Review: SUPERMAN #5


Written by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Art by Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza, and Wil Quintana
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: August 17, 2016

Okay. It really did get better.

On the moon, Clark reveals that even Bruce has secrets that become exposed to the light and he hopes to keep Lois and Jon safe. Their reverie is broken upon the appearance of the Eradicator, hellbent on purging Jon’s humanity and bringing back the world of Krypton. Jon, Lois, and Clark pull out their own surprises against the automaton in an effort to save themselves and the Earth that is their new home.

Superman #5 restored my faith in the series by ditching elements of the previous chapter that didn’t fit and tying together many important threads in the story thus far. I like the developments and the action, as well as the changes in Lois and Jon that demonstrate that the Kent family is not one to be messed with. In the fight against the Eradicator, I like that each of the major characters feel integral to the story, even with significant changes within pages of the issue.

Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason come back to the spirit of Superman post-Rebirth by developing a Clark is embodies many of the classic Superman ideals while also having his own. Lois and Jon also push the story to a place where action does not supersede personality, emotion, and character development. Each of them feel powerful and mighty, all propelled by a desire for protection and the maintenance of their family, and this helps to make Superman #5 one of the strongest entries of the series so far.

One of the first words that came to mind regarding Doug Mahnke’s work was ‘grave,’ and that word encapsulates the tone of the story. In what is likely the most dramatic and action infused issue thus far, Mahnke adds such a serious feel to the characters that readers will wait with bated breath for each new part of the story. Jaime Mendoza’s inks deepen the art by evoking the critical nature of the Kent family’s dilemma.

This issue feels dense in terms of story and illustration, and Mendoza’s efforts toward such an effect intensify the feelings evident within each page. Wil Quintana adds one more layer with colors that rely on intensity and emotion. Much like Mendoza’s inks, Quintana’s colors provide a dank atmosphere which matches the events of the story, but that are also glaring in moments of specific and pointed action.

I like that Superman #5 brought back the shining parts of the previous issues through the interaction of each of the Kent family members and their fervor in watching over each other. This issue makes me feel like the arc is back on track, even if there aren’t major developments beyond the ending. This focus on storytelling enhances the quality of this new Superman series while also portraying each of the characters in new and interesting ways without sacrificing the underlying themes of the famous S-shield. I think things could be moving up from here and I’m excited to see what turns this story takes.

The Verdict: 9.0/10


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