Superman #7


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Superman #7


  • Words: Keith Giffen
  • Art: Dan Jurgens and Jesus Merino
  • Story Title: To Hel and Back
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Mar 28, 2012

There is little to be excited about from Superman’s new creative team.

George Perez’s Superman stood out as one the biggest failures in DC’S entire New 52 initiative.  The famed artist-turned-writer’s style reeked of trite, worn-out dialogue and creative direction.  After six issues of Perez’s take, DC shook up the creative team, replacing the Man of Steel’s staff with scripter and co-plotter Keith Giffen, along with artist and co-plotter Dan Jurgens.  It is with much disappointment, however, that DC’s attempt to revitalize Superman results in a similar failure to Perez’s.  Though a slight step in the right direction, Giffen and Jurgens’ Superman continues to be plagued by stale inner monologue, countless editorial interruptions, and worst of all a villain that looks more like a flashback to cheesy 90s villains than a contemporary foe.

Giffen’s wording reads smoother than Perez’s over-written text, though that is hardly a difficult task to accomplish.  Even though the writer loses the narration that describes the visual action, both Superman and Clark Kent’s inner monologue drastically slows down the pace of the issue as both break down each and every event into the smallest of pieces.  Superman’s introductory battle with a new technological foe, for example, highlights his deductive abilities as he analyzes the battle for the best course of action.  This may sound interesting, except that it results in the costly expense of the issue’s pacing.  This scene that should read as a kinetic, knock down drag out battle instead plods along as the Man of Steel contemplates each and every move.  Over the course of the issue, what seems to be Giffen’s attempt to explain the events and give an inside look into Superman’s mind instead reads like a writer who is afraid to let his artist portray the action correctly.

Dan Jurgens’ art, for the most part, is sufficient enough for the tale, though nothing super ever makes its way onto the page.  The design of Helspont, Superman’s abducting villain, however, is a throwback to the worst days of 90s enemies.  Readers who can recall the obnoxious Deathstorm from Brightest Day will surely understand the visual problem with Helspont, whose fire-breathing skull and clunky armor look more like an attempt to be “badass” than useful.  Jurgens’ art serves the story well, but there is little on the page to truly be excited about.

Superman #7 is a step in the right direction, but is far from the title the Man of Steel deserves.  The new creative team of Keith Giffen and Dan Jurgens deliver a fair title, but are from producing any new or fresh content.  Despite the greatest hopes of The New 52 initiative, Superman #7 could have easily been released decades in the past.

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