Superman: Up in the Sky #3 – Tom King, Writer; Andy Kubert, Penciller; Sandra Hope, Inker; Brad Anderson, Colorist
Ray – 7.5/10
Ray: Two things don’t entirely go together – ambitious, dark, and experimental comics, and a line of wide-release comics designed for release at a major retailer to get kids into comics. That’s why despite him being one of the most talented people in comics, I don’t think Tom King was the right choice for one of these books, namely Superman: Up in the Sky. This Superman story, taking influence from Kamandi stories where the hero faces a new peril every issue, puts Superman in a new fix each twelve pages. The first story in Superman: Up in the Sky #3 was wildly controversial due to its repeated (if not graphic) depictions of the death of Lois Lane.
I picked up pretty clearly that this was all in Superman’s head, and the plot of Superman trying to get through an interstellar DMV so he can get a call through to her and put his mind at ease was clever. The story still felt a little stretched out, and watching one of comics’ most beloved characters die repeatedly may not be the best way to get young readers into Superman.
The second story was MUCH better, but it still has the same problem of every issue almost feeling like a non-sequiter. It stars Sgt. Rock, one of DC’s most iconic military characters, as Superman gets thrown back in time and space to land in World War 2.
This is not the first time Superman’s found himself in this era – see the excellent “Time and Time Again” storyarc from the early 1990s, which had a brilliant “Superman vs. the Nazis” story – but this is the first told from the perspective of the people he fights alongside. Superman is partially addled by his travels and becomes one of Rock’s soldiers as they fight their way through an Axis army. The eventual reveal of Superman’s powers is done well, and it’s great to see a hardened character like Rock show off a bit of a softer side. I would honestly read a full issue or miniseries of the story in this segment – which is the other flaw of this format. Not all the stories are great, but those that are disappear in a flash.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.