Superman #18 Review

comic books:
Sergio Pereira

Reviewed by:
On March 1, 2017
Last modified:February 28, 2017


Simply powerful. Part one of "Superman Reborn" pulls no punches as it takes a huge leap forward in unraveling Rebirth's mysteries.

Superman #18 Review

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This review contains minor spoilers.

Whoa! Things just got real. As we edge towards the unraveling of Rebirth and who’s behind it all, Superman #18 takes a monumental leap forward. It’s a gut-punch of a book, making you forget about the forthcoming new costume as more pressing matters develop. Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason aren’t messing around with “Superman Reborn” – and you can bet there will be some casualties along the way.

The issue kicks off with a bang as we focus on the sinister Mr. Oz and one of his prisoners escaping. Oz’s role in Rebirth still remains shrouded in secrecy, but the prison break could have serious ramifications for both him and the universe. There’s an exchange where Tim Drake taunts him about the escapee – and if he’s so happy about it, it must be someone good. The drawings on the prison’s wall appear like they were carved by a child, so who could it be? One thing’s for sure: the fugitive knows Clark Kent is Superman and his whole history.

Back in Hamilton County, we join the Kents as they celebrate Lois and Clark’s anniversary. It’s a wholesome exchange filled with all the values and goodness we’d expect from the Man of Steel. However, a spanner is thrown into the works as the other Clark leaves a mysterious photo album on their doorstep. Not long afterwards, a fire engulfs the home – but it’s not a normal fire; it’s almost like an eraser. Clark tries to protect his family and home from it, yet even he cannot stop the erasing flames. The issue concludes with an emotional, heart-wrenching cliffhanger that’ll be the core focus of the “Superman Reborn” storyline. I don’t think any of us could’ve seen this twist coming.

With the constant mention of the other Clark and his peculiar ways, I can’t help but feel Tomasi and Gleason found inspiration from Neil Gaiman’s Coraline. Without giving away too much, there are several similarities between this narrative and Gaiman’s novel, as it appears the other Clark wants his own family, too. His desires might seem like they bear no malice, but there’s a darkness to the character that we cannot ignore. He’s creepy and lurks in the shadows far too much to be a good guy. If I’m right about the writers’ main inspiration for this story, we’re in for a helluva wild ride.

In other good news, Gleason is back to penciling the series. Even though the art of Superman has been good, it’s missed the artist/writer’s subtle touch from earlier issues. As the co-architect of the tale, his illustrations prove vital to complementing the tone of the book. You only have to look at his poignant depiction of the cliffhanger to appreciate the artwork is in good hands here.

Overall, Tomasi and Gleason pull no punches in Superman #18. While it does leave us with many questions, it also provides more than enough clues to where the answers lie. “Superman Reborn” will play a pivotal role in unlocking Rebirth’s secrets, and part one lays an extremely solid foundation. Color me intrigued.

Superman #18 Review

Simply powerful. Part one of "Superman Reborn" pulls no punches as it takes a huge leap forward in unraveling Rebirth's mysteries.