Superman: The Coming Of The Supermen #5 Review


With big, bold, colorful two-page spreads and cheesy dialogue, writer and artist Neal Adams uses Superman: The Coming of the Supermen #5 to remind us about the good ole days of comics.

Superman: The Coming of the Supermen #5

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

Superman: The Coming of the Supermen #5 is a pretty crazy issue. It is probably the most “comic booky” of all the issues in this story arc to-date. The plot has some pretty abrupt twists and turns, and the ending is a great cliffhanger … exactly the stuff of classic comics.

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The issue starts right off with Superman and Orion rescuing Rafi. Lending an assist is Mister Miracle, Big Barda, and a surprise appearance by Lois Lane. In addition, Metron helps the people of Apokolips escape by faking their deaths via an illusion—thereby tricking the killer robots that were after them. The Supermen soon arrive and destroy the pursuing machines.

As Superman leaves through a boom tube to face off with Darkseid and Luthor, he leaves Lois behind—again. Meanwhile, Luthor finally learns about Darkseid’s plan. Hearing how ridiculous it sounds, Luthor laughs hysterically, making a mockery out of Darkseid. Superman arrives just as Darkseid, in a fit of anger, disintegrates Luthor.

Yes, the whole issue is pretty ridiculous, but it’s also filled with some great action. It almost seems as if Adams is laughing with the readers. And that’s probably why Superman: The Coming of the Supermen #5 is so endearing.

I have a theory that Adams planned to have this installment be the most comedic one. How so? Well, this issue arrived right after DC Universe: Rebirth #1 and on the same day as Superman: Rebirth #1. It’s as if Adams is acknowledging a return to the lighthearted nature of DC—paying his own homage to Geoff Johns’s promises of a more optimistic universe.

As much as we want to talk about the satirical nature of the writing, the real star of this issue is the art. Adams gives a number of two-page spreads showing Superman at full power—well, Adams’s version of full power for the Man of Steel.

The man has not lost his touch. You can tell that he had a lot of fun illustrating the overall issue and the colors are perfectly tuned to Adams’s dynamic lines and bold action shots. There is no subtlety here. Adams knows that a comic book means doing everything big—and he fully embraces that.

Next: Superman: The Coming of the Supermen #4 Review

Superman: Coming of the Supermen #5 ups the cheesiness of the overall story arc. If you’ve stuck with the series for this long, you might as well continue with it and see where Adams is taking us. The ending of #5 is quite surprising and I have a feeling that Darkseid pulled a slight-of-hand trick on Superman, Luthor, and the readers. With only one more issue to go, I have a feeling that Adams will end this series big and bold, much like his art.