DC’s dirt cheap promotional Superman title is on sale now. In retrospect, the last time I paid for dirt, it cost a lot more than this.
Title: Superman: The 10 Cent Adventure
Author: Steven T. Seagle
Illustrator(s): Scott McDaniel, with Andy Owens on pencils
Original Publication Date: January 8, 2003
Cover Price: $0.10 US, $0.17 Can
Superman faces a new, immature, incredibly powerful enemy who can’t be
as worthless as he seems.
The issue was sold by DC in an attempt to increase interest in the
Superman title, showcasing a new creative team.
The Perry White-Clark Kent meeting in the subway was a great hook to
get the reader involved in Clark Kent’s life as well as Superman’s.
(Didn’t anybody notice Clark had no travel expenses over the last 70
years?) As good as that is, I have to say the introductory “This is
the stratosphere…” bit was an excellent way to open the issue and
get the reader in there.
The art. It’s downright ugly in places, such as Superman’s face in
the opening splash page.
The originality of this issue is hampered by the desire to
introduce and explain the history of the character. Everything
important about his origins is touched on, as are the important
aspects of the character, but that doesn’t leave a lot of room to do
anything really new. I give it 3 out of 6, for coming up with a
feeble villain instead of a challenging one.
The artwork ranged from ugly to decent. The poses and
layouts are excellent, but the execution just isn’t the kind of art I
like. I’m not sure where the cover art came from; I assume it’s a
reference to something in the past in this character or some other DC
property. If that’s the case, then I have to question the decision to
make cover art on a jump-on issue that only makes sense to someone who
would already be tempted, if not likely, to be picking up this issue
anyway. I give it 4 out of 6.
The story is well written. It’s not a complete story, but
rather the first story in a new arc, so there isn’t the same
satisfaction that you might have gotten from, say, the nine cent issue
of Fantastic Four last August. It’s a great first chapter,
but it’s not complete, so I can’t justify giving it more than 5 out of
The characterization of Superman is excellent, although the
other characters aren’t really dealt with very much. Lois Lane has a
moment and a scene, Perry White has a decent scene, and Jimmy Olsen
and the older Kents are mentioned but not introduced. (That’s
probably a wise move; this is a packed issue anyway.) Superman was
the only character handled very well this issue, but it’s his title,
so that’s not a serious problem. (They needed to introduce the
surrounding characters quickly.) I give it 5 out of 6.
The emotional response this produced was pretty good. It’s an
interesting introduction to the character that makes me want to check
out the rest of this story. I give it 4 out of 6.
The flow is very well done. Artistic parallels soften the
scene changes, and the battles and other mid-scene action is nicely
paced to match the dialogue. I give it 5 out of 6.
Overall, this is easily worth the cover price. It’s worth
the full price of an issue, really. The idea is to get people to
stick around on the title for a while, and it’s worked for me. I’ll
be riding out this story arc, and I’ll come back for the next one if
the writing stays this good and the art improves. I give it 5 out of
In total, Superman: The Ten Cent Adventure receives 31 out of 42.