Review: Superman #42
Truth and Justice have thus far been somewhat bizarre story arcs for Superman. They have focused on the loss of his powers and the outing of his Clark Kent persona, but they have done so in a haphazard way. The problem with the approach to this new Superman is the that the story is being told in four different ways in four different series by four different creative teams. While Action Comics and the pair-up titles with Batman and Wonder Woman have looked at how Superman is going to deal with the changes in his life, the main Superman title has mostly looked at what happened to make him into the weakened version of his former self, and is thus filling in the blanks that most of the readers are wondering about how this happened and why Lois revealed his identity.
The story here follows on the previous issue, and tells the background story of the changes in Superman’s life. After a confrontation between Lois and Clark near the beginning of the issue where Lois confirms that Clark and Superman are one and the same, the mysterious figure known as Condesa tells the assembled group that there is a lot more going on here that what it seems. She is part of an organization called Hordr which a group of hacker like people who live in a high-tech pocket dimension, and who try to obtain as much information as they can about everyone. It is through them that Clark’s identity has become known, at least in part.
This issue kind of works and kind of doesn’t. The story is lacking in parts, and specifically in that Lois’ character is so off in terms of her characterization over the years. So too is there is a bit of a problem with Hordr. If Superman’s identity is to become public knowledge, it would be more impressive with a big story, not just a group of high-tech hackers. More so, Hordr is a bit of a miss, just as police brutality was treated in a superficial way in the last Action Comics, so too are modern questions about the likes of Snowden and Anonymous treated superficially here. That being said though, the story is better here than it has been elsewhere in this odd new angle for Superman, but it seems like those making the decisions about this new direction for the character need a lot more coherence in their decisions.
Story: Gene Yang Art: John Romita Jr.
Story: 6.8 Art: 6.8 Overall: 6.8 Recommendation: Pass