Subway Shorts – Superman 45

The Kent family closes out its time in Hamilton County in the final issue of Superman before the Bendis era takes over!

Superman 45
Written by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Pencils and Inks by Patrick Gleason 
Colors by Stephen Downer and Alejandro Sanchez

ACTION COMICS 1,000 isn’t the only big Superman book released last week. With a new era of comics featuring the Man of Steel kicking off with a new miniseries next month, DC Comics closes out the Rebirth era of SUPERMAN with a heart-felt epilogue to the Kent family’s time in the small farming community 300 miles north of Metropolis.

While Dan Jurgens’ ACTION focused primarily on Big Blue’s adventures in Metropolis, Tomasi and Gleason re-introduced readers to Superman as the father to the pre-teen Jon Kent. With a new supporting cast of characters in the rural Hamilton County, the stories gave Clark Kent the opportunity to recall the teachings of Pa Kent and reflect on how he became the man so many look up to, and how best to ensure his own son looks up to him the way he looked up to his own father. As a new dad myself, the stories in Superman struck a more emotional chord than most of his other stories.

The latest issue serves as an epilogue to the last two years’ worth of stories, as the family packs up the Kent farmstead in Hamilton County to move everything back to Metropolis. Clark narrates the tale, as Tomasi and Gleason check in on the new characters we’ve metas father and son say goodbye.

Action Comics’ anniversary issue may get all the hype this week, but Superman 45 may be the better story to close out an era, as short as it may be, as the writers fill the book with little meta references to their departure from the book. It’s a touching story for anyone who’s been following closely. The writing duo excel at these smaller, quieter familial moments. A lot happens here, and none of it includes super-powered people pummeling each other.

Regardless of what Brian Bendis does with the Super-books, I’m going to miss Tomasi and Gleason’s take on the character, because it captured an essence of Superman that’s so rarely explored or even understood. But this was a wonderful way to close this chapter, and I hope the traits that have been accentuated here find a way back on to the page in some form.