Written by Gene Leun Yang
Art by Howard Porter, Don Ho and Jerome K. Moore
Colors by HI-FI
Cover by Howard Porter and HI-FI
This issue has a simple story but a dire one at that. Clark locates Steve Trevor to get access to A.R.G.U.S.’s vault of Kryptonite so that he can remove his cells that cannot absorb yellow sunlight. Then he will have his powers back once those cells are gone. The science laid out for this issue makes complete sense. Clark can’t absorb yellow sunlight which is the reason his powers have been weak to nonexistent all this time. Finally, we have a answer for what HORDR ROOT did to Clark so that he could barely be Superman anymore! Through Gene Leun Yang’s writing I could tell how desperate Clark is to get his powers back so that he can be the hero the world needs. He is sick of falling by the wayside unable to help the world as much as he could be and as much as his birthright had allowed him in the past. It’s not easy for Clark to focus on sorely absorbing Kryptonite to slough off his dead cells because a certain robot has it out for him so that he will not be a problem for Vandal Savage anymore.
As soon as Kryptonite makes an appearance in this comic, I have never read anything more intense than Superman wanting to get a hold of as much kryptonite as possible. It was very odd to see as a Superman fan. Your hero whose only weakness is a green rock from his homeworld, that he always tries to run away from, and it’s the only thing that can potentially save him. From Kryptonite till the end of this issue, it felt like time had stopped as Clark needed more and more so that he could be redeemed. Even on the point of certain death, looking as frail as I have ever seen Superman, besides the Dark Knight Returns, the last action and final page of this book he plunges himself into a vault of kryptonite, WHAT!? Absolutely great storytelling by Yang with a huge hook making me want to dive into the next issue. The thing with this new continuity is anything could happen! Clark could live or die or change in someway that will make his character different than we have seen him the last 76 years but only until we get to Action Comics #49 will we know what happens next.
Porter, Don Ho, and Moore’s art in this issue is incredibly detailed, it makes Clark and Steve Trevor look like they have both been through the ringer but persevering to accomplish their goals. Their portrayal of Clark makes him look weathered and holding on to his sanity within an inch of his life, literally, because he is 100% completely mortal now. Not much can be said different then the art style by Porter and HI-FI as I mention below but crisp detailed drawings and rich saturated colors. I do have to comment on the extent that this team of art brings to Clark being withered away by Kryptonite to eliminate the dead cells from his body. He looks like he might die any second but he knows that if he eliminates the dead cells from his body he will get his powers back. Showing Clark’s greatest struggle of his life, basically plummeting to the one thing that can kill him, was very traumatic and emotional to see because a character I have loved since the beginning of my comic career is inching closer and closer to his death. The last page of Clark laying in a pile of Kryptonite makes me instantly want to pick up the next issue to see how much of Clark is left in the true gauntlet of his life.
The cover of this issue by Howard Porter and HI-FI is literally a what-the-fuck type of cover. Superman’s weakness is Kryptonite, so why is he holding kryptonite in his hand? This is a beautiful cover especially for the story that is revealed right behind it. While it doesn’t make sense now by the end it is damn poetic how great this cover is for the story. Superman’s black, yellow, and blue shirt behind a rich glowing green Kryptonite shard is full of contrasting color. I like the detail Porter puts into this cover especially with Clark’s veins turning green because of how they are affected by him being in contact with Kryptonite. HI-FI is a great colorist and all those rich saturated colors work awesome in a story where the main character’s colors are red and blue.
Garrett’s Rating 8/10