Clark is realising how much he can do, as he gets stronger by the day; truth be told, he's a little drunk on power, but he gets the job done and is soon writing up the story for the Metropolis Daily Star. Hearing - via his neighbours' TV - that a superstorm is heading for Gotham, he realises he should see what he can do to help. Not yet able to fly under his own steam, he leaps onto a passing plane and sets down over the ocean, hoping to stop the storm in its tracks by creating a water vortex. Also in the area is Lana, now electrical engineer on a cargo boat, and doing everything she can to keep the craft out of danger.
Killing the typhoon proves beyond him, and Superman realises he must save the ship, which is in danger of being flattened by an abandoned, storm-tossed oil tanker. It takes titanic efforts on both their parts, but eventually the Smallville sensations save the day - without either one knowing the other is there (apparently Lana's stopped using the shampoo which, on page one, Superman could smell from three miles away).
Pak and Kuder make an impressive debut. Pak's script provides an insight-packed snapshot of Clark at a formative point in his superheroic career, while giving Lana more of a spotlight than she's had so far in the New 52 continuity. Dual narration points up the similarities between the pair - both risk becoming danger junkies, and both have an implacable drive to get the job done. Clark's excitement and joy in his abilities makes sense, and it's much more my cup of tea than the angsty guy we saw on the Smallville TV show, forever depressed by being able to fly, bend steel with his bare hands, ignite dormant suns ... how awful for him. And his joy becoming overconfidence is a logical follow through, motivating lessons without lectures.
There's so much to praise in this issue that it's tough to pick a standout moment. So here's one of many, as Pakuder (maybe not!) show us the tension the young Superman faces between being accepted, and doing the right thing.
The musing is interrupted by a new mystery, something rumbling under Clark's feet. And there are stirrings thousands of miles away, in Venezuela, where Lana and a mining crew are confronted by a massively mouthed monster.
Pak's script has lots of pep, and McDaniel is on good form, giving us sharp layouts and a pretty good Clark. Colourist Dan Brown takes advantage of the script's reference to a lovely autumn day to bring us sunshine colours, while Carlos M Mangual letters with style, as he does on the main strip.
The cover by Kuder is a clever composition, with Wil Quintana's colours the perfect finishing touch.
After a tumultuous period, the best thing DC could do with this book is keep Pak and Kuder tethered to the title for awhile - they have ideas, they have talent, so let them build up a head of steam and take Superman somewhere new.
And one more thing - is it me or has a certain pose from Man of Steel become near iconic? Twice in one issue!