Superman Faces His Greatest Fears In Superman #29

by James Ferguson

Children are going missing in Metropolis and desperate parents are looking for answers. Superman as well as local law enforcement are on the case, but they don’t have any clues yet. When Superman spots some strange yellow energy, he follows it to find the otherworldly culprit behind these kidnappings to be none other than…Parallax.

Superman #29 from DC Comics hits on a very real fear that all parents go through. The idea that despite my best efforts, my kids could up and vanish is nothing short of terrifying. It’s fitting that Parallax is behind this because what could drum up more fear than this?

These missing kids hit Superman differently than they would have in pre-Rebirth times since he’s a father himself. Writer Keith Champagne has a perfect line that sums this up early in the comic. Superman’s internal narration says “…that when the sun rises each morning, you can barely breathe until you see Jon is still safe in his bed.” This is a very real thought that every parent has had. You wake up in the middle of the night and it’s just a little too quiet so you go in just to check to make sure your kid is still breathing. It’s paranoid and more than a little crazy, but it’s something that we’ve all done. It’s comforting to know that even Superman has that worry.

The inclusion of Parallax is intriguing for a number of reasons. It’s certainly a tough villain for Superman to battle, but it’s so closely tied to the Green Lantern Corps. It almost feels out of place here, like if the Joker were to attack the Flash. What is especially interesting is that this issue follows up on a major plot point from Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps as recently as issue #25. It’s odd that it is crossing over here with little to no fanfare or warning, however it does work well. It presents some very cool possibilities.

Artist Doug Mahnke is no stranger to the yellow power of fear, having previously worked on Green Lantern comics. He brilliantly illustrates the terror that Parallax is capable of. There are numerous panels that are straight out of a horror comic, such as the little boy, possessed by the fear entity creepily perched atop a young girl’s bed. His face hidden in shadow with glowing yellow eyes piercing through the darkness. A sinister grin spreads below filled with razor sharp teeth.

This continues with the appearance of Parallax itself in some gruesome body horror sequences. Some are hidden, allowing you to fill in the blanks in your mind, while others are shown in all their unsettling gore. You know that this creature is the embodiment of fear and these images solidify that fact.

If you’ve been reading my reviews here on Comicon.com, you’ll know that Superman and Green Lantern are two of my favorite characters right now. Superman #29 puts the two together in not quite a chocolate / peanut butter mix, but close enough for a satisfying read that’s well worth your time. This is poised to be a showdown of epic proportions with the fate of several small children hanging in the balance, including perhaps, Superman’s own son.

Superman #29 is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.