Ricky Church reviews Superman #19…
“SUPERMAN REBORN” part three! In the penultimate chapter of this tale the life of Superman’s son hangs in the balance—and the Man of Steel faces the truth about his life!
SEE ALSO: Check out a preview of Superman #19 here
Superman is put through the wringer as he continues his search for Jon in Mr. Mxyzptlk’s twisted game. Superman #19 is a bit light on plot, but does shed some light on the nature of The New 52’s Superman and Lois Lane as the Pre-52 Superman and Lois race to save Jon. Even with its light story, Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason still craft an entertaining issue that builds off Myx’s anger from Action Comics #975.
Throughout DC Rebirth, Superman and Action Comics has posited many questions around the two different Superman and Lois Lanes and ‘Superman Reborn’ plays with these questions, teasing readers with some intriguing answers. The seeming answer to The New 52’s Superman and Lois is a nice callback to the controversial Red and Blue Superman in the 90s.
However, despite Myx’s promise at putting Superman through a game, its surprising Superman #19 doesn’t actually show the pair going through it all that much. There is a great two-page spread from Gleason that depicts Superman and Lois on a literal game board, going through some classic moments in Superman’s continuity, but aside from that Myxzptlk’s game isn’t fully on display.
Rather the focus of the issue is instead on the few answers we get and Jon’s time trapped in Myx’s world. Given his rapport with Myxzptlk in Paul Dini’s back-up from Action Comics #975 it would have been nice to see his rapport with the fifth-dimensional imp again, yet this allowed Jon’s own resourcefulness and his growing powers to shine as he used skills to escape his imprisonment.
Gleason’s art was well done throughout the issue, as well Mike Gray’s inks and John Kalisz’s colours. Gray’s inks helped define Gleason’s facial expressions, making Myxzptlk look very menacing in quite a few panels while Kalisz’s colours gave the issue a vibrant look, making the two-page spread mentioned above pop. Superman #19 is definitely a good-looking issue.
Though ‘Superman Reborn’s penultimate issue was light on story, it still delivered some satisfying answers while teasing the full scope of the mystery. All the artists involved made everything rich and detailed and Tomasi ended on an interesting cliffhanger for ‘Reborn’s conclusion.