Superman #30 review

Possessed by Parallax, Superman is confronted by Sinestro. Once partners, the leader of the Yellow Lanterns and the fear creature battle it out for Superman's soul. 

The Green Lantern-turned-villain, though, has back-up. Transported to the world of Qward by the lightning bolts of its warrior Weaponers, Superman is trussed up by Sinestro. He wants to control Parallax, but if the beast remains in Superman, it's hiding, or dormant. 

Sinestro concludes that Parallax is indeed close by. 

As for what happens next, read this issue and, if you skipped part one because we're technically in fill-in territory, go back and buy it now. Yes, Superman #30 is by creators other than the regular team, but it fits right in and delivers some classic moments. Writer Keith Champagne captures the best of our hero in a packed, pacy conclusion that finds room for the odd delightful surprise. From defiance in the face of nightmares through compassion towards his enemies to a truly inspirational speech, this is prime Superman. Sinestro, meanwhile, with his yellow energy cat o'nine tails and dismissive attitude towards the Man of Steel, is a terrific foil. 

And while the art is occasionally inconsistent - compare Sinestro's henchwoman Lyssa Drak from panel to panel - its good-looking, dynamic work from illustrators Ed Benes, Tyler Kirkham and Philip Tan and a trio of colourists, presumably done on a deadline crunch. Sinestro has that satanic look I enjoy, Parallax is scary despite the goofy design and Superman utterly heroic. My favourite piece of art shows Superman's fears - it's likely too small here to show the detail, but try clicking on it for a larger view. 


Oh, and look at the way Superman's cape blows above his head, something we should see occasionally, but never do - can anyone recall another example? 

Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza and Wil Quintana's regular cover is a classic movie poster composition, deftly executed, while Jorge Jimenez and Alejandro Sanchez's variant is another take on the main conflict that works almost as well.  

With these two issues, Keith Champagne makes a great case to be the first choice fill-in writer on the Superman books - I hope he returns soon. 

Comments

  1. As a fan of self-contained stories, I appreciate a good fill-in, and I liked this one a lot. Superman's fears, particularly, seemed right on target.

    And yes, Champagne is a talented writer -- I'd love to see fill-ins from him all around the DCU. Flash, maybe? Green Arrow? Batgirl?

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    1. Any and all of these would be worth a read, I'm sure!

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  2. I also loved this fill-in.
    Like you, seeing Superman's fears was one of the best moments. While the 'you didn't save us' ones are well established, the more personal ones about Jon and Lois were interesting and showed how human he is. Who hasn't been afraid of losing a loved one?

    Good pick up on the upward cape! I can't recall the last time I saw it without him actively flying down to land.

    Nice little self-contained story. Always appreciated!

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    1. The fear that Jon would go bad, via possession or whatever, also makes a lot of sense when he's thinking of Parallax, who did terrible things via his pal Hal Jordan.

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  3. really like this issue but Sinestro knows who Superman is thanks seeing his fears an he knows about Jon that he is Superman's son if Sinestro does attack Superman again he may try to get Jon as well he did respect Superman's abilities not the man himself plus Sinestro can't help trying to mentor people to his way of thinking i.e. force them an he may try an recruit Superboy

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    1. That'd be a fascinating story, Sinestro trying to befriend Jon... I could see Damian being an easy mark.

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    2. eh Thaal would be wary of Robin it would a back an forth game of chess for dominance Jon is a blank slate he can work with plus Robin would be way to distracted looking at Lyssa Drak

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  4. We could do with more Superfamily vs mainstay DC villains. There's a good Clark vs Grodd story somewhere out there.

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    1. They faced off in Action Comics in the 70s, but they're definitely due for a rematch!

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    2. And didn't he fight Star Sapphire back in the Bronze Age? Fun times.

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