Wow! Clark Kent has some balls!
More than Human
Sure, he’s usually bulletproof and man of steel and all, but in this issue, he was mortal like the rest of us. That didn’t stop him from standing in front of a loaded gun and talking someone down – pretty impressive.
This issue begins with someone named Miss Janet mailing off a package (the one we saw in the last issue) for Clark, and she thanks Mr. Oz, the reaper type dude. But that item is put on the shelf as we flash to Jimmy grilling Superman and disbelieving that he is really Clark Kent. Of course the fact that Superman has none of his powers at the moment makes it easier to think Clark is lying and even though he explains about the Super Flare, Jimmy is skeptical. So with Superman human for a day, they take a stroll through the park and Clark injures himself saving a kid falling out of a tree while getting his kite – more proof he’s not Superman. But Jimmy goes along with it…and begs Clark to be careful – “The world needs Superman…”
Back at the Planet, they hear of a gunman who’s taken a hostage and Clark imitates Superman but instead of flying, he runs to the scene of the crime. Lois and Jimmy beat Clark to the scene and Jimmy is relieved until Clark shows up in his costume and Jimmy starts getting really worried. Clark/Superman does a great job talking down the gunman. It’s a really tense – well written and drawn – scene knowing that Superman is vulnerable and one shot could be the end of him. I think the pacing is great with 9 panels on the page (2 pages worth) to increase the tension and to get so much more outta the story.
After the gunman surrenders, Superman’s 24 hours are over and he’s able to fly again. Good thing too so he can get away without revealing his secret identity to everyone. It also lets us see a very cool and intimate scene between Jimmy and Superman on the roof of the Daily Planet. Definitely a touching and fun read full of tension, emotion, and friendship. This feels like a nice ending to The Men of Tomorrow storyline, but we end on what I think is a pretty ominous note.
With Mr. Oz finishing off the story with this declaration…
The reason I think this is an ominous notebook is what it reminds me of in DC Comics history. I thought I recalled it and doing a search on the web, I found an image of a 1992 issue of Superman. It was issue 75 and has a black bag with a red Superman symbol on it.
It was The Death of Superman issue.
- Just saw that this is the last issue Geoff Johns writes for Superman in this run – and soon he becomes the President and Chief Creative Officer at DC Comics – a big wig
- I’ve read the DC Rebirth special issue and I wonder if the reference to Mr. Oz has anything to do with a character from The Watchmen? Sure, there are another bunch of issues before then in which Mr. Oz can be further revealed, but I wonder.
- The kite the kid got stuck in the tree looked pretty interesting – just a set of eyes on a light tan background – creepy.
- While he is human in this issue, it seems like there is some foreshadowing going on with the injuries to Superman and the mentioning of Mongul causing him to bleed
There wasn’t a bunch of fighting in this issue, no new villains, no new super powers, but it was a really good read. The pacing and story were superb and you could read the emotion on everyone’s face in every scene. I’m almost sad to see I’ve only got one more issue of Superman to read before I move on to another prelude to Rebirth story arc. So with that in mind, I rate this one an A-. A human story for a Superman.
You can find Superman #39 The Men of Tomorrow: 24 Hours by Geoff Johns, John Romita Jr., and Klaus Janson on Comixology or your at local comic book shop.