By Peter J. Tomasi, Mikel Janin, Miguel Sepulveda and Jeromy Cox
The new 52 is coming to an end and there is no bigger issue out there than Superman #52. As DC launches into Rebirth, loose ends need to be tied up and this issue of Superman finally brings a close to all the new 52 Superman books that have crossed over in the past few weeks. While some of the other books in this event have been panned, this issue makes up for what the other lack.
Peter Tomasi has only taken over some of the Superman titles recently. He’s done some decent work in his brief stint, and that should give fans hope for his run on Superman after the re-launch. This is probably the most difficult issue he’s had to write, because it has such a big outcome. Tomasi could be scrutinized for many of the things that take place in this issue, from characterization to the final outcome or even the villain, but he really shouldn’t. The characterization of the characters are absolutely fine, and both Supermen have distinct voices. The villain, while not as epic as Doomsday, is decent enough. There is this trend in comics where an A-list villain needs to be used to take down a major hero, and that doesn’t need to be so. Any person is capable of terrible things that can wreak havoc on another person’s life. The climax of this issue is handled just fine. No battle is casualty free, and this battle happened to have a large casualty. Tomasi gives us a glance at the effects this has on other characters throughout the New 52 run as well. We see Jimmy Olsen in shambles and a depressed Lee reading the paper. Tomasi also gives us a really touching exchange between Superman and Batman near the end of the issue that shows the mutual respect these two characters have for one another. The Final Days of Superman may not have been a great arc overall, but Tomasi turn in a gem with Superman #52.
The pencils this issue are handled by Mikel Janin and Miguel Sepulveda with help on colors by Jeromy Cox. Janin’s pencils are very good this issue. He has a clean art style that makes things look very realistic. This is very clear in the early pages of the book as Superman and Denny Swan battle. Most of this issue is a fight scene, so the art is crucial. There isn’t any panel in this issue that lacks any kind of detail. A full two page spread of Batman nailing Denny with a ship looks excellent as the details of his Batwing are seen through the energy coming off our faux Superman. The colors pretty much rule this issue. Janin and Cox make this book look wonderful with the work they do coloring it. The bright reds and oranges dominate the page as the two Supermen clash. Your eyes are instantly drawn to these illuminating colors on each page. The art is fantastic in every sense. Janin, Sepulveda and Cox should all pat themselves on the back for the work they put in to make this issue shine.
Superman #52 is a wonderful send off for a series that had a rocky existence. Peter Tomasi writes an emotional issue that will make even the toughest readers depressed. The art is downright killer and everyone involved put in an A+ effort. This is an issue worth reading.