Superman #12 Review
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Art: Dan Jurgens
Reviewed by David Short
Before I get into my thoughts on Superman #12, let me tell you with why it is I got back into a book that I had dropped only two issues in. I had just finished my first big article for the site, Movies We Deserve: The Man of Steel, and I was nostalgic with the stories that made me love the character. It was at that moment that I felt a pang for something Superman. It was small but it had begun. Not long after I saw the leaked Man of Steel Comic Con footage, and it sent me swooning after anything with a House of El symbol on it. I went and caught up on all things Superman in the new DCU. I could not have been more disappointed.
Superman #12 does nothing to change my overall feelings of Superman’s place in the New 52. Actually, it doesn’t do too much of anything at all. The thing about super hero books is you know that the status quo won’t change drastically without something big to hang its hat on. Usually that comes in an event or something of the like, but very rarely in single issues. Though we head into the next arc with Clarke having a new outlook on life, that is really all we get out of this chapter. We get closure to the Predator/Lizard love child, but it can be seen coming from a mile away. There isn’t much in this issue that doesn’t fall flat on its face here. There is a scene at the end of the book with Lucy Lane that feels genuine, but that really is about all.
Bobby brought up Mark Waid’s ability to recap each previous chapter of Daredevil on this week’s podcast, and just how seamlessly he does it. In Superman #12 we get a complete info dump to start off our book. There is no coy way around it, just here is what happened. I never really realized Waid was recapping previous points until it was pointed out, but this is as obvious as a message scrolling slowly in front of a deep space backdrop.
Jurgens’ art is as billed. He has never blown me away, but it isn’t outwardly bad either. I applaud creators that both write and draw their books. It shows that you are confident in your abilities. I just don’t think that either in this case are what DC’s flagship character is in need of.
******SPOILERS AHEAD!!! STOP NOW IF YOU DON’T WANT SPOILERS*************
Again with the bombs?! Really? I know this is a personal thing, I do, but seriously it’s getting to the point where you open a book with some powerful characters, and odds are there will be a bomb trying to take them out by the end of the story. Hey look Batman is kicking my ass—bomb. Superman is a threat and this Lizard-alien is fighting him—kill them both…WITH A BOMB! Also, I’m not sure that Dan Jurgens knows just how an atomic blast works. If a nuke goes off in the general vicinity of people, they will die. Here it’s just kind of a pretty ball of flames. I don’t think that’s how that works, but what do I know? Stop with the bombs!
***********RE-ENTERING SPOILER FREE TERRITORY***********************
I can’t in good conscience recommend this book to even the biggest Superman fan. Sadly, this issue will be the last I buy of Superman until they put somebody on it that can do it justice. Do yourselves a favor and use the money you would buy this book with and buy The Rocketeer Cargo of Doom.