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Superman #42

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By Gene Yang, John Romita Jr., Dean White, Klaus Jansen, Will Quintana & Tomeu Morey

Superman #42 is the latest issue in DC’s flagship Superman book and with Gene Yang at the helm, continues to explore the “Truth” event. Unfortunately, this issue offers one of the most average chapters in the event so far which is disappointing given the potential of this arc.

There are a few things to like about Superman #42 though, with multiple areas working well. The character interactions were perhaps the highlight of the book, with the exchanges between Condesa and Jimmy working just as well as the dialogue between Clark and Lois. The action sequences are fairly entertaining as well, with some good, dynamic fight sequences that inject energy into this book and keep it exciting. However, it never emerges as anything more than a quick read, with the events in this issue being quickly forgettable and nothing really emerges as anything memorable enough to make this issue be regarded as a “must buy” no matter how much potential was there.

As mentioned above, the villain doesn’t really work. Hodr_Root is the name for the antagonist and emerges as some kind of cyber hacker/sinister organization leader, but never really seems as a credible threat nor is he well-developed enough for us to not see anybody new. He feels one-dimensional and as a result, the issue feels predictable. We already know what Lois is going to do next, and it doesn’t help that her character isn’t handled very well here by Yang, which is a shame given what Lois should be doing. Her character feels bratty and jealous of Clark not telling her a secret, not getting why he wants to be normal when he’s Superman, and much like a lot of things, it never really feels like the Lois Lane that fans will be familiar with. However, that said, her character still manages to interact well with the others and the characters remain one of the strongest part of this book. It’s clear to see where Yang’s strength lies and hopefully we’ll have some good character driven stories in the series to come whilst the writer remains on the book.

Yes, the book may not be the strongest issue in the “Truth” event, but that doesn’t make it a bad issue, in fact, despite the problems with #42 I still enjoyed it a fair bit. Romita Jr.’s pencils live up to the quality needed to effectively convey the emotional drama that these characters are going through and there are some very strong panels in the book that are coloured well by Dean White. You will probably be already aware that this issue that everyone is talking about, the one where Clark reveals his identity to Lois, and the reveal doesn’t disappoint despite the issues with Lois’ character. It’s effective and powerful. The multiple colourists on this book work well together in handling the atmosphere that the book creates, with Dean White joined by Will Quintana and Tomeu Morey whilst Klaus Jansen handles the inks. As a result, the art feels like one of the stronger parts to this book, with several dynamic panels that really work. The highlight of course is the panel where Clark reveals his Superman suit to Lois, which is a pretty important moment especially when we know what’s coming next and how the betrayal (as teased by the text over Lois’ face) is handled should be very interesting indeed.

Despite a few mixed complaints that this reviewer had with Superman #42 it was still a pretty solid book that continues the “Truth” event and it will be interesting to see what Yang has in store going forward.

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