Review: Superman: Space Age #1
There’s so many different takes on Superman throughout the years. The character is an icon and the basic take on the character tends to focus on a few pillars that are part of his DNA. The idea of a god-like person raised as a normal human and what he does with that power is key. The optimistic outlook is pretty important as well. Superman: Space Age #1 takes us to that time as Clark Kent is figuring those things out. Set in the 1960s, the issue has Clark on his farm trying to figure out the future and his place in it.
Written by Mark Russell, Superman: Space Age #1 starts with a disaster. It’s the end of existence as Clark/Superman huddles with Lois and their son as existence looks to end. Russell shifts things back a bit taking us through the early years as Clark transitions from farmer to journalist. There, he meets a man named Pariah who says existence has 20 years. For those steeped in DC history, you know where this is going but it’s done in a way that feels fresh and interesting. It also ties into some of Russell’s bigger themes he explores. What is Clark’s destiny. Is it written in stone like Pariah’s view of the future? Can Clark change things at all?
The issue dances around these concepts as we’re taken through major events and some alt-history in the DC Universe. The death of President Kennedy is key to events as it triggers the rising threat of nuclear war. Clark taking his first steps to prevent that almost causes what he attempts to prevent. It’s all small moments that can really take things one way or another. Single individuals who impact world changing events. Russell nails all that down in a very cohesive and focused story.
The art by Michael Allred is great as always. Joined by Laura Allred on color and lettering with Dave Sharpe, the comic plays off of the time period it’s set. Things have a retro look as we get to see a take on Batman of the time, Lex Luthor’s world feels a bit more out of Mad Men, small details like clothes and transportation keep reminding readers when the story is set. The story’s time period is key and the art really nails it but at the same time keeps things with a slight future twist about it. There’s a pop sensibility about it, the type the Allred’s excel at.
Superman: Space Age #1 is an interesting debut. It’s a comic that has a clear focus and theme running throughout. It does a great job of not overdoing its concepts but in each key moment, those concepts are important. It has an underlying philosophy about it and integrates that into the story in a smooth way that’ll get readers to think and ponder what it has to say.
Story: Mark Russell Art: Michael Allred
Color: Laura Allred Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall:8.25 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review