Beware; spoilers abound for SUPERMAN #40! 

From writer James Robinson comes some unexpected father & son quality time in SUPERMAN #40! In part one of “The Last Days” story arc, Superman and his son, Jon, take some time to reflect on their ancestors on the anniversary of Krypton’s destruction. However, their plans for the day take a turn when they find trouble on the mysterious planet, Galymayne. So, what exactly happens on this spontaneous adventure? Well, find out below!

superman #40
SUPERMAN #40 page 4. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Fate of Galymayne

So, Superman and Jon discover that the planet Galymayne is about to experience the same fate as Krypton. Superman initially refuses to let Jon accompany him to the planet, but he eventually relents. The two arrive on Galymayne and offer their assistance in saving the planet’s citizens. Surprisingly though, they are refused. The High Priest of Galymayne informs Superman that they submit to the will of their god, Dhermet. If Dhermet wills that their planet be destroyed, then so be it.

Superman doesn’t respond well to this perspective. He believes that the High Priest isn’t speaking for the rest of the planet. Additionally, he simply cannot stand by and let people die. As a result of Superman’s failure to comply, the High Priest sends some forces in to destroy Superman and Jon. Interestingly, the High Priest’s followers are capable of de-powering the two superheroes. So, they put up a good fight until Superman and Jon make their escape with Klain, a citizen of Galymayne who wishes to save his planet. Now, even though the two are safe in the meantime, their fight is far from over!

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The Pros and Cons

The highlight of SUPERMAN #40’s narrative is definitely the interaction between Superman and the High Priest. It’s a tense moment that showcases Superman’s staunch nature. However, the main problem with this sequence is that it’s pretty much the only part that stands out in this issue. The beginning moves a little too slowly while the final pages come across as way too hectic.

Overall, the work transitions from scene to scene too abruptly. This is especially apparent when Klain swoops in to save Superman and Jon. As a result, I hope future issues give us more of Klain’s character, as well as more information on Galymayne itself. Despite these flaws, I’m intrigued to see how this story arc unfolds. I especially hope that this adventure digs deeper into Superman and Jon’s relationship.

superman #40
SUPERMAN #40 page 5. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Many Hues of SUPERMAN #40

Unfortunately, I found the artwork to be one of the weaker aspects of SUPERMAN #40. Though I enjoyed penciler Doug Mahnke and colorist Will Quintana’s collaboration in the outer space sequences, I was left underwhelmed by the majority of the work. Firstly, I found Jon’s appearance to be inconsistent and even a little strange at times, especially in the beginning of the issue.

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Additionally, I found the sequences on Galymayne to be chaotic. It is hard to get a grasp on the scope of the planet. With this, characters get lost in the action sequences. These panels end up coming across as blurs rather than cohesive images. Hopefully, future issues will focus more on Galymayne’s terrain so that readers can become familiar with the planet.

Again, though a large chunk of the work’s imagery underwhelms, the sequences with Superman and Jon in space are quite beautiful. So, I hope to see more of this element influencing future entries of this story.

What Lies Beyond

SUPERMAN #40 kick-starts a potentially exciting story. However, its flaws detract from its overall quality. In future issues, I hope to see more cohesion in the artwork and narrative. I also hope that there will be more development of characters such as Klain and further information on the planet of Galymayne.

If future works bring these loose ends together, there’s potential for this storyline to succeed.

SUPERMAN #40 by James Robinson, Doug Mahnke, & Will Quintana
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
Though SUPERMAN #40 has its moments of intrigue, it falls flat in too many aspects to make the issue a notable one.
70 %
A STALE START
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