Superman #14 (DC)



Rating: 4.5/5 – I Love a Good DC Multiverse Story.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

I am not a regular reader of the Superman series, but the cover of this issue drew me in at the local shop.  Making the “Red Son” Superman easily recognizable was a smart move.  I’ve always been a fan of the parallel universes that make up DC’s Multiverse.  There’s going to be some version of the characters I like on one of those multiple Earths, when things are simplified down to one (or a few) dimensions and I don’t like the character “takes” presented, I have no choice but to take a break from DC.

In this tale, called Multiplicity, writers Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason have ‘our’ Clark/Superman run across an injured Red Son Superman while driving on a deserted road (it always seemed weird that Superman would drive around in a car as Clark, it seems like a real waste of his time).  Red Son Superman (from Earth 30) is being pursued by a bunch of creatures with big teeth talking about ‘the Lyst’ (apparently from a dimension for the spelling impaired). The art – layouts by Ivan Reis, finishes by Joe Pado – was superb.  But they’ll be switching out the art team for every chapter of this story because of the bi-weekly shipping, and it’s that lack of consistency on art across stories that is is my main gripe about DC’s bi-weekly books (with the exception of Wonder Woman).  Looking at my Previews catalogs, I see that issue #15 has art by Doug Mahnke & Jaime Mendoza; #16 is by Doug Mahnke, Jorge Jimenez and “others”; #17 has art by Sebastian Fiumara (NOTE: it has been pointed out that Multiversity is only 3 parts and #17 is a standalone issue.  That is has yet another artist does support my point of the revolving door art teams on the tilte in general, though).  In my opinion, this entire story would be elevated by having the art team from this issue do all 3 parts.  Is it that much to ask that a single team do the art for a short 3-issue story arc??  A lot of people are loving the various bi-weekly DC Rebirth series, so I must be in the minority with my aversion to art teams changing multiple times across each story arc.

Writers Tomasi and Gleason kick off the Multiplicity storyline strong in issue #14. I don’t want to give away specifics about where the story gets really interesting, but it involves quite a few alternate takes of super-heroes from other Earths (5, 11, 18, 20, 23, 30 and 36) .  In particular, I won’t reveal what happens on the last 3 pages, except to say they’re what really sold me on this storyline.  Despite my reservations about the continually rotating art team, the writing was strong enough to ensure that I’ll be back for next issue.

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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7 Responses to Superman #14 (DC)

  1. erik santos says:

    Hi friend, keep reading the Superman series, it’s very consistent, for me the best series of Rebirth. Just updating, by the cover of the next issue there will be two artists in #15 Ed Benes and Ryan Sook, and at #16 it looks like it will be Tony Daniel and Clay Mann.
    Doug Manhke is probably very busy with the upcoming crossover, Superman Reborn

    • The revolving door art teams at DC are a HUGE problem for me.
      You now point out that there are even different artists from when the issues were solicited 2 months ago to now.
      That is a BIG problem, in my opinion.
      I like the story, but art matters.
      When I get jerked around by constantly changing art teams I cannot stick with a series.

      • erik santos says:

        In the case of Superman, I do not care much, because the artists and guest artists are very good, and the story is VERY GOOD too. And also most of the artists in the series of Rebirth are very good and are doing their best.
        It’s hard for you, but you have to get used to it. Or you will be missing out on many good stories.
        Ps: the arc is only 3 chapters, the # 17 seems to me to be a single issue story

  2. What you have to realize, Erik, is that “good” in the context of art appreciation is extremely subjective. What you consider to be “good” is really just stuff you like and is not necessarily going to be universally loved and regarded as good by other people.
    I personally do not care for some of the artists you consider to be good (Doug Mahnke, for example), but that makes them no less good to you and affects your enjoyment not in the slightest. But for me, I don’t really enjoy their art. It does not make them bad artists, just artists whose work I don’t care for. Them “doing their best” does not enter into the equation.
    While I liked this story (Multiversity), the previous arc (with Frankenstein) was something I looked at in the shop and considered to be tragically BAD. I could not put the comic back on the shelf fast enough. But I fully appreciate that someone else could have considered the story to be brilliant.
    There are so many comics to love out there, I’m not worried about missing out on anything by skipping stuff I have to “get used to”. I move on to stuff I enjoy right out of the gate.

    • erik santos says:

      You have a good point.
      I was referring to losing good stories within DC Rebirth because it looks like it will not change by now.
      At first I did not like the idea of several artists drawing parts of the stories, I gave a chance to some series, some I did not like the artists who replaced in parts of the story, others I liked more of the guests than the regular artist.
      Ps: Will you continue reading the Superman series? Superman Reborn in March seems to be interesting.

      • I have dropped almost all of the bi-weekly DC series at this point, mostly because of the rotating art teams. I have to absolutely LOVE the story to put up with it. I was not absolutely loving most series, so they got dropped one after the other. I bought every single Rebirth one-shot and every single #1 issue, so I did give them a fair try.

        In the end, I really don’t much care if I’m missing out on Rebirth stories, since I’m not a fan of the DC editorial policy to swap out artists every other issue so they can crank out bi-weekly books I have no choice but to vote with my wallet.

        The ones I’m still getting are Action, Deathstroke, Hal Jordan, and Wonder Woman.
        Wonder Woman is the exception, because Greg Ruck is purposely telling parallel stories every other issue so that each single story has a consistent artist across the entire story arc. I have a lot of respect for him doing that.

        Re: Superman: Reborn, since I’m getting Action and Reborn crosses over between Action/Superman I may as well get that 4 part series. We’ll see how I like it. The Part 4 solicit says “Superman’s life is drastically changed!”….Seeing these character have their lives “Drastically changed” so frequently is really tiring after a while and it’s kind of burned me out. There was a pretty drastic change with the 1st Rebirth issue and that was only 6 months ago. Maybe it will be really cool….we’ll have to wait and see.

        Doing “Drastic Changes” (hmmmm. that’s DC!) every 6 months smacks of desperation and that is usually not a good thing.

  3. …and this is really just Bob’s opinion.
    Shawn loves the DC stuff several orders of magnitude more than I do…and enjoys a lot of the DC artists in much the same way you do Erik…it’s just that I find my own enjoyment of the various artists at DC at somewhat of an all time low for the last couple of years.

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