Superman: Rebirth #5 Review

'Superman: Rebirth' #5 art by Doug Mahnke, Jamie Mendoza & Wil Quintana
'Superman: Rebirth' #5 cover art by Patrick Gleason
‘Superman: Rebirth’ #5 cover art by Patrick Gleason
  • Written by Patrick Gleason & Peter J. Tomasi
  • Pencils by Doug Mahnke
  • Inks by Jaime Mendoza
  • Coloured by Wil Quintana
  • Cover by Patrick Gleason

“SON OF SUPERMAN” part five! The Eradicator is unstoppable and it has forced Superman to leave Earth behind to keep his son from harm.

Pickup your copy of ‘Superman: Rebirth’ #5 at Comixology now!

All my ‘Superman’ reviews have to come with the pre-face that I was not a huge fan of the character prior to ‘Man of Steel’. It’s a fairly controversial opinion but I like my heroes to have a darkness to them.

I have made a concerted effort to go back and read much of his past exploits and gain an understanding of his true character.

‘Superman: Rebirth’ is an interesting enigma in the characters journey. With New 52 Superman now dead this series is acting as an acclimation point for the ‘new’ Superman. For those unfamiliar during the ‘Covergence’ event the pre-Flashpoint Superman is living on our Earth and reluctantly taking up the mantle of his fallen counterpart.

This is where the story gets interesting. Pre-Flashpoint Superman comes complete with a wife (Lois – of course) and child (Jon). Essentially the ‘Superman: Rebirth’ title is currently acting as a family drama. It’s heavily driven by  character and so action is taking second place in telling the story. The Eradicator has appeared in several issues culminating in Superman taking Lois and Jon off planet however his appearance has been somewhat forgettable.

He’s a more than suitable foe for the Man of Steel but he is being used for the sole purpose of furthering the story.

Where ‘Superman: Rebirth’ succeeding is in developing the family dynamic. There’s a strong bond between father and son which goes beyond the Lois/Clark dynamic that we are used to. I’m not familiar with pre-Flashpoint Superman but don’t feel that I’ve missed huge chunks of important story.

There was a coldness to New 52 Superman, particularly once his identity was revealed to the world and his powers were lost. The back end of that run was a shining example of why DC Comics needed ‘Rebirth’ to happen. Although I’m not yet enamoured with its storytelling this reboot is a definite improvement.

The art in ‘Superman: Rebirth’ is a refreshing change for the character. The book will look familiar to fans of Judd Winick’s run on ‘Batman’ where Doug Mahnke also provided the artwork. I much prefer his artwork for the series than Gleason’s cover art, I’ve always struggled with Gleason’s facial renderings as characters tend to all look similar. The scope of issue #5 allows Mahnke to go in to outer space and create some new landscape with Batman’s secret base.

There’s enough room to develop some exciting backgrounds whilst never compromising on the emotional impact of the scenes.

Unusually I find the book works much better visually in the quieter moments than in the loud, brash fights. There were occasions during the fight that I found myself flicking backwards as I had missed details in amongst all of the action.

Thours not disappointing I look forward to this series finding its voice in the future.

Verdict

‘Superman: Rebirth’ #5 is the culmination of an arc which feels a little unsure of what it was meant to be. Full on family adventure? Or a modern Superman-family tale? By no means a bad read it struggles to find it’s voice but never ceases to impress in scope.

3 stars

 

 

3 stars

About Neil Vagg 938 Articles

Neil is the GYCO Editorial Chief. He has a BA in Film & Tv and an MA in Scriptwriting; he currently works 9-5 as an office manager and 5-9 as a reviewer/web designer. He has been subscribing to comics for around nine years but has been reading them as long as he can remember.

Favourite comics: Batman; Nightwing, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and All New X-Men

Favourite films: Batman (any apart from & Robin); Star Trek Generations, Underworld, Beetlejuice

Favourite TV shows: Fringe; Buffy, Arrow, TBBT, Being Human UK and Star Trek TNG