Summer is indeed being kind to the Man of Steel. As his film continues to make millions, The Adventures of Superman #2 hit the comic shelves on June 26th. While the wait is far longer for people who do not subscribe to digital comics, as each individual story is released once a week, this series is proving to be worth the wait and anticipation. This issue provided another three short, but satisfying stories all for the price of one comic. What is likely the best thing about this format is that all the stories are self contained, so if a bad one should arise, which doesn’t seem likely so far, it is easier to ignore as no other plot lines will arise from it. The Adventures of Superman #2 is not quite as good as the first issue, which is less of a fault of the writers and more a testament to the quality of the stories in the first. This issue, two of the three stories, delved more into the ideology of Superman.
The first story by J.M. DeMatteis, titled “The Bottle City of Metropolis,” shows Superman being stalked by a mysterious man who knows just what to say to unnerve the man of steel and get him to doubt his ideology. Superman works to not only solve the mystery of who this man is, but what it truly means to be a Superman. Saying anymore would spoil parts of the story, but it is almost guaranteed to make Superman fans smile just a little bit. The main themes were the struggle to live up to Superman’s example, and the breaking of limits seemingly inherent to humanity as a whole. The art was vibrant and colorful.
The second story by Joshua Hale Fialkov, titled, “Slow News Day,” shows Lois Lane challenge Clark Kent to see who can get the better news story after he remarks that a great reporter can find a story anywhere. This would be an easy task for Superman to win, if disasters would stop getting in the way. Superman does everything from stopping a runway train, to catching escaped zoo animals, to battling Lex Luthor and the Ultrahumanite and even having an adventure in the future. This story will appeal to not only fans of Superman, but of Lois as well. The story showcases just how crafty she can be, as she uses Superman’s exploits as her story to trump Clark’s. Luthor would likely be jealous of Lois and her ability to get one up on the man of steel. The art was delightfully colorful and full of crazy images one right after the other during Superman’s crime busting montage. It must have been a blast for the artist to draw.
The third story by Michael Avon Deming, titled “Best Intent,” shows an entity claiming to a “Guardian of Time” recruit Superman for a heartbreaking mission. The Man of Steel must rescue a Kyrptonian infant who was kidnapped from the past just before Krypton’s destruction. The child will supposedly grow up to be an awful destroyer of worlds, but can Superman just send an innocent infant to his doom? The ending of the story, which will not be spoiled here, is pretty touching, but more importantly really gets to the heart of what Superman is about, and that is hope. The art in this story was the best of the three as it was the most dynamic and featured the most action.
This comic makes a serious case for digital releases. The next three stories that will be featured in issue #3 are already released on the digital market and the first story of issue #4 is out as well. People who love Superman will get more of what they love, and people frustrated with Superman’s godlike power level should be refreshed to see Superman deal with problems that he cannot just punch of blast with heat vision.