Some of the biggest sticks that are used to beat the character of Superman is that he’s boring, too powerful and one-dimensionally predictable. Anyone who’s been reading recent issues of Superman or Action Comics might be left scratching their heads at what’s happening with the character though.
If there’s one claim that can’t be laid at the feet of the current editorial teams it’s that it is anything but predictable. If anything, you’d be doing well to figure out just what on Krypton is going on. It didn’t help that Action Comics was the first out of the traps for the character under the new DC You creative banner.
In this we had a title character with greatly reduced powers who is more vulnerable than ever. The explanation for this – we were asked to see Superman #42, which wouldn’t be released for another three weeks. When that issue arrived we were given a Superman with powers fully intact and it dawned on readers that we might have to wait months to find out the real cause for the Man Of Steel’s new found status.
Once you’ve accepted this there’s fun to be had in a genuinely new take on the character, the shame is that, like any change to a major comic franchise, it isn’t likely to last long. Something that long term readers of Batman and Detective Comics will be only too familiar with.
With Bruce Wayne presumed dead, Jim Gordon becomes the new Batman. Or should that be the latest new Batman as he’s actually the 10th different character to don the cape and cowl.
To be fair to Scott Snyder, there’s no drop at all in quality with the new direction, even if at times there seems to be more in common with Robocop than Batman with these titles.
There was a danger that when DC announced the new direction for the group it would blow up in their faces. That hasn’t been the case, it’s early days but this is the first major change of direction since the days of the New 52 and the signs are promising.
That said it’s perhaps telling that the most gripping of the DC titles at the minute is The Darkseid War. Here we have the Justice League caught in the middle as Darkseid and The Anti-Monitor wage war on each other.
It’s hugely entertaining with an epic sense of scale that entertains on every level. It’ll be interesting to see where it fits in with the rest of the current DC Universe though as it features Bruce Wayne and not Jim Gordon as Batman and Superman is at full capacity, power wise.