If you’ve read Superman in the last year, you know Big Blue’s been through a lot. Let’s review. He’s faced a being made of fire, an invisible alien monster, a being made of ice and a face-off with Helspont. Then there was the whole “visitor from another dimension” thing and another run-in with Helspont, which really didn’t go too well. To top it off, Lois is in a relationship. That one sort of worked out well, though. After all, it made him available for Wonder Woman.
Scott Lobdell’s giving us good writing here. The intro we’ve seen in all the other comics this week and last is a good start to the issue and brings us a few new developments to the character. The pacing is good, considering the event it’s leading into. The dialogue is good and yes, there’s a lot of it. Not as much as a George Perez script, but still a bit. This shouldn’t be surprising though, given that Clark Kent is a newspaper reporter. He’s got a lot to say and not just on paper. The writing overall is good, better than Superman’s been in a long time.
The art is as good as any Kenneth Rocafort has ever done. As both artist and inker, he does a great job. The designs of Dr. Shay Veritas’ suit (right) looks pretty cool. He brings his great eye for costuming to this issue. Then there’s all the machinery in the first few pages which is pretty complicated. There’s even the panel layouts that are sort of cool. The colors from Blond are pretty good too. He seems to have a unique style that he brings. There’s not a lot of really deep color, but you can definitely tell where the light really hits. Some parts are rich and the appropriate areas are more muted. The only really bright parts on the intro pages are her hair and the “shield” on his chest. There’s even a little bit of shine in his hair that we don’t generally see. The art here really is just that good. These frequent collaborators do a great job on one of the most hit-or-miss books in the New 52.
The end result is one of the best issue of Superman since the reboot. I give it 4/5, based on the writing and the art working so well together. As with all of Rocafort’s work, it’s consistent and portrays exactly what the writer seems to want it to. I can say there’ll be a big change to the Superman status quo in this issue, but I can’t reveal more than that without a pretty massive spoiler. With that being said, go pick this one up or read it online.
Superman #13 (2011)
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Words: Scott Lobdell
Art: Kenneth Rocafort
Inks: Kenneth Rocafort
Letters: Rob Leigh