New 52 Review – “Superman #1”

DC’s icon gets rebooted in “current” continuity, unlike the “Action” title that takes place five years in the past. The first few reviews this week will be of some of DC’s icons, before the weekend reviews move into gothic and horror content for Halloween month.

General Information

Title: Superman #1

Author: George Perez

Illustrator(s): George Perez (breakdowns), Jesus Merino (pencils and inks) and Brian Buccellato (colours)

Cover Date: November 2011

Cover Price: $2.99

Buy the digital edition.


A strange fire-based entity attacks Metropolis in the middle of the press release surrounding the merger of the Daily Planet and the Globe.

High Point

Superman is powerful, but not without limit. Even then, the last few panels prove that there are times when powers aren’t always a good thing.

Low Point

Those last two pages would have been far more effective if they hadn’t been spoiled back in July. There’s a reason Bureau 42 skipped that story.

The Scores

There are definitely original elements to this incarnation of Superman, but that’s primarily in terms of the job titles that would appear on business cards. I give it 4 out of 6.

The artwork is great. Perez really gets these characters and how to lay out a page, and Jesus Merino is no slouch himself. The two together are fantastic. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is well structured. There is a complete story here, but there will clearly be more to come. (Think of it like the 1977 Star Wars. The war is far from over, but a major first step has been taken.) We also get introduced to the new status quo in a way that feels very natural, especially to those who are aware of the 1970s and early 1980s status quo. I’ve read very few of those issues myself, but the names of the characters used here have jumped out at me. I give it 5 out of 6.

The characterization is great. Superman is a bit of a smart alec, but not as much as the cocky, younger version in “Action” right now. We also get great feels for Lois, Perry, Jimmy, Miko and Morgan Edge in very little space on the page. I give it 6 out of 6.

This is a grown up Superman doing what he does best. The emotional response was dampened primarily because the big hit in the issue was spoiled by a major press release on July 21. I give it 4 out of 6.

The flow is very smooth. The only bit that feels out of place is a tie-in to Stormwatch, but it still remains to be seen exactly how that fits in to the big picture. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a strong first issue, but not quite up to the levels of Morrison’s Action Comics. If you only pick up one Superman title, pick up that one instead. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Superman #1 receives 34 out of 42.

The New 52

Here are handy links for the reviews of all 52 new #1 issues:

  1. Action Comics
  2. All-Star Western
  3. Animal Man
  4. Aquaman
  5. Batgirl
  6. Batman
  7. Batman and Robin
  8. Batman: The Dark Knight
  9. Batwing
  10. Batwoman
  11. Birds of Prey
  12. Blackhawks
  13. Blue Beetle
  14. Captain Atom
  15. Catwoman
  16. DC Universe Presents
  17. Deathstroke
  18. Demon Knights
  19. Detective Comics
  20. The Flash
  21. Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
  22. The Fury of Firestorm
  23. Green Arrow
  24. Green Lantern
  25. Green Lantern Corps
  26. Green Lantern: New Guardians
  27. Grifter
  28. Hawk and Dove
  29. I, Vampire
  30. Justice League
  31. Justice League Dark
  32. Justice League International
  33. Legion Lost
  34. Legion of Super-Heroes
  35. Men of War
  36. Mister Terrific
  37. Nightwing
  38. O.M.A.C.
  39. Red Hood and the Outlaws
  40. Red Lanterns
  41. Resurrection Man
  42. The Savage Hawkman
  43. Static Shock
  44. Stormwatch
  45. Suicide Squad
  46. Superboy
  47. Supergirl
  48. Superman
  49. Swamp Thing
  50. Teen Titans
  51. Voodoo
  52. Wonder Woman

2 replies on “New 52 Review – “Superman #1””

  1. Since these are number one issues, shouldn’t we be hearing the origins of Superman and Batman at some point? I know the original 1940s Batman didn’t have his origin explained until after a few issues.

    Also, everyone knows the origins of Superman and Batman.

    • Grant Morrison has promised to tell Superman’s origin in Action Comics. Batman’s origin has been referred to often enough that I don’t expect to see it retold in detail. I think it is unchanged and it’s safe to assume the audience knows it already. I expect Superman’s origin will be told because it’s been updated.

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