It’s the aftermath of the Super-Family’s war with the Invisible Mafia. They won. There’s time for everyone to breathe, reflect on recent events. Such as the news that Jimmy Olsen is the new owner of the Daily Planet.
At the Hall of Justice, super-scientists have been working up the results of their studies into super-clone Conner Kent.
The question now is, where will the 21st-century Superboy live? Easy answer.
Super Son Jon Kent is serving as the Superboy of the Legion of Super-Heroes, but before he returns to ‘future college’ he wants to spend the afternoon helping the hard-hit people of Metropolis. And talk about his possible girlfriend, the mental-powered Saturn Girl.
Then it’s time to say goodbye. For now, only.
And we end where we began, at the Daily Planet, with editor Perry White rallying the troops for a new day.
Oh boy, I loved this issue. It’s the perfect capper to Brian Michael Bendis’s run as Superman writer. There are no fights with super-villains but there are good deeds aplenty and so many wonderful moments of character interaction, from Jimmy and Perry to Krypto and Conner. In fact, that second moment comes on a page which encapsulate everything I love about this issue.
Warmth. Family. Love. Friendship. Hope. The promise of a better future. This is the Super Family. This is the page that should be handed out to every writer and editor dealing with them for decades to come.
There is one headscratching moment – Jimmy saying he didn’t know there was an Olsen family fortune when it was a big part of the recent mini-series to which the Daily Planet scene is referring.
The surprising comment is eminently forgiveable in the face of such brilliant, insightful lines as Conner’s ‘Maybe it’s just because the world is so loud to us.’
A big part of the success of this issue is the visuals, with penciller John Romita Jr and inker Klaus Janson producing their best work since they joined the title. The compositions are smart, the facial expressions work, the finishes are good – the artists capture the sheer zest for life conjured up by the script. I like how they have the Supers zooming across the pages, with speed trails brightly rendered by Brad Anderson. The colourist does a fantastic job, too, of conjuring up the Kansas cornfields and, at the other extreme, helps the Hall of Justice lab look future-cool. And as ever, Dave Sharpe give us a sterling job of lettering.
The final page, neatly, echoes many of the opening splashes of this run, showing a cubicle adorned with Post-It notes referring to story elements. This time it’s goodbyes and thank yous from Bendis, with this one being my favourite.
If that’s not a nod to my pal Anj, of Supergirl Comic Box Commentary, who wrote many a post pondering the mysteries of Leviathan, I’ll eat my Invisible Mafia membership card.
This isn’t a Christmas comic – there’s not a snowflake to be seen – but it gave me the same warm fuzzies that all the best festive tales do. It’s a nice accident of timing, but also a testament to the sheer humanity of the Superman cast as written by Brian Michael Bendis. I shall miss him.