By John Romita Jr, Klaus Janson and Dean White
This month Superman gives us quite a few firsts. This is the first issue that John Romita Jr. is writing and drawing. It’s also the first time Clark Kent gets drunk, which is as fun as it sounds. First or not, this is a one and done issue that was fun.
Usually when an artist takes over writing duties, something tends to suffer; either the art or the writing, but Romita Jr. does a nice job on both. Romita Jr. finds success in allowing the members of the Justice League to be shown as actual friends, something that doesn’t happen often. Seeing the main group go out to a bar as Clark gets drunk off of half a beer is also pretty awesome. While there is a lot to like here, the first pages of the book have many of the characters asking tons of questions and that gets a little annoying. That aside, John Romita Jr. did a good job on most of the characters and made Clark very human and likable. A good first issue for Romita Jr. on the writing side of the book.
The art didn’t look like it had been done by someone doing double duty this month. There are a few panels where things look exaggerated, most notably when Clark is trying out his new power and it appears as if he also possesses Mr. Fantastic’s stretching ability. John Romita Jr.’s art is sometimes called boxy, but this issue doesn’t have many of those characteristics and faces look very good. We also get some funny scenes as Wonder Woman sneaks a look at a naked Clark. No words were needed and Romita Jr. draws the scene perfectly. There is also a cool image of a bloody Superman after defeating 3 crooks. This is an image that is repeated several times in the book and Romita Jr. really makes it look cool. Overall this was one of Romita Jr.’s finer issues on Superman as an artist.
Superman #40 wasn’t a groundbreaking issue, but it was definitely a fun read. It was nice to see the Justice League get the chance to pal around as ordinary people. John Romita Jr. did a nice job on both parts of this book and should be proud of himself. Hopefully this level of consistency can continue in the book and give readers the Superman they deserve.