I have greatly enjoyed, when I got to read it, Peter J. Tomasi’s Superman run from the DC Rebirth era. But I read a lot of stuff and don’t always get to things in a timely fashion. So, yeah, I was really looking forward to this fifth volume of that run.
Then I actually read the volume, subtitled Hopes and Fears, and was less than pleased.
See, the six issues contained in this trade make up three two-part stories. That, in and of itself, isn’t a bad thing. What makes this less than something I dug was that Tomasi and his artistic partner Patrick Gleason were only responsible for the first of those two. The other two were by guest creative teams, and not the same one on either. So, basically, this one is 60% filler issues by guest creators.
Then there was that Tomasi and Gleason’s two-parter was basically Superman, Lois Lane, and Superboy going on a road trip in an RV to various patriotic and/or historic sites around the United States. It felt less like a Superman story than it did a so-so social studies/history lesson, nothing there I didn’t really know, and quite frankly, nothing I am very much interested in looking at. It felt like it was aimed at someone maybe thirty years younger than me.
And then there were two more stories, one where Superman dealt with the Paralax entity coming to Metropolis to hide from Sinestro and Superman’s efforts to fight back against the guy who uses fear itself as his primary weapon on a cosmic scale, and then another where Lois got an interview with Deathstroke only to find that one-eyed mercenary gunning for her in some sort of plot to test Superman. These were filler stories and nothing more. They added up to nothing and didn’t grab me either. The Sinestro story might have been a little better had Doug Mahnke done the artwork for both parts, but no, he just drew the first.
So, yeah, Superman may have only gone on vacation in the first story, but it sure does look like everyone else involved in this series did too.
7 out of 10 creepy kids that didn’t last long enough to make the story cooler.