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By: Adam Basciano

“SUPERMAN faces new supervillainess ANGUISH! How can Superman fight an opponent he can’t touch? LOIS LANE faces a turning point in her career as a journalist.” (DC Comics)

This title is always the hardest for me to review.  I liked this issue.  It did a lot of things right, yet I still want a little more from it.  The opening sequence really pulls you in.  Superman saving a sunken Russian submarine.  It was unique in the amount of time and detail spent on the different aspects of the rescue.  Usually, the rescue happens on a splash page or two and it’s done.  I enjoyed that the creative team pokes fun at the fact that 9 times out of 10, Superman’s big moment occurs rescuing a plane. Most of this issues plot revolves around Superman and his secret identity.  Blogger Victor Barnes has been following Superman and believes he has proof of Superman’s true identity. He tries to sell his findings to Lois Lane, but she and Jimmy dismiss the notion, as Superman would be too busy saving lives than worrying about secretly living among us.  The way this segment is written, both arguments seem valid.  While Victor Barnes is right, he pegs the wrong guy for Superman.  The villain Anguish seems to be committing a robbery because she’s been wronged and stolen from.  I hope we learn more in this regard.

When you have Dan Jurgens and Jesus Merino on art, there really aren’t any complaints. The two are very precise, detailed, and methodical in all aspects of their work.  The entire montage of Superman rescuing the submarine looks great.  Superman lifting it out of the water looks breathtaking. The artists also deserve high marks illustrating the news report claiming that Spence Becker is Superman! If I didn’t know better, I’d find that claim somewhat believable thanks to that artwork.

I feel that this title is capable of being great.  This issue takes some steps in that direction.  The book broached the subject of Superman’s secret identity, from an outsiders point of view.  It also gives us a new villain, who you want to know and see more of.  Unfortunately, these mini storylines leave me feeling short-changed.  The blogger chasing after Superman’s identity could have been explored more thoroughly, had he been introduced earlier in the series.  Also, like many of the villains featured in this title, I fear Anguish will be a one hit wonder. A throwaway villain, forgotten and never used again after Superman saves the day.

Overall Grade: 7.5/10