Review: Superman #3

Superman is starting to feel like a more earnest attempt at a compelling story as the comic hones in on the more compelling parts of the new status quo.  Still, those parts feel a little too familiar at times. My biggest problem with the first issue of Superman was how much its content hinged on a decade's worth of canon manipulation.  Of course, that was bound to happen: for DC to "recover" from a massive reboot that went poorly, they'd have to dip back into obsessive canon tinkering, at least briefly, to get back to just, you know, making good comics.

SM_Cv3_dsWhat sets Superman #3 apart for me is the fact that a major conflict now hinges on the half-human, half-alien status of Superman's son, Jon.  It's a very Raditz moment.  Seeing the Man of Steel stepping in to go toe-to-toe with one of his own kind in defense of his own kin and, by extension both literally and metaphorically, the human race.  Fans of Superman will no doubt find this bit a little played (threat from Krypton unhappy that Supes has gone native, etc.), but Jimenez puts together a few great sequences, particularly the one where Eradicator takes action and assuages some of Superman's worries.

It's revealed that the only reason for the Eradicator's unselfish actions can instead be interpreted as inherently selfish: it's Jon's Kryptonian blood that interests Eradicator, and the rest of the DNA is just a pest to be eradicated.  Though I personally am in the camp of people that no doubt finds this type of conflict a little played out, making Jon the locus of the conflict is a new move, and it's headed in a direction we haven't yet seen from a Superman book by going this route.

The problem with making Jon the locus is it turns Superman into this hyper-defensive, Mel Gibson shouting "GIVEMEBACKMYSON" type of father, and every time there's even a hint of threat to his son, he just goes straight to punching.  While I understand that defending his wife and child in this sort-of-foreign earth has put Supes on edge, you'd think that even when it comes to defending his family he would be a little more... admirable.  Yeah, yeah, it's great that he's defending his family, and when the threats are this serious it's not like I want him to smile and nod; but, at a certain point, continuously putting him in this position is going to make him a pretty one-dimensional character.  Specifically because I expect Superman to do anything to protect his wife and his blood it's a bad idea to just make him punchy-punch family man every single issue.

[su_box title="Score: 3/5" style="glass" box_color="#8955ab" radius="6"]

Superman #3
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artist: Jorge Jimenez
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99
Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital