Adventures of Superman #1Written by: Jeff Parker, Jeff Lemire, Justin Jordan Art by: Chris Samnee, Jeff Lemire, Riley Rossmo
For starters, Superman is the perfect character for an anthology series. The character is so malleable and open to different interpretations that Adventures of Superman #1′s format helps make it the ultimate destination for the modern, or lapsed Superman fan. Oh, and also because it’s packed with incredible stories.
The first feature feels like an homage to the 90′s Timmverse Animated Series, which in itself is an homage to the early Siegel/Shuster tales. The nostalgia doesn’t hold back the story from packing its layered punch, however. After we see Superman perform his iconic swoop into action, we are made aware that a meth addict is the culprit of the mayhem. Blending the vintage visuals with the modern themes, Jeff Parker delivers the perfect opening for the anthology; a rejuvenation of energy to a character that has had a stale handling as of late. Chris Samnee’s art is spectacular. He’s one of the best in the business at the moment, and wonderfully blends the iconography of Superman and the chaos that he faces.
Jeff Lemire’s portion of the issue handles the very purpose of Superman’s existence – to inspire. The story can be compared to Pete Tomasi’s two page story in Superman/Batman #75, where regular humans use their imagination to channel the exploits of superheroes. Lemire’s story is charming and, well, inspiring. It’s the kind of almost meta story that makes a reader stand back and examine what kind of effect a superhero like Superman has made on their life.
Lastly, Justin Rordan and Riley Rossmo’s story features a character that we’ll probably never see in a grounded film interpretation of Superman in the near future, Bizarro. He’s one of those hokey characters that seldom draws pathos, but Jordan uses the hackneyed character to show Superman’s belief in the ‘capacity of good’ in all beings.
Adventures of Superman #1 never feels redundant in its interpretations of the character. It proves that Superman can infinitely inspire, despite the assumption that the world needs more ‘dark’ and ‘grounded’ characters for the modern age. Adventures of Superman #1 is a continuity-free feat that should be read by all. If you need a primer for Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, or need to convince your friends that Superman isn’t ‘pointless’, this series should be your first destination.