For a place that bills itself as the City of Tomorrow, Metropolis sure is a backwards town. That’s the point a character makes in Against the Odds and I agree – citizens are protesting against the very possibility of a legal casino, convinced it will make their lovely, quiet hometown, where crime is unknown, a veritable Sodom or Gomorrah. The guy I’m agreeing with is a skeevy councilman – but that doesn’t mean he’s wrong.
Covering the council meeting is Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane, but as Councilman Davidson doesn’t like her, she slips hubby Clark in there to catch him off guard.
After the meeting, Clark rushes away to check out a bank robbery in progress.
Robbery foiled, Superman is struck by the amateurish antics of the would-be jewel robbers. Back at the Daily Planet, Clark shares his suspicions with editor Perry White.
Perry, though, orders Clark to help Lois with her casino story…
Writer Robert Venditti follows last week’s flashy Parasite battle with a lower key tale, although there’s still lots of action with the Metropolis Marvel. The villain of the piece, a legacy version of a Golden Age character who lacks his grandfather’s cool dress sense, isn’t up to a one-on-one with Superman, but his schemes do provide a challenge. More importantly, they motivate great moments like this.
Isn’t that lovely, how Superman sits down on the pavement with the distressed woman, wanting to comfort her? There’s none of that uncharacteristic hovering above people that became a cliche in the New 52.
In the Silver and Bronze Ages of comics, when called to action Superman would compress Clark’s clothing and slip it into the pouch of his cape; now his wardrobe is shrinking because he keeps leaving it behind as he goes up, up and away. Get a pouch, Clark!
The Lois and Clark relationship is defined with masterly strokes, while Jimmy, well, it wold be nice of Lois, just once, trusted him to do his job without instruction from her.
With few strokes compared to many of his peers, penciller Paul Pelletier captures telling expressions. The big dramatic moments are equally good, with one highlight seeing Superman do his stuff in a burning building. Drew Hennessy’s bold inks further define the world, while colourist Adriano Lucas adds light and shade. Together, the three artists give us nice representations of x-Ray vision and super-hearing; hopefully, in time, we’ll get to see hope they represent the lesser-used super-powers, such as super-ventriloquism and ice breath.
Clayton Cowles letters with his usual professionalism while Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona and Tomeu Morey provide that keeper of a cover.
At 99p this 24pp story is no gamble, but pure win