Superman: Villains #1 is published by DC Comics, written by Brian Michael Bendis, Matt Fraction, and Jody Houser, with art done by Michael Gaydos, Riley Rossmo, Scott Godlewski, Bryan Hitch, Cully Hamner, Steve Lieber, and Jim Mahfood. Colorists on the book include Michael Gaydos, Ivan Plascencia, Gabe Eltaeb, Alex Sinclair, Dave McCaig, Nathan Fairbairn, and Jim Mahfood, with lettering from Dave Sharpe, Clayton Cowles, Tom Napolitano, Troy Peteri, and Josh Reed.
Superman has told the world his secret identity, that he is Clark Kent, a reporter for the Daily Planet. This news has shocked the world, with citizens trying to wrap their heads around the idea that the strongest man in the world is an alien posing as them, holding a regular 9-5, and paying actual bills. Some are flabbergasted and wonder if the entire thing is a joke. However, it’s not only the people Kal El saves that are surprised by this news but also his villains, on Earth, other planets, and different dimensions. Everyone is asking what does this mean?
One of the best parts of Superman: Villains #1 is Lex Luthor reading the paper, being surprised by the news, and being confronted with hundreds of voicemails from The Joker. The Joker taunts him over the fact that he’s been fighting Superman for all these years, and the bane of his existence literally works across town.
Another interesting part of this issue is the switch between Superman’s superhero life and his day job as a reporter at the Daily Planet. It’s a nice change of pace and a reminder that Superman’s life has issues on both fronts. While there are a lot of writers on this issue, it is unclear exactly who penned what and in what scenes but their amalgamation is great at staying on course with the tone of the story, surprise, and confusion.
Readers and fans of the art teams’ work will enjoy this issue with the way different artists, showcasing different scenes portray the art. Some panels are vibrant and colorful, while others give off a realistic style, where characters look like real people, and the colors are dark and dull. Whenever Superman is on the page and he’s shown subduing a villain, the art and colors pop. The panels are large and wide so you can take in all the action and aftermath of the fight.
However, whenever Superman is Clark Kent and at the Daily Planet, the colors are dark, dull, and serious. I’ve never seen this type of artwork, the use of almost drawing characters hyper realistically and then blurring the image just a bit, so it was a bit jarring. However, I appreciated it. This did a great job showcasing both hero and secret identity. The mix of artwork sometimes works, but sometimes it doesn’t. Oddly enough it works well when telling the story of Superman and switching over to Clark Kent. Overall, the story is easy to follow with large panels. However, the script is lengthy which sometimes left very little room for lettering forcing it to be too small and condensed.
When scenes revisit the drama happening in the Daily Planet, it can get a bit confusing. I constantly asked myself what was going on and there was no reference to other comic issues of Superman including past events affecting this story directly.
Superman: Villains #1 sets the tone for a wild ride. It will be interesting to see how other villains of Superman take the news of who he truly is and what further ramifications may come. Superman’s bombshell news doesn’t just affect his superhero life but it seems to have spilled into his civilian and work-life. This will be interesting to see in issues to come.
Superman: Villains #1
Superman: Villains #1 sets the tone for a wild ride. While there are a lot of writers on this issue, it is unclear exactly who penned what and in what scenes but their amalgamation is great at staying on course with the tone of the story, surprise, and confusion. However, the mix of artwork sometimes works, but sometimes it doesn’t.