By Sholly Fisch, Jeff Johnson, and Andy Smith
Superman 23.1 is the first book of the Superman family to get the villains month treatment. DC has decided to devote an entire month to some of the great villains their universe has to offer, and in Superman, we start off with the origin of Bizarro.
This issue sheds a little light on how Bizarro came to be. Lex Luthor is our tour guide, and he narrates the book for the reader. Lex tries to counter Superman by creating one of his own, but the only problem is that the Man of Steel can’t be re-created. Luthor tries anyway, and we end up with the tale of our backwards villain.
Sholly Fisch has written some back up stories in Action Comics and is finally getting a chance to show what he can do with a whole issue. Bizarro can sometimes be an irritating character, but Fisch does a pretty good job with this new 52 version. Lex Luthor is the star of the issue and Fisch writes him very well. Everything you would expect from a criminal mastermind is represented, and well, he clearly has a grasp on the character. If this is a platform for Fisch to show his story telling abilities, it should be considered a success.
The pencils are done by Jeff Johnson this issue. There really aren’t many things that stand out about his work. You could go through the book and everything feels very average. The one panel that does come to mind, that a reader will remember, is that of Bizarro’s eye as Luthor fights the beast. Johnson’s art is not bad by any means, it’s just plain. The panel set up and color scheme are interesting, but last only a few pages.
The Superman kick-off for villains month was all right, not bad, but not great. Readers at least get an introduction to the new 52 Bizarro, and Lex Luthor, again shows why he is a great character. This is mostly a book for devout Superman fans.