While Superman #0 was his first issue, I’m looking at Superman #13 since that officially started his time on there. Lobdell was also writing Teen Titans, Red Hood and the Outlaws, and Superboy at this time. He had also worked on the X-Men books in the 1990s. The art is done by Kenneth Rocafort who was also on Red Hood and the Outlaws with Lobdell. Rocafort also did pencils for Action Comics before the New 52 and did a lot of stuff for the publisher, Top Cow.
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: Kenneth Rockafort
Colors: Sunny Gho
Letters: Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor: Darren Shan
Editor: Eddie Berganza
The issue starts out with Superman in nothing but his red underwear… I knew they were going to bring them back somehow! He’s actually benchpressing the Earth’s weight in this weird mech suit at the center of the Earth... yep, Uberman is back. Dr. Shay Veritas, the creator this weird abomination, looks over his vitals. The two talk about Superman’s limits. It turns out that he’s been doing this for five days, so Clark suits up and rushes back home. He stops by his apartment which he’s sharing with Jimmy Olsen. He’s shocked to find Jimmy with a companion in the shower… Roomates. They think they own the place or something.
After he gets the thoughts of a naked Jimmy out of his head, he goes to the Daily Planet. He gets jumped on by Perry and Lois (who a producer at this time) about not reporting on Superman sightings. Clark retorts that Superman isn’t just going to show up and hang with the homies or something like that. When Lois gets a text message, Clark “accidentally” spies on her. He’s shocked to learn that she is moving in with her boyfriend, Jonathan. Even though he’s now gotten with Wonder Woman, he’s still down about that fact.
Suddenly, Morgan Edge (who’s now black) shows up. He also wonders why Clark isn’t reporting on Superman and looking for other important things to report on. Clark gives him his mind and then some. After his epic speech, he quits the Daily Planet. Outside, he finds Kathrine Grant who also did the same thing. Things turn for the worst when a giant beast that’ll give King Ghidorah a run for his money attacks Metropolis. Clark suits up and faces the monster who hurtles him all the way to Europe. When Superman realizes that the dragon is made up of decaying cells, he destroys it by setting off an oil main. When Superman comes to, he finds Supergirl berating him for destroying a Kryptonian creature. The issue ends with a strange figure unknowingly hovering above them.
I thought this was a good issue for the most part. While there are some things that were pretty weird, I liked it. The story itself was fine. Not a lot happens, but it’s enough to be interesting. Superman himself is fine though it is weird that he acts a little out of character at points during the issue. The whole “spying on Lois” thing was one big example. His power levels also seem pretty inconsistent. At one point, he’s benchpressing the Earth, so why was he having trouble with the Ghidorah rip-off? I did like the introduction of Shay Veritas.
The inclusion of Supergirl was fine even if she was pretty mad the whole time. If there’s one complaint about Lobdell on the book, it’s that his Supergirl is pretty annoying which sucks. Clark’s resignation was cool but I did think it was weird for him to take off the glasses during his speech. The art makes it look like no one was looking at him straight, but I did think that was a dumb move. The appearance of the unknown figure was interesting and did get me interested for the first crossover for the Super-family books.
I will say that the artwork is really good. It kind of has an anime (or manga) feel to it. I wouldn’t know about the manga part since I’ve really haven’t read any. Everyone looks good and the suit looks pretty cool. While it was already included in a previous story, I like what they did with compacting the suit. It makes little sense, but I’ll take it. The inks and colors also look really good. I really don’t have any complaints with the art here. It’s all good.
Overall, this was a decent read. I stayed on though “H’El on Earth” and a few more issues until I let the book go because of budgetary reasons. Lobdell stayed on the book till about #31. Then, the man known as Geoff Johns came to the title and brought John Romita Jr. along with him. So far, I have to say that the Johns/Romita Jr. team-up looking pretty good. Well, I have one more somewhat present story to look at and I’ll be done. Peace and God Bless.
NEXT TIME: A SUPERMAN WHO HAPPENS TO BE BLACK!!