Writers: Kurt Busiek, Geoff Johns
Artist: Pete Woods
Publisher: DC Comics
Itís a bird! Itís a plane! ItísÖClark Kent??
Itís One Year Later, and things are very different in Metropolis. Clark Kent, not Superman, takes center stage in this tale, since he has apparently taken some time off from being the Man of Steel. Itís done him well, because heís a better reporter, can spend more time with Lois, and has Supergirl to help out when the need arises. Oh, and the need definitely arises. In a nod to the Curt Swan days of Big Blue, we are introduced toÖThe Kryptonite Man! Yes, K-Man is your standard lab experiment gone wrong on an already morally corrupt manÖfor now. I doubt weíve seen the last of him with this issueís ending.
This is greatness. Itís a return to the Superman tales that brought me into the title almost twenty years ago (has it been that long?). All the characterizations, from Clark and Lois to Jimmy and Perry, even including Luthor, are spot-on. We see the emergence of a future threat to Superman once he inevitably returns, and we see how smoothly Clark has been able to make the transition to normalcy with the help of Supergirl. We also get to see hints of the other various One Year Later changes taking place around the DCU, such as Supernova and Batwoman.
The art is terrific, with the coloring adding an almost "Birthright" feel, yet with the pencils remaining just different enough to be unique unto itself. I really loved the visual nod to the pre-Crisis Kryptonite Man, and canít wait to see the other villains that Geoff and Kurt crank out, and how Pete decides to interpret them.
During the past few years Iíve really backed off the Superman titles, because the creative teams changed so often, and each titleís style was so hard to get a feel for. I had grown up enjoying the triangle days of tighter continuity, and with this arc, I feel like all is once again right with the world. I greatly look forward to seeing where it goes, and have added it to my pull list.
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