Superman #41 Review: A Bittersweet Conclusion to a Nuanced Story

Posted by February 22, 2018 Comment

Superman #41
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Summary
Writer: James Robinson, Artist: Ed Benes, Color Artist: Dinei Ribeiro, Letters: Rob Leigh, Cover by: Viktor Bogdanovic and Mike Spicer, Variant Cover by: Jonboy Meyers, Editor: Paul Kaminski, Associate Editor: Jessica Chen, Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Superboy created by Jerry Siegel, By special arrangement with the Jerry Siegel family, Publisher: DC Comics, Release Date: Out Now, Price: $2.99

Superman, Superboy, and Klain speed to Klain’s compound in the hopes of escaping the religious zealots of Galymayne. Klain reveals his plan to send an egg pod of his species to another planet to survive. Unfortunately, the religious overlords of Galymayne are not too far behind and still intend to stop any plans of Klain and the two Kryptonians.

Superman #41 cover by Viktor Bogdanovic and Mike Spicer
Superman #41 cover by Viktor Bogdanovic and Mike Spicer

I was a little lukewarm on Superman #40 — and not just because it was rehashing a Green Lanterns story from a few months prior. While the story was functional and had some interesting points, it lacked enough energy and emotional resonance to really stand on its own.

Superman #41 shows how a moderate start can still breed a great finish. This issue sticks the landing on this setup. It also sets this story further apart from the aforementioned Green Lanterns arc.

I don’t want to give away the ending, but I will say it’s a lot more bittersweet than I could have expected. There’s no sweeping saving the day moment, and the morals of Superman turn out to be more complex than one might expect. All told, it still feels like a classic Superman story without having the ending of one, as odd as that may sound.

Even the “does Superman believe in God?” moment is nuanced while still feeling distinctly like our nominal hero. Superboy shows a lot of maturity too while still seeming like a kid coping with very complex issues. The religious zealots of the planet are actually given more depth in this issue too.

The only real complaint one could come up with is that this comic shows that even Superman can’t save everyone. That’s not a bad finish to a comic, but it may damage that uplifting illusion for some people. For me, the ending is strangely beautiful.

Superman #41 art by Ed Benes and Dinei Ribeiro
Superman #41 art by Ed Benes and Dinei Ribeiro

Ed Benes’s artwork is quite beautiful as well. The Man of Steel and his son look great; they are given a lot of visual detail and depth. The aliens’ designs still look wonderfully weird while being surprisingly expressive. Dinei Ribeiro’s color art is well-balanced and gorgeous as well.

Superman #41 is an impressive showing on the part of James Robinson and company. It’s a heavy, complex, and oddly beautiful tale with fantastic art to match. This one comes highly recommended. Check it out.

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(Last Updated February 22, 2018 4:51 pm )

About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.

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