Comics / Comic Reviews / DC Comics

Smallville #4 Review


By Andy Frisk
August 13, 2012 - 20:40

SMALLVILLE_4.jpg
Superman, still in a tenuous position as to how the US Army (and world) is receiving him, is called upon to battle newly animated cyborg Hank Henshaw. Superman prevails, as does Henshaw's better nature, but there is no happy ending where this battle is concerned. Lex Luthor's machinations leave the Man of Steel with only one terrible course of action to take...one that force him to abandon the life he's built with Lois...

Character and situational action, dynamism of characterization, action, adventure, a long term plot...Lois and Clark TOGETHER...all of these characteristics embody what is easily the second best (albeit barely) Superman comic book being currently published, and it's not even an in continuity part of the New 52. Smallville Season Eleven #4 embodies everything that long term Superman fans have been clamoring for ever since our (and my personal Gen X Superman) ceased to exist after flashpoint. Outside of Grant Morrison's Action Comics (which I've warmed to, in part, and have been enjoying more and more each month...it's a shame he's leaving the title soon), Smallville is the only consistent, seemingly long term plotted, and engaging Superman Family comic book DC Comics is publishing. Superman has been an endless parade of one offs and stupid alien threats. Superboy is simply terrible on all storytelling fronts, and Supergirl, which has potential, is suffering from a serious lack of strong supporting characters (like Lana Lang) and strong storytelling (like we had for years under Sterling Gates). It's sad that a comic book based off a television show that I never watched (no tights, no flights didn't float my boat as far as Superman is concerned) is now about to edge the legendary Grant Morrison's super-stories out as my current favorites.

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All of the above goes for the art of Smallville as well. Pere Perez draws the most confident, contemporary, and believable looking Superman. I wish that the changes that were made to the classic Superman suit that appears in Smallville was how the New 52 suit was altered. It's much more subtle and heroic looking (i.e. NO COLLAR!). Sharp, crisp, clear, and beautifully choreographed characters and action are the norm, not the exception, in Smallville.

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So, I'm going to make a proposition to DC Comics. Create a whole universe, and full slate of books, based on the Smallville heroes and villains and you'll win back this wayward Superman fan. It just might take something that drastic to win me back. I always said I'd read Superman comics no matter what because I just simply love the character...but you are making this very hard to do outside of Smallville and Action Comics (at least for now).

Rating: 9 /10


Last Updated: December 31, 2019 - 20:28

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