Superman: Red and Blue #5 – Judd Winick, G. Willow Wilson, Joshua Williamson, Mark Buckingham, Daniel Warren Johnson, Writers; Ibrahim Moustafa, Valentine De Landro, Chris Sprouse/Karl Story, Mark Buckingham, Daniel Warren Johnson, Artists; Hi-Fi, Lee Loughridge, Colorists
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: Another installment of DC’s color anthologies brings five more creative teams—including the return of a legendary writer to DC. How do the stories stack up?
First up is the return of Judd Winick to comics, with Ibrahim Moustafa on art. It’s a story centering around one of the defining moments of Clark’s childhood—the arrival of Krypto. Winick does a good job of showing how even with two loving parents, a child like Clark with unique powers will always feel a little alone. Moustafa’s Krypto is especially adorable, and this story should work wonders on the heartstrings of any dog lover.
“Deescalation,” by G. Willow Wilson and Valentine De Landro, is one of the best stories in this series so far. It starts out with Clark visiting a convenience store currently manned by the teenage daughter of the owner, and being there right when a young thief tries to knock over the store with a gun. What follows is a brilliant look at how Superman deescalates a situation, even when he’s out of costume. It’s one of the most human Superman stories in a while, with Clark Kent as the focus.
Next up are Josh Williamson and Chris Sprouse on “Your Favorite.” A story focusing on Jimmy Olsen, it starts with a simple question as Lois asks him—“What’s your favorite image of Superman?” This leads to a retrospective of some of the most iconic moments in Superman’s history, leading to a funny comedy of errors that reveals which image has truly stayed in Jimmy’s mind. It’s a great tribute to one of comics’ most enduring friendships.
Next up are a duo of stories focusing on iconic writer/artists, starting with Fables’ Mark Buckingham. This is really more a mood piece than a narrative, with the only written word being the dialogue between Jor-El and Lara as they discuss the plan to send Kal-El away. But that’s laid over stunning visuals of the rocket’s journey through space—including some near escapes on a hostile alien world. It’s a moment we’ve seen very little of, and Buckingham’s visuals are unique and gorgeous.
Finally, it’s the inimitable Daniel Warren Johnson to close out the issue. His story focuses on Jonathan Kent right after the adoption, as he struggles with how to raise a child and seeks counsel from his pastor. The pastor gives him some simple but profound advice that he passes on to Clark—who then passes it on himself in a very unique way to the entire world. This is a deeply personal story, dedicated from Johnson to his late father, and it’s one of the best stories in the entire run so far.
Overall, another phenomenal issue without a single miss.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.