This special contains different short stories about Superman. Most of them are about how he impacts the lives of ordinary people.
A young Clark nearly kills Pete Ross when he uses his powers in anger. Superman tries to keep busy while Lois Lane is sick. Clark battles an alien insect swarm while protecting his secret identity. Criminals talk about why it’s better to be caught by Superman than other heroes. An agoraphobic gets over his fear by believing Superman is his personal savior. Supes has a busy five minutes while waiting for Lois. And we follow the aftermath of a fight between Superman and Bizarro.
These are the kinds of stories that are meant for annuals and specials like this. The ideas are clever, but are difficult to flesh out into a full length comic. Some of the ideas are familiar, but presented with a new twist. My favorite is the one with criminals comparing crimefighters. It’s rare to see superheroes from the point of view of normal crooks. The story with Clark keeping busy while Lois is sick displays a humorous side of Clark’s personality and the funny bickering between married people. These stand in contrast to the young Clark story, which conveys the underlying fear in raising a child with superhuman powers.
The only dud in the book is the final story with Bizarro. Instead of seeing the actual fight, we see people talk about it after it’s moved on. So it’s the opposite of a typical fight story. But the pattern is broken in the story’s ambiguous ending.
After a year of “New Krypton” stories, it was refreshing to see some bona fide Superman stories. It was great to see Kal-El suiting up and fighting crime in his own unique style. The unusual story ideas presented him in a new light and revealed different aspects of his character. Long time fans and new readers will enjoy this.
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