Review – Superman #32: Gathering Shadows

Comic Books DC This Week
Superman #32 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Superman #32 – Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Sean Lewis, Writers; Scott Godlewski, Sami Basri, Artists; Gabe Eltaeb, Ulises Arreola, Colorists

Ray – 8.5/10

Ray: It’s a premature end to this title, as Johnson’s run will continue in Action by this title will be taken over by Jon Kent and a new creative team with a new #1 next month. That adds a sense of finality to both stories, starting with the appealing father-son teamup that leads us off. The two Supermen have been dealing with a mysterious alien threat these last few issues, as a complex battle for control of a planet led to a twisted deal with the Shadowbreed—a carnivorous alien intelligence that has turned an entire planet into their pawns. Scott Godlewski’s skilled use of darkness and negative space has done an effective job of selling this threat, as Superman even finds himself under their control.

In the shadows. Via DC Comics.

But in the background is a compelling story of a son who didn’t see himself as fit to take over for his harsh father, and made a sacrifice that ultimately doomed his planet. This is nicely contrasted with Jon’s struggle to live up to the shadow Superman casts, and while the aliens never found that peace, this issue brings the father-son doubts between Jon and Clark to a satisfying resolution. I’m still not sure why Jon will wind up taking over for Clark—maybe that’ll be revealed in Action, released this same week? But this has worked effectively as an independent story and a good introduction to the new status quo.

Then we have the backup, Tales of Metropolis, which comes to a close with a double-sized finale this issue. Fans of the ’90s weekly Superman run will likely love this story, with appearances by such mainstays as Bibbo, Gangbuster, and even the obscure Loose Cannon. The villain, Projectra, has been a compelling foil as she manipulates Bibbo into trading his ethics for the one thing he’s always wanted. There’s nothing groundbreaking here, but it’s come together into a fun ensemble series that gives some much-needed spotlight to an oddball group of heroes that haven’t appeared in a while.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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