Superman: Red and Blue #2 – Steven T. Seagle, Chuck Brown, Dan Panosian, Stephanie Phillips, Jason Howard, Writers; Duncan Rouleau, Denys Cowan/John Stanisci, Dan Panosian, Marley Zarcone, Jason Howard; Chris Sotomayor, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Another collection of all-star talents deliver five short stories of the Man of Steel. How do they stack up compared to last issue’s phenomenal debut?
First up is a pair of names very associated with Superman—Man of Action legends Steven T. Seagle and Duncan Rouleau. “Own” gives the focus to Martha Kent, as she shuts down a pair of busybody friends of hers who made an insensitive comment about Clark being adopted. This entire story is largely a monologue about exactly what it means to be a mother, and it’s both powerfully touching and incredibly cutting—and one of Martha’s best spotlights in years.
For something completely different, it’s Chuck Brown and the legendary Denys Cowan on a Val-Zod story. This is the first tale in this series to not focus on Kal-El, and it’s great seeing Val show up again for the first time since Earth 2 wrapped. His battle against Prometheus in deep space is action-packed and entertaining, but I think what most people will be talking about is this story’s VERY unique take on Krypto—less a loyal pooch than an unconventional partner for a new Superman.
Dan Panosian goes solo on the next story, a Luthor-focused tale on how Superman’s arch-nemesis plans to unleash the power of Red Kryptonite. This seems to be a Silver Age-inspired tale, as Luthor’s schemes are distinctly more offbeat than we see from him nowadays—including a boxing match with kryptonite-infused gloves. It’s certainly an oddball tale, but works as a spotlight on Luthor’s steel trap of a mind.
Stephanie Phillips and Marley Zarcone have the next story, a cute tale of a little girl who boasts at show-and-tell about having a personal memento from a battle her friend Superman fought in. While her story of helping Superman against a giant robot sounds like a tall tale and gets her bullied, it’s clear she has a deep belief in it—and the story builds to a really nice conclusion that shows off just how good Superman is at interacting with even his youngest fans.
Finally, it’s Jason Howard going solo on a story paying tribute to the 1990s, as Superman goes toe to toe with Cyborg Superman. The story is from the perspective of a janitor and hapless henchman of the evil Superman, as he sees just how far his boss will go and how different Superman is—even being willing to let a nemesis go free to save an innocent life. The kinetic, chaotic art really sells the story, especially when depicting Cyborg’s twisted creation.
Overall, while there’s no story here that hits instant-classic level, it’s another solid entry in DC’s new anthology brand.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.