Superman or other titles unrelated to Batman will get monthly reviews, but sometimes I receive books for review that venture outside of Gotham and you will be able to read about them under this banner. For regular coverage of titles unrelated to Batman, please visit our sister site, DC Comics News.

Now, onto the title at hand. You may wonder why an issue numbered “32” might be such a big deal. Well, that’s because it ushers in the new creative team consisting of writer Geoff Johns, penciller John Romita Jr., and inker Klaus Janson. Romita’s involvement is what’s really turning heads because this is actually his first project for DC after decades of working in the comic book industry. You likely know him from his work on characters like Spider-Man, Daredevil, Punisher, or most recently Kick-Ass, but it’s time that he put his own spin on the Man of Steel.

Since the launch of The New 52, it’s really felt like Action Comics has been the flagship book, while the Superman title had not quite hit its stride. Several creative teams have been on the book, but it just didn’t hit the mark. That all changes with this issue. Romita’s soon to be iconic wraparound cover lets you know you’re in for something special before you even open the book. Remember what I said about gateways earlier? This is a perfect jumping on point. If you’re someone that feels Superman has lacked that “classic” feel in The New 52, then the inaugural chapter of “Men of Tomorrow” will put a smile on your face. The look of the Superman logo on the cover makes one recall the first Richard Donner film and beloved characters like Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, and Lois Lane put in appearances. Titano even shows up to take a beating!

A mysterious new character named Ulysses is introduced. His origin parallels Superman’s and it seems that his powers may even rival those of Kal-El’s. That, however, largely remains to be seen. The platinum-haired newcomer definitely seems like a force to be reckoned with. Is he friend or foe? Only time will tell. Johns’ widely hailed knack for dialogue and characterization is well balanced with action that abruptly explodes in your face, thanks to Romita’s signature art style. The new creative team gives the Superman title a much needed shot in the arm and will hopefully see it reascend to the top of the industry’s charts. Score: 8.5/10

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