Superman: George Perez, Jesus Merino, Brian Buccellato, Brett Smith, Carlos M. Mangual
One thing can be said about Superman. This is a congruent, real story. It feels like Metropolis here is a real city, in a real world, with real people. The action is over the top, yes, but beyond that, the physics of the world, the laws of the world…all seem to be portrayed with a very potent realism. Actions have consequences. Something questionable happens to a citizen of Metropolis, a reporter, while broadcasting live…so, naturally, the police want to speak with her camera crew who were present, as well as Superman, who helped put a stop to the event. Superman wasn’t able to save a police helicopter that was destroyed in issue #1, so the cops are, naturally, upset with Superman about that. We meet another character, David Corporon, the police commissioner. I’m always happy when there are characters named David. Superman gets caught in a lie when he accidentally says he’s in Metropolis when, before, he said he was in Smallville. Lois gets very suspicious, and finds an image of Superman flying out of the Smallville cemetary. Heather is on a talk show, to which Clark, Jimmy, and Miko are also invited. Perry’s backstage too. I have to say, I do finally see some age in Jimmy. He actually looks like he’s in his late twenties now, which finally fits with the timeline of things. I like that his middle name is Bartholomew, too. Great name. Superman is then faced with the three beings from the last three issues, and they start talking about some really strange things. It’s suggested that they’re programmed, like automatons, and are either there to destroy Superman or Metropolis. It really seems like these things are made to get rid of Metropolis because of the impact on nature, or something. The fire being mentions “environmental compatibility.” They do the fighting thing, and it turns out bad for Superman, leaving us with a twist ending! Beyond that, we see some pretty interesting character stuff, what with Lois thinking about Clark’s lie, the interactions between Jimmy and Miko (who I think should really get together), David Corporon’s eagerness to help Superman, Perry’s fear of Izzy the publisher, and this talk show guy McCoy, who’s a scumbag in many senses of the word. Most interesting, I think, is Heather Kelley. We thought she was just a reporter who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, much like these beings…but she starts acting strangely, trying to cover for Clark, and showing that she…like the other people who were possessed…are still housing these other entities. I’m curious to find out what their ultimate fate will be. While it’s likely that, when it’s all solved, everything will return to normal…but I think it’d be neat to see that either they’ll never be the same again, or if they don’t survive at all.
Superman #4, the verdict: This has been such a fun book to read. I like how consistent the story is, too. This is definitely an “arc,” but each book also feels like an individual book. I like how each feels separate, but they’re so joined. The actions in one book absolutely carry over into the next. It feels so real, that I love it. The inclusion of the various aspects of modern life in these books also helps to accentuate the reality of it all. Talk shows, street cameras, social media, all of that. This is all stuff that we use and see every single day, and so it’s very smart to include it as much as Superman is. And not to mention, the book does center around a lot of people who are entrenched within the media business…so it’s all appropriate.