Superman 681 review

Part 2 of the New Krypton storyline running through the Superman family of books, kicks off with an attractive Alex Ross cover showing flying Kandorians, marred only by his usual chubby Superman, and a fugly event banner at the top. Not the unknown designer's greatest moment.

Inside, a dull page one - the cliched TV news montage - is succeeded by a fantastic shot of the Daily Planet city room. Artists Renato Guedes and Wilson Magalhaes give us dozens of little Planeteers engaging in the business of news gathering and it made me smile. And thanks to colourist David Curiel for not swathing everything in some uniform tone.

Of the Planet staff, Perry, Steve, Lois and Lola look fine, though Jimmy is a tad spooky, too wan-looking. The art team's Superman, though, is perfect; handsome, noble, troubled, powerful, thoughtful. And they do a sterling job with the various JLA and JSA guest stars who pop up to question Superman about the huge influx of super-powered Kryptonians. In fact, the entire illustration aspect of the issue is wonderful, right through to the arrival of the Last Page Shocker baddie. (And one reaction shot in a very busy 25-reaction shot page indicates that at least one Kandorian will be causing trouble.)

Writer James Robinson handles this chapter with grace, showing the world's reactions to the Kryptonians, Superman's desperate need to believe his people are a good thing for Earth and - because no one demanded it - the return of Agent Liberty. But the greatest moment in the book occurs away from Metropolis and Kandor, as the mourning Ma Kent gets a very good houseguest.

But action aside, the most exciting moment of the book for this old fart fan comes with the blurb at issue's end, for Adventure Comics Special 1. Dan Didio hinted at it in a Newsarama interview yesterday, as I write this, and it looks like one of DC's oldest books is indeed returning. Magic!