Review: ‘Superman: Red & Blue’ #3 Gets To The Heart Of The Man Of Steel
by Tony Thornley
After a stellar first issue, and a rougher second, Superman: Red & Blue returns with an issue that dives much deeper into Clark Kent as a person, in some very cool stories.
This issue feels a little bit meatier than the previous two, with five stories that thematically all capture the same idea- exploring Superman’s humanity. The issue was created by Jesse Holland, Laura Braga, Hi-Fi Color, Dave Sharpe, Michel Fiffe, Brandon Thomas, Berat Pekmezci, Nick Spencer, Christian Ward, and James Stokoe.
With #1, I talked about how the issue was a situation of “good, better, best” that simply isn’t the case here. It doesn’t quite hit the highs of the first issue, but the entire issue is uniformly good, probably even great. That’s even more stunning when you consider that some of these creators are industry giants, while I hadn’t even heard of others before I read their story.
Holland, Braga, and Hi-Fi’s story of Bruce and Diana comparing notes on Superman’s humanity was clever and funny. It highlighted the relationships Clark has with his two best friends, and how they see him in unique, but equally valid ways. Fiffe’s story has some cheesy dialogue at moments, but is a joy to see him do a Superman story. It parallels the previous story a bit, but uses the League to show different aspects of Superman the person.
Thomas and Pekmezci’s story and Spencer and Ward’s story are parallels as well, using the lens of an ordinary person being thrust into extraordinary circumstances alongside Superman. They both show how Superman inspires people to be better, but in very different ways. Thomas and Pekmezci use a doctor to show how sometimes a normal person can be a Superman when the call comes. Meanwhile Spencer and Ward show several children in awe around the Fortress of Solitude, and makes Clark take a step back and assess what’s truly important in the world.
The last story by Stokoe highlights Superman’s compassion, even against something that he struggles to comprehend. Superman is a protector first, and Stokoe shows that by having Kal-El save a monstrous, infant alien that he can barely comprehend from a difficult and frightening fate.
Each story is worth picking up on its own, but as a package it makes for a great read. In addition to well told and illustrated, they all use the “red & blue only” gimmick really well.
This is an issue that’s again a must read for any Superman fan.
Superman: Red & Blue #3 is available now from DC Comics.
The gimmick of Superman stories in red and blue steps aside to tell tales of Superman’s humanity. Each creative team puts in great work, with some doing their best work in a long time. Absolutely a must-read issue.