Superman: The Man Of Steel #1
DC Comics (July, 1991)
“Man Of Steel/Man Of Fire!”
(Why the space? Did you not have time to fix a mistake?)
WRITER: Louise Simonson
PENCILERS: Jon Bogdanove, Tom Grummett, Bob McLeod, and Dan Jurgens
INKERS: Dennis Janke, Jerry Ordway, Bob McLeod, and Brett Breeding
COLORIST: Glenn Whitmore
LETTERER: Bill Oakley
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Dan Thorsland
EDITOR: Mike Carlin
A terrorist named Cerberus is targeting numerous places in Metropolis. As Clark and Lois try to find the connection between the victims the current state of the economy leads to Foswell firing members of the Daily Planet staff, including Jimmy. While Superman is trying to find Cerberus something is happening in the Sun…as the Eradicator returns, killing the Cerberus…agent? as the people cheer. Then Eradicator prepares to continue his mission of turning Earth into the new Krypton!
What they got right: Cerberus makes for an interesting threat, a group whose goals are unknown and are causing panic in the city. The art is pretty good even if you can see it slipping into the signature and questionable style that was 1990s comic art.
What they got wrong: There are too many stories going on at once. Ma and Pa visit and get cruise tickets from Clark and Lois. Jimmy’s new financial concerns and Perry’s marital issues (including the fact that his dead son was actually Lex’s son) that kept him away when the firings started. The social commentary that doesn’t really enhance the story (it’s not a new problem, just one more concentrated and unlike this story totally one-sided–for example the strikers and the “scabs” each have good reasons for what they’re doing and no judgement is made). And of course two main plots with Cerberus and the Eradicator. With so many subplots and TWO main plots it’s story overload. You have four comics a week…save a few plots for each issue instead of making all four comics follow all the plots and yet still call them under different titles and numbers. It just bogs everything down.
What do I think overall: As much as I want to recommend this comic there’s just too many things going on and I didn’t even cover them all. This is also around the time that Superman comics were being made in a way that would lose the very kids that made Superman a cultural icon to begin with just so yesterday’s kids would feel more adult reading a superhero title because “all-ages” means nothing to them. I want to like this story because of the interesting plots, but there are too many of them at the same time.