Some critics didn't like the wordiness of the first issue. I'm not “some critics.” I like having to read my comics, and as I put it in my review of that first issue, it's a sign that George Perez is a comics “old-timer” that there's more substance in one issue of the new Superman than in three or four of most other titles. And it's good. It's refreshing to have a full story in one read for $2.99 rather than thirty-odd panels in twenty pages that take five minutes to flip through and constitute little more than a single scene in a story that's stretched out over five or six issues. Not that this “full story” is not obviously part of a larger arc, but as I-can't-remember-who phrased it, it “begins, it middles, and it ends,” with enough unanswered questions to make you want to come back next time but not a feeling that you didn't get your money's worth. Even at $2.99.
Enough of that rant. Superman ponders the mysterious reference to his birth-world made by the flame-monster in the first issue – that apparently only he heard – in the midst of a rather strained meeting with General Sam Lane, who still doesn't like him but apparently is forced to tolerate him. He also ponders his relationship – or rather Clark's – with Lane's daughter, Lois – obviously friends, but no more at this point. Then he comes under attack by an invisible alien assailant who seems to be having his way with Big Blue … how can you fight an unseen attacker? … until Superman realizes that he's the only one who can't see it. Luckily, he can see its image transmitted on live TV – and Lois and Jimmy, covering the story live on TV, realize the same, and keep the attacker in their cameras where Superman can use his super-vision to keep finding various TVs tuned to the broadcast and thus keep the alien in his sights, so to speak. He manages to beat it down – then it vanishes, but not before it too utters the name of “Krypton.” Next: A Cold Day in Hell.
So far, two for two! An exciting short story with an innovative, original, albeit “comic-booky” plot. What more can you ask? No need for me to reiterate my wishes that the revamp hadn't changed so much of the Superman backstory and current relationships. It did, and frankly the execution in this case (as in Action Comics) is turning out to be quite engaging on its own terms.
Cheers, and thanks for reading!