Superman: Up in the Sky #6 – Tom King, Writer; Andy Kubert, Penciller; Sandra Hope, Inker; Brad Anderson, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: Superman: Up in the Sky has been the most challenging and controversial of the four Walmart books, a dense anthology-like journey of Superman through deep space in search of a kidnapped girl. Along the way, Superman faces one trial after another that tests him physically and mentally. Some of the stories have been almost shockingly dark, but Superman: Up in the Sky #6 pulls it all together nicely.
Still, the format of the story causes some problems. The first story this issue has Superman in battle against the alien mastermind behind the kidnapping, who engineered the whole thing to lure Superman off Earth so he can invade the planet without its most powerful hero. As Superman battles against a powerful armored maniac, his fellow heroes face an army of robots designed to defeat them. The visuals here are excellent and seeing Superman stand up against the odds is always inspiring, but it feels like we’re sort of dropped in mid-story knowing next to nothing about the villain.
The second half is one of the strongest segments of the series, as Superman finally finds the little girl and escorts her back through space the long way – safely flying her in his arms through the galaxies with stops along the way on alien worlds for rest, food, and occasional interventions in crises.
This gives King the opportunity to show Superman at his best – gently comforting those weaker than him and using his strength without ever using it to intimidate the innocent. There’s a childlike wonder to these scenes, but we can never quite forget what this girl has been through and the horror that she left behind on Earth. This is a sweet ending to a series that often had a bitter edge, and it feels like an experiment that worked about fifty percent of the time. There were moments of brilliance, and moments that felt completely wrong for a Superman story – especially one geared towards a wide audience of casual new readers.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.