Best Shots Extra: SUPERMAN: WAR OF THE SUPERMEN #1 Review

Writers Wage the WAR OF THE SUPERMEN

Superman: War of the Supermen #1

Written by Jame Robinson & Sterling Gates

Art by Jamal Igle & Jon Sibal

Colors by Blond

Lettering by John J. Hill

Published by DC Comics

Review by THE Rev. O.J. Flow

Finally.  Some truly great "WTF??" moments have come to the "New Krypton" saga, and it only took a year or so to happen.  Hi-yo!

To be fair, the overall storyline dominating Superman comics since 2008 has been full of captivating occasions, though they've been dogged by drawn out, tiresome sequences in between that have been detrimental to the Superman books as a whole, judging by sales figures for a while.  Half the time I wondered if this was the best way to get Superman out of the way during Blackest Night.  I found myself reminiscing about a similarly-themed galactic arc from three decades ago, seen in New Teen Titans (#s 23-25, plus an Annual when DC revived that concept).  There was some Star Wars-level sh** in that whole "save our teammate Starfire on the other side of the galaxy" that really worked back then, and I keep wondering why it's so difficult for editorial to capture that magic now in tighter, more concise arcs.  

But I digress.  Maybe if we more frequently received the slam-bam-thank you-ma'am glory that can be found in Superman: War of the Supermen #1, the debates over the character's sales viability could be quelled.  Sterling Gates, James Robinson and Jamal Igle kick things off in grand style, and I haven't been this moved on a debut issue since the first offering of Blackest Night"  On the assumption that this title is rotating the creative teams on all the respective books for the four issues of this series (all released in May), the powers that be got it right by utilizing the best duo working right now to kick things off.  If you need an effectively rendered emotional hook, look no further than Gates and Igle.  

Gates -- with the help of James Robinson, of course -- and Igle get to open things up in the Superman universe on top of their superlative work on the monthly "Supergirl."  It's thrilling to see the creative team choreograph a serious throwdown between the Man of Steel and the Phantom Zone's most distinguished exile(s), and then the stakes are raised when Supergirl has a pivotal encounter with her somewhat estranged mother, Alura.  Too much of importance happens to give anything away, but when you effectively evoke Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan AND the first couple of Star Wars films (among other classic epics), you've done something right.  How Superman and his cousin reconcile their dire situation -- minus dialogue, no less -- is moving to comics' most effective. 

Bless DC for compartmentalizing War of the Supermen to one month, because it already feels like a reward to the Superman faithful.  It's also outstanding to see a tight assemblage of civilian and superheroic talent ready to help those who wear the blue, red and El family crest.  If this first issue is any indication, it's gonna be a kick-ass month for Superman.

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