Superman: The Coming Of The Supermen #4 Review


Superman continues to look for Rafi, and Lex Luthor and Darkseid reveal what the two have been working on together.

Superman: The Coming of the Supermen #4

Story/Artist: Neal Adams / Ink Assists: Buzz and Josh Adams / Colorist: Tony Aviña / Letterer: Cardinal Rae / Cover: Adams and Alex Sinclair

Superman: The Coming of the Supermen #4 contains a lot of exposition and seems like a setup for the final two issues of this mini-series. It’s a rather fun issue as Superman’s dialogue is very stoic and cheesy–Neal Adams reminds us of his Superman. There’s also no beating Adams’s art–the bold colors and heavy lines.

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We start off with Superman demanding Kalibak the location of Rafi–the boy Superman has been fostering. Kalibak, of course, is defiant. Orion steps in to help with the questioning and knocks Kaliback out with a ferocious head-butt. Orion reveals that he knows where Darkseid is holding Rafi, but there’s also another problem–Darkseid, with Luthor’s technology, has built a red sun moat for the purposes of weakening Superman and the Supermen on Earth.

Superman diffuses the moat by destroying the ship generating the moat and also the moat itself. The ordeal proves to be much too taxing for Superman, which almost kills him. Thanks to Orion, Superman is dragged out of danger.

At an unknown location, the nanny taking care of Rafi reveals herself to be Granny Goodness–who has nefarious plans that involve Rafi.

On Earth, Lex Luthor and Darkseid bicker over their plans. A cautious Luthor tells Darkseid that if he completely weakens Superman, he also leaves Earth vulnerable. Since he’s a citizen of Earth, he doesn’t want it to be attacked by hostile aliens. Luthor finally encapsulates Darkseid in a sort of chamber and inserts a thought into Darkseid’s mind–stay away from Earth.

Meanwhile, Superman has been regenerated and leaves with Orion to find Rafi. Lois, resourceful as always, has arrived on Apokolips, trying to find Superman.

This issue seems to be a setup for the final two installments of Superman: Coming of the Superman. With Superman temporarily losing his powers, the discovery of a red sun moat, the revelation of Granny Goodness to Rafi, and the arrival of Lois Lane, we had quite a bit to process. It remains to be seen what Adams has planned for us in terms of the narrative.

I did enjoy some of the cheesy dialogue, as it reminded me of a very old-fashioned Superman. Though Adams does try to build a sort of conspiracy into the plot, the overall story still reads like a Saturday morning cartoon. That’s not a bad thing. I think we all need a bit of optimism in Superman stories. There’s a huge lack of it these days.

As always, Adams delivers on the art front. Every panel is colorful and bold. Though Adams did promise that his Superman will not be a god, I still see that his incarnation is able to fly through the fiery boosters of a starship and directly into solar radiation. I guess he hasn’t depowered Superman that much.

The only complaint I have for this issue is Darkseid’s characterization. He doesn’t seem to be as threatening here. And there’s a bit of a lack of diversity in the overall portrayal of each member of Apokolips. Though these super-villains are cut from the same cloth, the dialogue could use some more distinctive features.

Next: Superman: The Coming of the Supermen #3 Review

Overall, the issue is lighthearted fun. Adams captures a classic, old-fashioned Superman extremely well. This installment also seems to be laying the foundation for the final two issues. There’s a lot more exposition than the past three stories, and we’re also introduced to some mysteries. The plot importance of Rafi is also introduced here with the revelation of Granny Goodness. Superman: Coming of the Supermen #4 is a great continuation to this entertaining story arc.