Review: Believe Again In ‘Superman ’78’ #1

by Tony Thornley

There’s probably only one other comic character who has been adapted to other mediums more than Superman. (Hint: he is the night.) And revisiting those adaptations seems like a natural choice in our modern world full of nostalgia. But Superman ‘78 is far more than that.

The second of DC’s two continuations of classic film universes launches here, and once again, you will believe a man can fly. The issue was created by Robert Vendetti, Wilfredo Torres, Jordie Bellaire, and Dave Lanphear.

One of the greatest threats in the universe, Brainiac, is coming to Earth. Clark Kent may be the only thing that could stop him. Maybe, just maybe, he’ll be able to get a story out of it for The Daily Planet.

It’s clear immediately that this book is going to deliver on what it promised. Right away, this is a great continuation of the Donner/Reeves/Kidder Superman, giving us the sequel that should have been before that series went off the rails in the 1980’s. It’s also an incredibly good, retro-tinged, stand-alone Superman story. That’s right, you don’t need to have seen Reeves in the super-suit on the big screen to enjoy this one.

In the script, Vendetti captures the spirit of the original films incredibly well. You can hear Reeves’ voice when Clark speaks, and you can feel Kidder’s sass when Lois is on the page. He also gets the spirit of these versions of the characters, such as Clark still being polite to one of Brainiac’s androids despite their attack.

The visual language of this issue is just stunning. Torres gets the feel of the characters right, from their body language to their attitudes. His Superman is fantastic and Brainiac is threatening. Bellaire, meanwhile, is able to capture the environment of the original films, taking the cinematography and translating that into a visual palette that feels very 70’s without feeling dated.

This issue turned out to be exactly what the story promised. It’s a gorgeous and loving nostalgia tribute, but it’s also just a damn good Superman story that any fan should be checking out.

Superman ‘78 #1 is available now from DC Comics.

Overview

This issue features both a pitch perfect continuation of the classic Superman films and a stand-alone, continuity free Superman tale. The script captures the voices of the characters and the actors, while the art is absolutely fantastic. This is a must-read for any fan.

Overall
9/10
9/10
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