By Geoff Johns, John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson & Laura Martin
The collaboration of Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr. continues to explore the dynamics between Ulysses and Superman. Now, with a common enemy, the Machinist, they track the rogue down, which leads to deeper rabbit hole. All the while, Clark tries to impart his philosophies and methods to the newcomer.
The plot in this issue is fairly straightforward, but what elevates it are the discussions between Clark and Neil. Through these conversations Johns conveys what makes Superman such a mighty superhero and why he is still relevant. Also, through this, Geoff shows what happens when one can not fathom how hope can exist in these violent times. Taking current events and melding it into the mythology grounds the material, which is especially hard when it comes to Superman stories. He makes it look so easy.
There were a couple of pages that seemed incongruent with the rest of the book in terms of the artwork; it seems as if different colors were used. More than likely it’s a printing issue though. Overall, this is another strong example from this art team. Going through the issue one can’t help but wonder if Johns says to himself when writing, “What can I have John draw that will be really cool to see?” The highlight is the sequence on the cargo ship in the North Atlantic. The moody atmosphere of the night allowed Klaus Janson and Laura Martin to play with shadows and a darker palette that is normally not seen in Superman comics. It all comes together very well.
This isn’t necessarily the strongest issue in the arc, but it still packs a punch. It’s four issues in, so there’s no reason to stop reading, nor should one do so. As gimmicky as this may sound, this is a creative powerhouse many thought would never happen, so it’s best to have a front row seat to this great ride.