Superman #38

Writers: Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason
Artist: Sergio Davila
Inker: Vicente Cifuentes
Colorist: Gabe Eltaeb
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Cover Artist: Ivan Reis, Oclair Albert & Hi-Fi
Publisher: DC Comics

Review by Stacy Dooks

Huh. This is my second review of the DC Rebirth era Superman titles in a month and its another story featuring time travel. Coincidence? Most likely, but it’s a happy one. Superman #38 is actually part four of a larger tale crossing over between the Superman, Teen Titans, and Super Sons titles called (appropriately enough) Super Sons of Tomorrow. Without spoiling anything, a Batman from the future travels back in time to deliver a dire warning: at some point in the near future Jonathan Kent (Clark’s son and the current Superboy) will be responsible for a cataclysmic disaster. This crosses over into the Titans books and the Super Sons proper as the heroes debate how best to alter this bad future: some want to help Jon, while others (this future Batman among them) believe a more drastic solution is called for.

That’s all I can discuss openly without getting in to spoiler territory, and the last thing I want to do is deprive you of the fun of discovering the twists and turns this story has to provide. Having said that, there is one element about this story that I want to discuss that does cross the proverbial Rubicon into spoiler territory, but I’ve got to talk about it or I’m going to burst so here we go: HOLY CRAP CASSIE, CONNER, AND BART ARE BACK YOU GUYS.

Sorry to turn up the volume there but part of this storyline features the return of Conner Kent, Cassie Sandsmark, and Bart Allen. For those of you who didn’t read comics in the ’90s, that’s Superboy, Wonder Girl and Impulse (later Kid Flash). Here they’re back in their adult incarnations as the Justice League of Tomorrow, but man is it great to see them again. Is this an indicator of a return of these classic characters to the DCU proper? I certainly hope so. There were attempts to update and retcon the characters during the New 52, but those experiments were unsuccessful, to put it mildly. Now that they’re back, I’m genuinely curious as to how this is going to shake out for future storylines (or storylines set in the future, as it were).

I have to say that the Superman books of the DC Rebirth era have been a return to form for my favorite character in comics, and this issue is a snapshot of just why I like it (and by extension the whole Rebirth era as a whole): fun stories, epic stakes, true companions, heroism, and a whole lot of slam-bang action where the stakes are high but the heroes never lose their core values in the face of adversity. And even when they do end up compromising themselves, (looking right at you Future Batman/Savior/Whatever you call yourself), they still have the possibility of redemption.

Tomasi and Gleason have the beats for the regular cast and the guest stars down, and everyone rings true in their actions and reactions to the situation. Jonathan Kent and Damien Wayne are easily becoming two of my favorite modern DC creations, with Damien’s increasingly frantic efforts to protect his best friend showing that beneath all those (many) layers of surly little jerk he still cares about people. Davila’s art is fantastic, with some nice set pieces and action sequences and an overall feel for the characters’ respective looks, all with a style that is decidedly his own. The colors by Eltaeb and letters by Leigh all compliment the line art and make an already impressive work that much better.

 The Verdict:
Buy it.
  If you enjoy a time-travel adventure that reunites readers with some long-gone (but not forgotten) characters, you should definitely check out Super Sons of Tomorrow. You might have to do a little legwork to get the first three chapters, but Superman #38 takes the ball and runs with it to some fun places. Recommended.

Stacy Dooks
Stacy Dooks is a writer and assorted pop culture fanatic whose childhood fixations on the works of Jim Henson, George Lucas, and DC Comics laid the groundwork for his current status as a pop culture junkie chatterbox. He currently resides in Calgary, Alberta while he waits for his TARDIS coral to finish growing. For more of his observations on popular culture, check out The Fanboy Power Hour:

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