comic books

Superman #41 Review: Yang’s debut looks pretty freaking promising!

superman 41 review

Superman #41 was the first issue written by the new Superman writer Gene Luen Yang, and unsurprisingly it was pretty great, and is leading us through the events before the big Truth story arc. What’s great about this issue is that it is all about the truth, and reminds us that Clark Kent is an ambassador for truth, which makes him a pretty great journalist. So let’s discuss Superman #41

First a little context for those that haven’t been following the current Superman run: in the current Action Comics run, Superman/Wonder Woman run and Batman/Superman run, we are getting the aftermath of Lois revealing Superman’s identity to the world. Along with that bad luck, Supes is also only on about 50% of his normal power level. This happened because of his new power, the solar-flare. This power allows him to emit all the solar energy in his body at once, causing a really, really huge explosion that eliminates his powers for 24 hours. However this time, his powers have not returned in full force, meaning we have a less powerful Superman.

Some people seem to think he has no powers at all, which is wrong. He can still leap pretty high, and packs a pretty good punch, but he by no means has his normal power level. So yeah there’s been quite the change-up happening in the Superman books, but you know what, it’s pretty great! Why bother falling back into the same old Superman stories that we’ve seen for years now, when you can do something new and explore the Superman character in deeper and more interesting ways?

superman 41 review truth

Anyways, Superman #41 takes place before all of this, and is giving us the series of events that lead up to Lois revealing his identity, and Superman losing his power level. Superman is my favourite character, and I was pretty worried about all the changes to Superman when we first heard about their plans (and saw the first images of Super-Bro). But after reading Action Comics, Batman/Superman, Superman/Wonder Woman and now Superman #41, this Truth arc seems to be a good thing for the character.

So back to this issue! Let us not forget that Superman is an investigative journalist, and a pretty good one too. The issue centres around this idea of Clark being a proponent of truth, and using his skills as a journalist to get it. Because Clark is capable of implementing change not just by super-punching someone, but by using his skills as a journalist as well.

Yang gives us the perfect balance between journalist Clark Kent and Superman Clark Kent, showcasing that the two different sides of his life, are just as important as each other. And it’s great to see Clark Kent’s job really have a strong connection to the main storyline, and to see what journalist Clark Kent is capable of.

superman 41 jimmy olsen panel

As Superman #41 takes place before Lois reveals Clark’s identity to the world, the issue shows us Lois’ suspicions starting to set in. Clark and his faithful sidekick Jimmy Olsen always seem to be up to something, and Lois being the curious one she is, wants to know what’s up. Lois hasn’t been really well utilised since the birth of the New 52, so I’m excited to see her play a pivotal role in the comic. After all we still don’t know what her motivations were for revealing her friend’s identity to the world, so it will be interesting to see what happened to lead her to make that decision.

The mystery in the comic is surrounding an anonymous blackmailer tied with a political conspiracy. Clark Kent seems to be in a little bit of trouble here.

As for the art, I’m still indifferent to Romita’s style, but I think I’ve just gotten used to his style now. But I’m excited about Yang being the new writer on the book. Superman hasn’t had the best run during the New 52, but I have high hopes for Yang’s run!

superman 41 review

After reading Superman #41 I genuinely feel like Yang gets the spirit of the character. The issue may have not been action heavy, but it was exploring the character of Clark Kent and his value for truth and justice. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

So far the Truth story arc has been pretty great, and having writers like Yang and Pak on the Superman books is really making for a great run. Even if you haven’t been following the Superman books for a while, I definitely suggest picking up Superman #41 if you’re even slightly curious about what’s going on with the now depowered Superman with a public identity! 9/10
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4 replies »

  1. Definitely wanna check this out at some point once it’s in trade, including Geoff Johns’ run. JRJR was always hit and miss for me. Kick-Ass and Avengers were awesome and very “comic booky”, but World War Hulk, while well-written despite the anti-climatic ending, just looked haphazard and felt like they should’ve been done by the guy who did the cover art, David Finch. Aside from that, he seems fitting to do Superman.

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    • Yess you definitely should, it’s all the Truth crossovers have been really well done so far! Yeah Romita’s art sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t, although I definitely think that #41 was his best work yet on Superman, or maybe I’m just used to it haha I don’t know, I don’t mind it as much now

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  2. The powers thing I think they did great with– Superman has had this “Solar battery” concept for a long time. Notably after being killed by Doomsday he was de-powered till he could charge back up with Solar stuff. The “blast and recover” lets them tell these kind of de-powered stories periodically without having to jump through more narrative hoops with more and more bizarre plots (Superman Red/Blue lightning powers anyone?)

    Buuuuuuut.. . . the exposing his secret identity takes a lot more to erase. Not a big fan of that. Good for a storyline, maybe, but it will require a LOT of narrative hoops to erase.

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    • Yeah it’s great to get a not as powerful Superman occasionally with this new power without going through weird and convoluted story arcs. As for him having a public identity now, yeah I agree that it probably works better as a one-off story. Not sure how long they will keep it this way for, but I don’t really know how they can sustain this story arc for too long, so it will be interesting to see what they do in the future

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