The Kent family says goodbye to their old home in Hamilton. Their house has been sold and they’re clearing out all of their belongings and cleaning the place up for the new owners. There is a lot of personal history tied up in this place so there’s a lot to go through as they put this part of their lives behind them.
Superman #45 is not a big, bold action title. The Man of Steel doesn’t punch a giant robot or battle a rampaging alien monster. That being said, this is one of the best single issues I’ve seen recently and that’s coming after several solid issues of the title. Writers Patrick Gleason and Peter J. Tomasi are wrapping up their run on this book in an amazing way.
Family has been a major part of this series so it’s no surprise that it’s such an integral part of this particular story. We’ve been on this emotional journey with the Kents so the house and Hamilton represent something more than just a setting for an adventure. These characters have been through a lot here and by sticking together they’ve gotten through thick and thin. Plus, it’s brought them closer together as Jon’s powers have grown and he’s come into his own as Superboy.
This issue feels like a walk down memory lane as the Kents check in on the locals of Hamilton that now includes Boyzarro and Robzarro. They may be leaving this town, but the place will definitely remember them, whether it’s Jon and Kathy’s initials carved into a tree or a new statue that goes up in honor of Superman and his son.
Perhaps the most touching moment comes as Lois cleans the floor of the house, wiping away the footprints of a young Jon once and for all. It literally brings tears to her eyes. She’s realizing her son is growing up and this innocent part of their lives is over. He’ll never be a normal little kid anymore. He’s a superhero now and there’s no turning back.
Superman #45 is filled with these somber moments and it’s beautiful. Gleason’s artwork makes the Kents look like a normal American family, appearing here with torn jeans and scuffed up shoes. There is so much love shared between them. You can tell that this is a tight-knit family. It’s the kind of thing you’d expect from a classic sitcom like Full House.
There are a handful of cheesy lines as Clark imparts life lessons to Jon, reflecting on their time in Hamilton. They don’t come across that way though. They’re fitting for the character and how he sees the world. Superman has become an ideal fictional father, putting him right up there with someone like Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights. If I can be half the dad that either of those men are, I will consider myself a success.
Superman #45 will get overshadowed a bit as it came out on the same day as the monumental Action Comics #1000. That’s unfortunate because this is a quintessential Superman comic. It gets to the core essence of the Man of Steel and his new status quo as a family man. It does that not with crazy action sequences or adventures out in space, but with quiet moments of love and a whole lot of heart. This book also serves as a fitting conclusion to a stellar work of Patrick Gleason and Peter J. Tomasi. It’s a near perfect comic.