There have been dream team-ups that have lived up to their high expectations (Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee on Batman’s “Hush” storyline) and some that have left readers puzzled (Frank Miller and Lee on “All-Star Batman”). Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr. qualify as the former. After more than three and a half decades at Marvel, Romita brings his square jaws and Klaus Janson’s deep inks to DC. Romita’s style is actually tailor made for Superman as his characters evoke strength and dignity.
Like “Hush”, issue 32 of “Superman” certainly marks a fresh start for the series and the Man of Steel. The events of “Forever Evil” has the circulation of the Daily Planet skyrocketing. Editor-in-chief Perry White needs all the capable hands he can get so he reaches out to Clark Kent, who quit the paper sometime before the New 52. As far as Clark’s alter ego goes, an unknown threat actually manages to harm Superman until a man with power comparable to the Man of Tomorrow swoops in for an impromptu team-up. This man, like Clark, was sent to another world by his parents under nearly identical circumstances as the Kryptonians. He claims that Earth is his home planet and is surprised to find it intact.
It’s always difficult to rate single issues that are known to be starting a huge storyline. Johns usually prefers the slow build rather than the big reveal method, which can be infuriating for fresh-off-the-stand comics readers. The introduction of the superpowered Ulysses is intriguing, though, as it isn’t often that Superman can relate truly relate to anyone as his circumstances are unique, to fully understate matters. Will they be friends, teammates, or eventual rivals? Bet on the latter because that’s the best possibility and what fun would comic books be if everyone got along? Look forward to some great action with plenty of customary property damage as this is going to be huge.